HANOVER, N.J. – Dilly Duka remains on trial with the New York Red Bulls, the former Columbus Crew midfielder now entering another week of evaluation with the team he was helped groomed by.
Released by the Crew in mid-July, Duka joined the Red Bulls camp a few days ago and has apparently done some impressive things during that time.
A former member of the United States U-23 national team, the now 27-year-old midfielder brings some good experience to the Red Bulls as a potential target.
Duka, from Montville, N.J., came up through the Red Bulls Academy system before playing college soccer at Rutgers. He then joined MLS in 2010.
“I think Dilly’s done well for us. Anytime people come here, it’s an adjustment to some of the training methods and how we do things. But I think Dilly’s been excited to be here and he knows some of the guys in the past,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said on Wednesday following training. “Overall I think it’s been very positive with him. I mean we’re not ready to make a decision yet but it’s been so far so good.”
Since joining MLS in 2010, he’s made 138 league appearances. He failed to appear for the Crew this year in what has been a year of struggles in Columbus.
Columbus is now on the books for the remainder of his salary, meaning that the Red Bulls could make an offer for the player at the league minimum and get quite a steal.
“I think that’s the main issue — can we help him adjust to playing against the ball? And then can we also use some of his abilities 1 v. 1 and some of his attacking abilities to help the team,” Marsch said.
“We’re still kind of in the evaluation process with that.”
RED BULLS NOTES
-Aurelien Collin (center back) and Connor Lade (left back) did not train with the team today but did individual work. The hope is that both players can work with the second team on Thursday and then have a fighter’s chance for this weekend at New York City F.C.
“Aurelien is day-to-day. So both him and Connor, I think they’re scheduled to train with USL tomorrow because we have the day off. Then hopefully they can come into training on Friday with the first team,” Marsch said.
-Recently signed Muhamed Keita did not train today but did gym work. This comes after Keita was in the team’s sessions last week despite not making the bench for Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Montreal Impact.
“Muhamed has picked up a little something but not much. We’re being a little cautious with him. Like last year we brought Danny Royer in, then we pushed him and he would up getting a hamstring injury and he being hurt,” Marsch said. “We’re being a little cautious with him so that we make sure that we’re in the long-term setting him to be healthy and successful.”