January 21, 2012
LESS IS MORE
Red Bulls will have only handful of trialists in pre-season training camp
By Michael Lewis
|Red Bulls interim head coach: "We went in with the mindset that we wanted less is more for us. we wanted to start moulding the team right from day one as far as attitude and getting these guys together."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
For the Red Bulls and Mike Petke, less is more when it comes down to trialists at training camp.
New York will have a handful, compared to the dozens of hopefuls who tried out with the Major League Soccer team in the past. The Red Bulls fly to Florida on Tuesday as they open camp at IMG Academies in Bradenton.
"We made a decision. We have a small group of players that are not signed that we like to come in and look at," the Red Bulls interim head coach said during a conference call on Monday. "It's very different in years past, even going back to when I played, having 30, 33, 35 players and having to look at all of them and slowly whittle them down.
"We went in with the mindset that we wanted less is more for us. we wanted to start moulding the team right from day one as far as attitude and getting these guys together. It's only a select group coming in. These are guys, whether they're going to be ultimately signed or not, we're going to see in the next week.
"I'm confident we've got the right guys coming in to help out and potentially be a future part of the team."
The Red Bulls on Monday did not say who was invited as a club spokesman said that a full roster would be announced later in the week.
Midfielder Nicki Paterson, a standout with the Charleston Battery in USL PRO who had an in-season trial with New York last year, said that he has been invited. Defender Tyler Ruthven, who was cut by the Red Bulls after last season, also has been invited. Left back-defensive midfielder Toni Stahl, who most recently played with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (North American Soccer League) reportedly has been invited as well, according to several blogs.
Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh gave a big thumbs up to Petke.
"I have every faith in him," he said. "He is one of the guys who is the heart and soul of this club. He not only was a top player here, but he's been a Pep Guardiola, working his way up through the third team all the way up. He went red in the face when I mentioned him and Pep Guardiola and him in the same breath."
Guardiola, of course, is the former Barcelona coach, who last week joined Bayern Munich as manager for the 2013-2014 Bundesliga season.
With no permanent head coach or staff in place, it seems that the Red Bulls would be understaffed in Florida. But Roxburgh said that wasn't the case. He said the team has brought in a new senior physio and the medical staff also was slightly reorganized.
Roxburgh said there is a goalkeeping coach that he hopes to make sign soon.
He added that Bradenton's weather conditions "will be perfect for the training."
"The planning is already detailed. every day, intense sessions, less intense sessions, recovery and regeneration,” he said. “All these things are all in place. Everything is set up and ready to go."