While it has been a quiet offseason, the New York Red Bulls are primed for what will inevitably be a busy day or two with Friday’s MLS SuperDraft.
A league source tells Metro New York that the Red Bulls are actively attempting to move up in the draft and have eyed at least one player that they think will take a top three pick to secure. The Red Bulls, who won the Eastern Conference in 2016 for a second straight season, have the No. 17 pick.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the team is being “very aggressive” in looking to move up.
Earlier this week, Matt Doyle of MLSSoccer.com, the league’s website, first reported that the Red Bulls were interested in moving up in the draft.
On Thursday Metro reported that both Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC, both expansion teams that lack for nothing in the creativity of their names, are looking to move out from the top of the draft. The Colorado Rapids are believed to be a team actively looking to move up from their current spot at No. 21.
The Red Bulls don’t have many pressing needs on their solid roster but while they are looking to address issues at right back and perhaps centerback, one area that might just draw some interest is up top at forward.
After Bradley Wright-Phillips, the club doesn’t have many options at forward (though Wright-Phillips is certainly a premier striker in MLS). But Wright-Phillips is set to turn 32-years old this March and perhaps a player such as Jeremy Ebobisse might be of interest. He would be an ideal understudy for Wright-Phillips and could give head coach Jesse Marsch an option to partner up top in a 4-2-2-2.
Eboisse, who played two years of college soccer at Duke, signed with MLS this past summer and the U-20 national team forward had a successful loan stint with the Charleston Battery in the USL. He comes with good pace and relatively good size as well. He will be 20-years old next month.
Interestingly enough, Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis had a star-studded collegiate career as a forward at Duke. He was the 1999 Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player and would go on to become a first round pick of the now defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny.
Also on the Red Bulls roster from Duke are midfielders Mike Grella and Sean Davis.