HARRISON, N.J. — Reinforcements will be on the way for the New York Red Bulls this summer, if sporting director Erik Solér has his way.
“I think we’re going to do a little here or there,” Solér said. “I’d be surprised if we didn’t do anything.”
Currently tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia, New York have struggled with one win over the past five weeks, finally getting back on the winning track this past Friday night in a 2-1 home win over New England. Part of the reason for the recent Red Bulls struggles have centered around depth, the result of losing five regulars in the matchday roster to international call-ups.
Then there were also injury concerns piled on this week as setbacks to the trio of Joel Lindpere, Luke Rodgers and Teemu Tainio are testing the depth of the team. Solér wants to address this issue for the stretch run.
When asked if there was a particular position to be upgraded, the former Norwegian international was vague in his response.
“It is generally more [to] look to see if we can bring in a wider group of players who are more experienced,” Solér said.
A club that became the first in league history to field three Designated Players last season is content with just two — Thierry Henry and Rafa Márquez — on the roster for now. Solér confirmed there will be no third DP in 2011.
The Red Bulls already made one big move this season, sending Tony Tchani and Danleigh Borman to Toronto FC for midfielder Dwayne De Rosario. In the final year of his contract, the Canadian international and attacking midfielder has made it clear that he’d like to sign an extension in MLS for Designated Player money.
Through 10 games, De Rosario has scored one goal for his new club. He scored a goal on a penalty kick for Canada this past weekend in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Guadeloupe.
“When he’s back, we will speak to him to see where he’s at and what is possible,” Solér said. “We hope, of course, that we can have him for more years.”
For a club with visions of the Supporters’ Shield during preseason, the Red Bulls currently sit nine points behind the LA Galaxy for top of the table honors. But while some may be unimpressed at the recent stretch of lackluster results by the Red Bulls, Solér doesn’t necessarily view 22 points from 14 matches as a poor return from his club.
“In my head, three or four points would be great,” Solér said. “We’re in that top-three range where we need to be.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer