Soccer By Ives reports that New York Red Bulls product Matt Kassel will not be making the jump to the senior team this season. Which is to say that Kassel, considered to be the most promising youngster in the Bulls' youth academy, will not become, as many expected, the first youth academy product to sign a contract to play for the team that developed him.
Ives says the decision won't sit well with Red Bulls fans frustrated by the team's lack of major off-season acquisitions. Given the closing of the MLS international transfer deadline on Tuesday and the Bulls tepid loss to FC Dallas last weekend, many fans are already filled with foreboding about another mediocre season. The signing of a promising young star might have tempered those feelings, but either way, Ives says the reality is that Kassel simply isn't ready for MLS.
Nor did the Red Bulls offer him a Generation adidas contract, which would have meant more money for Kassel and roster exemption for the club, because that would have kept the Bulls from being able to add another academy player to the project for three years. Instead, Kassel will continue to attend training sessions until he heads to the University of Maryland in the fall, unless Kassel and the Bulls head back to the bargaining table before then, which could also happen.