HANOVER, N.J. – Alex Song wasn’t in training with the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday although he is expected back at some point in the future, this as the club reiterates that he isn’t on trial.
For the last two weeks, Song has been training with the Red Bulls in what the club has said has been an opportunity to let a world class player get his fitness; the midfielder is currently out of contract and seeking a club. The idea of Song joining the Red Bulls, a leap in logic made by many fans, made some sense given his resume.
Song can play as a holding midfielder as well as a center back. The Cameroonian international has played with some prominent clubs around the world, including Arsenal, Barcelona and West Ham United. He will turn 30-years old in September.
“He’s not [in] today,” Marsch said on Wednesday about Song being at training. “He left last week to go be with his family for a little bit. There’s a chance that we do see him again. It’s been great having him here but it’s not a trial — it’s just helping him out.”
In training, Song has shown increased sharpness and fitness, showcasing the ability that has seen him play for some of the biggest teams in European soccer as well as representing Cameroon 49 times.
As for a fit with the Red Bulls, at this point, it doesn’t appear so although the club did deny that former English international and Chelsea attacker Shaun Wright-Phillips was on trial with the team in 2015 before he signed an MLS deal. But the Red Bulls are clearly in a youth movement and Song, despite his pedigree, likely isn’t a fit.
Things could always change as injuries, international call-ups and player transfers can test a team’s depth, even with a team as deep as the Red Bulls. Song, however, would be a tremendous fit for any number of MLS sides, especially given his international and Champions League experience.
It just likely won’t be with the Red Bulls.