July 13, 2013
Source: Red Bulls cut Kaka's brother, Digao
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Digao played only one minute for the Red Bull in almost a year with the club.
Photo by Kristian Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. -- The Digao era is set to be over.
BigAppleSoccer.com has learned from a team source that the Brazilian centerback and brother of Real Madrid star Kaka has been cut by the Red Bulls.
Signed by the club late last season, Digao has struggled to find playing time this year due to a heel injury. Digao was not present at the team’s training facility on Friday and was not in attendance for the Red Bulls 4-0 home win over Montreal on Saturday night.
Further proof of his departure was evident in the locker room on Saturday night where his nameplate was removed over his locker.
Digao, also known as Rodrigo Leite, made only one appearance last year in the playoffs against D.C. United, playing one minute. His brother Kaka, linked to the Red Bulls over the past year, will not be leaving Real Madrid as per recent news reports from Spain.
This past Wednesday following training at the team’s new facility, head coach Mike Petke told BigAppleSoccer.com that Digao was still sidelined with a nagging heel injury and indicated that a discussion with the player was forthcoming.
"We’re just trying to figure out the best situation with Digao as far as when to bring him out, when his foot is right, you know, communicate with him what we see him as for us and what his future holds,”Petke said. “Then to have an open dialogue and figure out what is going on there."
According to the player salaries that were released by the Major League Soccer Players Union this spring, Digao was getting paid $200,000.
The Red Bulls could not be reached for comment.
Kristian R. Dyer is a contributing editor to BigAppleSoccer.com and can be followed < a href="https://twitter.com/kristianrdyer">@KristianRDyer