Red Bulls deal Martins, picks for Peguero

The New York Red Bulls on Friday sent Thiago Martins and a pair of picks in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft to the Colorado Rapids for Haitian international forward Jean Philippe Peguero.

As part of the deal, the Rapids received the Red Bulls' first-round and third-round picks in next January's draft.
The third-round pick is conditional. If Peguero plays well, it could be upgraded to a second-round selection. Peguero is sure that is going to happen.

"I feel good, I'm excited to go there," Peguero said. "I'm going to do everything I can to get this team to the final."

Peguero, 25, has an assist in two games over 168 minutes this season for the Rapids (1-1-1), who have a bye this weekend. He is expected to fly to New York Saturday morning and join the Red Bulls, who face D.C. United at 4 p.m. ET. Peguero has a green card, which means he won't count as a senior international on the Red Bulls roster. The team still has two available senior international slots.

"We are excited to add another quality striker to our club," said Red Bull New York head coach Mo Johnston in a release. "Jean Philippe is a strong, quick forward who is very good in the air. He has proven he can score goals in this league and we believe he can contribute to our team immediately."

While he isn't likely to play Saturday, having not trained with the Red Bulls yet, Peguero is expected to combine up front with Edson Buddle and allow Youri Djorkaeff to slide behind the forwards, a position the Frenchman has played for most of his career. Peguero said getting to play with Buddle and playmakers like Djorkaeff and Amado Guevara, who he shares the same agent with in Patrick McCabe, will make the Red Bulls a very dangerous attacking side.

"I've been following them and I think New York, with me and [Buddle], I think we will be a lot of trouble for other teams," he said. "I'm ready to prove myself and show everybody what type of player I am."

Peguero, who has 10 caps for the Haitian national team, scored seven goals and assisted on six others for the Rapids last season. He converted the winning penalty kick in the shootout against FC Dallas to boost the Rapids into the Western Conference final.

The 6-2, 185-pound Peguero scored the first goal for Haiti -- a penalty kick -- in the first-leg of its World Cup qualifying series against the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2004. Haiti won the two-leg series 5-0 on aggregate.

Martins, who was acquired from Chivas USA in a deal for veteran Ante Razov Jan. 30, played 11 minutes in the Red Bulls 1-1 tie with Real Salt Lake last weekend. He also played a part in all three goals, including scoring the game-winner, in the Red Bulls reserves 3-2 win over New England.

For his career, the 29-year-old Martins has tallied three goals and one assist in 27 MLS matches.

Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).