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Reyna Has a Point to Prove

Claudio Reyna has had a rough go of it since joining the New York Red Bulls early last year as the team's first designated player. A high price tag ($2.5 million for two years) was followed by an understated, if disappointing first season in MLS, in which the Red Bulls made it as far as the Eastern Conference semifinals but failed to impress. The off-season hasn't been much kinder to the former U.S. captain, as rumors surfaced that the Red Bulls would attempt to buy out Reyna's contract and he would subsequently retire.

The rumors were false, however. The man they call "Captain America" will be back for a second MLS season -- and with a serious a point to prove. "Reyna has faced pressure playing in the world's best leagues, but he will face pressure this year like no other Red Bulls player," says the North Jersey Herald's Ives Galarcep. "Not Juan Pablo Angel, not Jozy Altidore, and not even first-year Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio."

While the likes of D.C. United have been able to make several moves on the transfer market, the Red Bulls have been restricted in part by Reyna's high $1.25 million salary, which counts as $400,000 against the salary cap under the designated player rule. Critics would say that money could be better spent, which is why Reyna "will need to show more in 2008," says Galarcep. "He owes that to the Red Bulls and he owes it to himself to close out a storied career with a strong final season rather than [a] disappointing ending."

Read the whole story at North Jersey Herald »

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