Despite the fact that the New York Red Bulls have yet to land the club's third Designated Player, the club insists it is continuing its exploration of a signing this summer.
Coach Mike Petke did not reveal who is being considered during a Tuesday afternoon media conference call, but said that New York are looking at players both young and old.
“At this moment, we do have names here in Red Bull New York that we talk about but nothing that I believe we’re bringing to the owners yet,” said Petke. “I believe they are aware of certain things that we would love [but] like I said, it comes down to them and their willingness to be more generous than they already have.”
And though no names have been settled upon, Petke indicated that the club might pursue a different strategy for signing DPs than in the past. Previously, the Red Bulls have gone primarily with veteran players from Europe whose contracts are expiring, but the coach said that may not be the case going forward.
“We also have to be looking in places that maybe other teams aren’t,” said Petke. “We have to be looking in the South American area to find the … young players who have not hit the big time yet and that way you’re not spending millions and millions. What you are spending is maybe close to a million, getting a Designated Player.
“I’m of that mindset that we should be looking younger and we should be looking in places that maybe are not the obvious ones where everybody else is looking. But we also have the names of players that are maybe somebody on the mature side who’s had great years in European soccer. I’m all over the place in my mindset.”
While Petke added that as a young coach he would like to start from the ground up and build a young nucleus that would compete for years on end, he understands that is not entirely possible given the win-now mentality that comes with being in New York and the Red Bulls organization.
That, however, is not to say he does not appreciate signing veterans in the mold of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. He does. But he also knows that simply being a quality player is just a fraction of the equation as far as DPs go.
“It has to be the right player, absolutely,” said Petke. “There’s tons of names that we float around as far as Designated Player, but it all comes down, ultimately, to our owner [Dietrich Mateschitz] and his willingness to spend more money on a team that he’s spent a ridiculous amount of money on already.“