Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
New York's Osorio reviews large cast
by Ridge Mahoney, February 8th, 2008 8:30AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS TEAM PREVIEWS] Roster returnees from last year? Bring 'em all. Draft picks, ditto.

Mini-camp survivors? Book 'em, flights to Southern California that is.

Three dozen players are going through the regimens of Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio at Home Depot Center, and by next week he'll have trimmed the squad to make room for a few more players, not counting Jozy Altidore, who scored a goal in his first national-team start in the 2-2 tie with Mexico Wednesday.

"I allowed all the players from last year's roster to come back into preseason, plus the draft picks, plus the few players that we identified in the mini-camp we had last week," said Osorio, who bailed on the Fire after just five months to take the Red Bulls' job in December. "We have had very good sessions and hopefully we will continue to do that and give everybody a chance to show what they are capable of."

Osorio's devotion to fitness and defensive accountability, which sparked a revival that propelled Chicago into the conference final, has already surfaced in the Red Bulls' camp.

"He demands a lot of us," said defender Carlos Mendes, a member of a back line that conceded 45 goals. "He pushes us, but he makes everything very competitive and I think this team is moving in the right direction and guys are really competing."

Red Bull competed strongly for the first two-thirds of the 2007 season, but fizzled after Labor Day, winning only one of its last seven games. It did tie four of those matches to finish as the No. 6 seed with a 12-11-7 record, but falling out of the playoffs to New England without scoring a goal in two matches prompted the departure of Bruce Arena.

Osorio is working with much the same cast (gone are Ronald Waterreus, Clint Mathis, Joe Vide and Santino Quaranta, among others), plus SuperDraft picks Eric Brunner (D), Luke Sassano (D/MF) and David Roth (MF), and the mini-camp survivors, who include ex-Rev Marshall Leonard, former Quake Tighe Dombrowski, and Red Bulls academy product Matt Kassell. Re-signed were forward Francis Doe and keeper Jon Conway, and coming back to New Jersey from his days with the MetroStars is Zach Thornton.

Despite the presence of experienced veterans Juan Pablo Angel, Dave van den Bergh, Claudio Reyna and Dema Kovalenko, and exciting youngsters Altidore and Dane Richards, Osorio's not ready to declare this a team that underachieved last year, as many surmised.

"I am not sure, because I think we've had some pretty good sessions, but not too much 11-v-11," he says, always mindful of team shape and decision-making, even early in preseason. "When we do that, and we play more games, that will really tell me how good these players are tactically.

"At the moment, I can see very good athletes, and some of them are very talented. Some of them are not as talented, but very genuine and hard-working, which I appreciate highly. I can answer that question farther down the line when we play more 11 v. 11 and I can see how well they can play the game on the bigger pitch and really competitive matches."

New York will play MLS opposition in the Carolina Challenge Cup next month, after training in Southern California and heading to Austria for sessions with parent club Red Bull Salzburg.

Its originally scheduled opener March 29 against San Jose was postponed because of renovation delays at the Quakes temporary home, Buck Shaw Stadium, so Red Bull doesn't open the regular season until April 5 against Columbus. Trust Osorio to use every minute until that first ball is rolled out.

"In my eyes, I will see what players I need to keep, and what players I need to move on, and what players I need to bring in to put a winning team on the pitch," says Osorio. "I am giving the best possible chance to everybody and hopefully I will make the right and wise decisions. Only time will tell."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Vladimir Putin    
"It's another clear attempt by the USA to spread its jurisdiction to other states. And I ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"Being on the wrong side of an election result -- if that's what happens -- is ...
Concacaf in emergency mode -- again    
With Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb provisionally suspended by FIFA and Concacaf from all soccer activities for ...
What They're Saying: Jack Warner    
"I want to tell you, that whatever is planned for me, negatively, shall not succeed." -- ...
What They're Saying: Diego Maradona    
"I was treated like a crazy person. Now the FBI has told the truth. There is ...
NSCAA names Lynn Berling-Manuel as new CEO    
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America has named Lynn Berling-Manuel as its new chief executive ...
Defiant Blatter: 'I cannot monitor everyone'    
Sepp Blatter spoke on Thursday for the first time since the raids of Wednesday morning by ...
ICYMI MLS: Timbers leader is back, San Jose gets ASG    
Will Johnson returned after missing eight months with a broken leg to lead Portland past D.C,. ...
Road to Vancouver: Oklahoman Dike makes Nigeria's squad    
Courtney Dike, youngster sister of MLS and NASL veteran Bright Dike and a sophomore at Oklahoma ...
Twenty for Canada 2015: Canada's Christine Sinclair    
No less a player than U.S. women's national team keeper Hope Solo says Christine Sinclair is ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives