The New York Red Bulls made some significant changes to their roster on Thursday, trading midfielder Dema Kovalenko to Real Salt Lake and waiving Liberian forward Francis Doe. The moves clear up around $250,000 in cap room for the Bulls, who are still looking to add a central defender, a left-winger and an attacking midfielder. The latter position will likely be filled before the MLS transfer deadline on April 15. The Bulls tried to trade Kovalenko to Chicago as part of a deal to bring over central defender Wilman Conde, but the Fire refused.
According to soccer blogger Ives Galarcep, the trade, which gives the Bulls an undisclosed 2010 draft pick, was more about salary cap issues than Kovalenko's performance in training camp. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio decided to keep Seth Stammler, who cost the Bulls $30,000 in 2007 and trade Kovalenko, who made $200,000, instead. Stammler and rookie Luke Sassano will back up Claudio Reyna in the holding midfield position, while an unidentified transfer target will become the attacking midfield playmaker.
Doe's departure also wasn't unexpected. Earlier this month, Osorio revealed that he wasn't happy with the Liberian's performance in training camp, and after attempts to trade the player failed, Osorio ultimately had to waive him. The Red Bulls already have a crowded front line with Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Oscar Echeverry, John Wolyniec and Jerrod Laventure, not to mention two new trialists. As Galarcep reports, left midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh is the next candidate to be traded or waived.