HANOVER, N.J. – It appears that, as of right now, reading between the lines there is no smoke let alone a fire when it comes to the fact that Giuseppe Rossi is training with the New York Red Bulls.
In fact, it is as regular on the calendar around these parts as July 4th. Gym. Tan. Laundry.
Rossi is in town and training with the MLS side, the former Italian international is a local boy born in nearby Clifton, N.J. The 31-year old attacking player, who has 30 appearances with Italy’s national team, is currently out of contract and has battled injuries in recent years.
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Rossi has been a regular guest for training with the Red Bulls over the last couple of years, making his appearance an annual right of passage around these parts.
“This time of year when Giuseppe comes around, he fits in seamless to the group because of who he is as a person. From a character standpoint, he just has a good way with people in general. You can see he fits in probably anywhere in his life,” Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas said. Rossi once again trained with the team on Thursday.
“Around the group, he’s always fun to have because he’s very different in terms of a footballer. He’s one of the most intelligent players I’ve been around and one of the clearest players I’ve been around in the final third. What he can see, what he can execute. It’s a breath of fresh air when he’s around. It’s good even for our guys to see. I see him lots of times talking to players, mentoring and teaching – ‘Hey, how about this.’ Even with me, we’ve had some good soccer conversations. He’s always welcome here.”
People close to Rossi believe that he could be intrigued by a move to MLS and the Red Bulls. But given his recent bouts with injuries, it might not be a move in-line with a team that is all about youth and mobility.
There may not be anything to Rossi’s training with the team other than he is in town, looking to stay in shape. The Red Bulls benefit from his presence as he is a quality player who can help elevate training and the development of their young players.
Armas’ comments may point to the fact that this is nothing more than courtesy extended to a quality player.
Then again, similar comments were made about Shaun Wright-Phillips several years ago when the former English international was in town, training with his brother. After an extended time training and denials that it was a trial, Wright-Phillips was signed to the roster late in the 2015 season and stayed until after the 2016 season was completed.
So there’s always a chance.
Red Bulls Notes
Armas was introduced as the Red Bulls head coach last week in what has been a whirlwind few days for the club, led in particular the news that Jesse Marsch was leaving as head coach to take a role with RB Leipzig.
The quick-witted Denis Hamlett, the team’s sporting director, said last week that there will be few noticeable differences between Armas and Marsch in terms of tactics. The one noticeable difference, he said, is that the new head coach being funnier. It was a point not lost on the players in the locker room.
“It can’t get a worse joke than Jesse,” midfielder Alex Muyl said.
“I think Chris is funny, man, Chris is funny. Jesse is funny too I guess. I don’t know how he jokes in German.”
Muyl smiled then walked away. He was poking fun at Marsch’s first press conference in Leipzig, which the American conducted (mostly) in German.
The Red Bulls plan on being active in the transfer window, as a source tells Metro that the team continues to look for pieces at outside back and an attacking option. One name that was hot on the radar a couple weeks ago was Matthew Olosunde, the former Red Bulls Academy player now with Manchester United.
One source said that Olosunde “likely isn’t coming here” at this juncture and that the player has several options in Europe, either on loan or a full-time move. While he has made the bench a couple of times at Manchester United, he has yet to feature with the senior team.