Alejandro Romero Gamarra is not heading to the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League, the newly signed New York Red Bulls midfielder not yet set to make his debut.
Known affectionately as “Kaku” in his native Argentina, Gamarra was formally announced by the team on Friday as a recent signing. The deal for Gamarra involves a club-record transfer fee reported to be in the neighborhood of $7 million, a hefty amount to lure the former Huracan player to MLS. The prolonged transfer agreement gives the Red Bulls a true impact player in the final third.
Gamarra has played for Argentine at the U-20 national team level as well as having over 100 appearances for Huracan. But he’s not ready to play yet for the MLS team, who are currently in the preseason.
Sources tell Metro that Kaku traveled with the team to Houston to prepare for the midweek Champions League match at Olimpia (the match featuring the top team from Honduras will be played in Costa Rica). He will not, however, make the trip to Costa Rica with the team and instead is headed to Tucson, AZ to join the New York Red Bulls II squad who are also in preseason training.
In Arizona, he will train and potentially play for the USL team.
Metro heard from one source that Gamarra has not yet received his visa but is expected to receive it shortly. The move, however, likely wasn’t contingent on his lack of a visa at this point and has more to do with match fitness and conditioning.
The Red Bulls confirmed to Metro that Gamarra is not traveling with the team and heading to get some time with the USL squad.
Currently, the Red Bulls II squad is in Arizona participating in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup. Were Gamarra cleared to play and have his visa, then he could potentially be integrated into the squad for the preseason tournament and get an extended run of minutes to push his fitness.