New York Red Bulls welcome two European trialists, but DP search shelved for now

Andy Roxburgh

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HANOVER, N.J. – Reinforcements might be on the way for the New York Red Bulls.

Two new players trained with the Red Bulls at the club’s newly opened practice facility on Wednesday morning, and after the lively session head coach Mike Petke and sporting director Andy Roxburgh confirmed that they were both trialists with the club.

That duo is English midfielder Bradley Wright-Phillips (brother of Queens Park Rangers midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips) and German midfielder Sebastian Stachnik.

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Wright-Phillips, 28, was most recently on loan with English third-division side Brentford, but has also played for Charlton Athletic, Plymouth Argyle and Southampton after beginning his career with Manchester City in 2004. The 27-year-old Stachnik, meanwhile, last suited up for second-tier Dutch team Helmond Sport after several years of toiling in the German lower divisions.

“He’s a good boy, he played in the Under-20 England national team, underlining his potential,” Roxburgh told reporters of Wright-Phillips. “He played at Charlton. He’s quick and he can finish, so we’ll see how quickly he blends and if it’s appropriate, because we need to negotiate with him of course. … He can play up front or he can play wide, another attacking player.

“Sebastian is more of a midfield player, an attacking type of midfielder player … He’s a tidy player. I haven’t seen him before, [but] he looks as if he’s powerful and he can move; tidy left foot on him.”

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Roxburgh added that the players are not necessarily being looked at as potential starters, but rather ones who can help bolster New York’s depth. The Red Bulls have lost their last two games across all competitions and they were missing some of their starters in those matches.

“You can see the problem we have the minute we get injuries, international call-ups, suspensions – we end up really, really thin on the ground,” said Roxburgh. “We need to try and create some depth to the squad. That, I would say, is our first priority.

“Longer-term, it might be to try and deliver somebody that’s what we’re looking for in terms of a starting player, but at this stage it’s rather more to create depth in the group.”

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While signing a third Designated Player might be a way to acquire another sure-fire starter, Roxburgh made it seem as if the Red Bulls’ search for one has gone somewhat cold. Roxburgh said he spoke to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz a week ago about the possibility of signing a player to complement current DPs Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, but that there was not much progress made in that regard.

“We discussed the whole subject, but we haven’t got any specific target,” said Roxburgh. “We had some names to discuss, but we don’t have one at this moment in time that we feel will be a solution for us because you’ve got to take everything [into account]: Are they available? Would they want to come here? How much does it cost? Is it appropriate for our team? Could he blend in?

“Right now, I don’t think we’ll be doing any business like that certainly in the coming few weeks. It’s wide open over the summer period in Europe and so we don’t have to rush to it.”

Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.