Felipe could be heading to Vancouver Whitecaps FC for Tim Parker. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — If you read between the lines, then Felipe’s days as a Red Bull are numbered.
That’s because Felipe did not play between the lines at Red Bull Arena Thursday night.
Head coach Jesse Marsch choose not to dress the veteran midfielder for his team’s 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over Olimpia, fueling speculation that he was headed to another Major League Soccer team.
According to reports, the Red Bulls were in discussions with Vancouver Whitecaps FC to send Felipe and allocation west for former St. John’s University midfielder Tim Parker.
If the deal is consummated, Parker would get a new multi-year contract with the Red Bulls, reporter Kristian Dyer tweeted that information out.
When teams don’t dress a player and it isn’t for injuries or disciplinary reasons, that many times mean a trade is brewing.
Marsch would neither deny or confirm a deal was close.
“There’ll be clarity in the next couple of days,” he said.
If you read into Marsch’s post-game comments, it certainly sounded that Felipe was on his way out.
“Felipe has been an important guy around here,” Marsch said. “He really has balanced out our midfield the right way.”
The Brazilian midfielder has been a regular holding and/or defensive midfielder since Marsch took over the coaching reins in 2015.
Then Marsch talked about the midfielders he had on his roster, including Tyler Dams, Sean Davis and Marc Rzatkowski.
“We also know that moving forward that Tyler is going to be a big piece of that,” he said. “Sean Davis is going to be a big piece of that. We think Mark Rzatkowski is going to be a very big player. I thought he had a very good game tonight. And then obviously it’s important for us to get Kaku [Alejandro Romero Gamarra] going and integrate him the right way.
“So we’ve got some new additions in the center of the midfield, some guys who we think are going to be really important this year. Certainly, I think Tyler’s next steps are in the middle of the field and really establishing himself as a big-time player there. I think Tyler is going to show his quality as the year goes and get better and better.”
During Red Bulls’ media day Tuesday, Felipe addressed the possibility of a trade, saying he could only worry about things he could control.
If the deal comes to fruition, it will mean the Red Bulls will have traded away or let go their big five in the midfield that anchored the team to success in 2015.
That included central midfielders Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) and Sacha Kljestan (Orlando City SC), left wing Mike Grella (Columbus Crew) and right wing Lloyd Sam, who most recently played for D.C. United.