TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Roster update
The New York Red Bulls announced their end-of-season roster decisions on Thursday, with the most notable among them a parting of ways with legendary striker Bradley Wright-Phillips and longtime starting goalkeeper Luis Robles, a farewell to two of the key cogs in their 2013, 2015 and 2018 Supporters’ Shield wins.
RBNY picked up the options on 10 players and declined options on six: midfielders Vincent Bezecourt, Marcus Epps, Derrick Etienne Jr. and Jean-Christophe Koffi, as well as goalkeepers Robles and Evan Louro. BWP is out of contract. Eleven other players have guaranteed contracts for next season.
“The entire organization would like to thank Luis for his contributions to the club over the last eight seasons,” said sporting director Denis Hamlett in a club release. “During his tenure, Luis was an important part of the team and the organization, leading our efforts on and off the field. Luis’ play and work ethic speak for themselves when you look at the individual and team success during his time. These decisions are never easy and we wish Luis and his family the best in the next stage of his career.
“Brad will go down as one of the best forwards in MLS history, and certainly a major part of the success of this club since he arrived in 2013,” he added of Wright-Phillips’ departure. “Brad had an incredible run with this club and will be remembered here as a great player, teammate, and person, and we thank him for all that he has accomplished and helped the club accomplish. This is another decision we do not take lightly and we wish Brad and his family all the best.”
Thank you, Bradley Wright-Phillips pic.twitter.com/VrvNykpqDI— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) November 21, 2019
Robles, 35, amassed a 114-71-53 record with 72 clean sheets and a 1.29 GAA over his eight seasons with the Red Bulls. RBNY’s captain the past two seasons, he owns MLS’ “Ironman” streak with 183 consecutive complete games played and won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2015. Robles is eligible for MLS free agency.
Wright-Phillips, 34, was one of MLS’s most feared strikers over his seven seasons in New York, scoring a club-record 108 MLS regular-season goals and 126 across all competitions.
BWP won the MLS Golden Boot in 2014 and 2016 with 27 and 24 goals scored, respectively, and thanks to his 2014 campaign he shared the all-time MLS single-season scoring record with Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski until Josef Martinez and Carlos Vela set new marks over the past two years. He was also a two-time Best XI honoree, two-time MLS All-Star and the first player in MLS history to notch 20 or more goals in at least three different seasons.
The club also announced that midfielder Josh Sims has returned to Southampton following the end of his loan stint, and that Homegrown defender Connor Lade has retired.
The Red Bulls exercised options on the following players for 2020: goalkeeper Ryan Meara, defenders Rece Buckmaster, Kyle Duncan, Michael Amir Murillo, Sean Nealis and Amro Tarek, midfielders Cristian Casseres Jr. and Florian Valot and forwards Tom Barlow and Brian White.