UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — After completing paperwork and going through a medical examination on Friday morning, Red Bulls goalkeeper and newly inked Designated Player signing Frank Rost joined his new teammates midway through the afternoon training session at Montclair State University.
Rost, who arrived 40 minutes after the Red Bulls began training at noon, was hurriedly driven in a golf cart from the team’s locker room and training facility down the hill to the practice field, where he quickly began an abbreviated session with goalkeeper coach Todd Hoffard. The former Bundesliga 'keeper, who most recently started for Hamburg and has been capped by Germany four times, was pleased to start a career with the club.
“I’m happy I’m here,” Rost said. “I hope I can bring my part, win the title here in MLS.”
With his visa and paperwork all cleared, Rost’s arrival was just in the nick of time as he now hops on the team flight to Los Angeles to play Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30 pm ET, Galavisión). There won’t be much time for Rost to learn his new teammates or ease into a role with the club as the player is expected to start.
It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for Rost, but despite the frantic pace and what Rost called a “stressful” experience with immigration authorities, head coach Hans Backe expects to throw the 'keeper into the lineup right away.
“I was a little bit thinking if we were going too fast,” Backe said Friday. “But we have to play him tomorrow.”
The Red Bulls have not yet made any formal announcement on which player has been released to make room for Rost, but goalkeeper Greg Sutton — who had started the previous two league matches — was not at training on Friday and was subsequently loaned to D-2 outfit the Montreal Impact on Saturday. The other two goalkeepers on the roster — Bouna Coundoul and Alex Horwath — were in attendance and trained with the team.
Rost did not participate in any training with the full team, including drills or small-sided games, as he worked exclusively with Hoffard on shot-stopping. The German is a large, physically impressive goalkeeper and was sweating profusely after his shortened training session, with temperatures topping 90 degrees in North Jersey on Friday afternoon.
“This is not like Hamburg right now,” Rost laughed.
And while Backe has only seen bits and pieces of the 'keeper on Friday as he observed practice, he knows what to expect from a netminder with 14 shutouts in the Bundesliga last year.
“He will never allow a player in the back to play casual football,” Backe said. “He’s a winner.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer