UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls will soon have some added Brazilian flavor.
Rafhael Domingues, also known as Rafinha, is in the final steps of signing a deal with the club, head coach Mike Petke (above, left) revealed following Wednesday’s practice. The 21-year-old had been on trial with the Red Bulls since preseason and will bring more depth to the club’s wide positions.
“He wasn’t here today,” said Petke of the Brazilian-Austrian who last played for Brazilian club Toledo. “He went over to Spain [to complete paperwork]. I don’t know exactly where they are with the contract but he’s a young kid who has a lot of potential. The price is absolutely right, so there’s no reason why we wouldn’t bring him on.”
Another player who could be signed in the coming days or weeks is Péguy Luyindula. Like Rafhinha, the 33-year-old Frenchman has been training with the club for several weeks and is now starting to show glimpses of the quality he can bring to the Red Bulls.
“He definitely has improved and definitely has shown that once he does get in shape, what he can bring,” said Petke. “It’s just about sitting down now and discussing what we need, what we can fit in and how he’d fit in our game plan if we were to take him and go from there. Shouldn’t be much longer.”
Petke also touched on the situation involving former trialist Tyler Ruthven, the center back who was on the 2012 Red Bulls squad but was fighting to earn contract this year. Ruthven was cut last week, despite being told he was close to earning a deal.
“We were planning on signing [him] and then there’s 'X' amount of players, 'Y' amount of spots and 'Z' amount of money,” said Petke. “Things pop up all the time and that’s why there are things like semi-guaranteed contracts.
“One thing I made clear, we never gave Tyler a contract in hand. There was definitely all means to sign him in a way, but at the end of the day – I’ve known Tyler for a long time – I didn’t want him moving and settling down here and then two weeks later the likelihood was that he would be the odd man out. … We just didn’t have the spot.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com.