Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas says Kaku has been the Red Bulls’ best player in training camp. (Outfoxed Media Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Whatever transpired about Red Bulls midfielder Kaku, his desire to play for Club America in Mexico and his agent, it is in the past.
So says Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas, who said the playmaker has been exemplary during preseason training.
“We are pleased with Kaku, and he’s only been professional as that whole thing came and went,” Armas said during a media conference call Friday. “I don’t get caught up in the emotion, or disappointment or not. … These things come up. It’s a real part of our sport and in our growing league as we get good players in. So, on the inside it wasn’t a distraction because as professionals the guys that have been around here before, the staff and the people leading this charge, we’ve seen that before and what we’ve seen before is that there’s always interest in good young players.”
During the past several weeks, Hispanic media reported that Kaka, whose full name is Alejandro Romero Gamarra — wanted to transfer to the Liga MX team. His agent, Gustavo Casasola, reportedly said Club America offered $6 million, but the Red Bulls rejected the offer and reportedly wants $12 million.
“It’s always an aspiration for young players and to move on sometimes and go to big clubs, but yet it never distracted anything we were doing here,” Armas said. “Kaku is 100 percent committed the whole time and he’s incredible. What we learned really through the whole process is how incredible he is and how his commitment level always stayed the same and his professionalism, we can take some positives from that.
So, Armas said that he wasn’t “worried at all” about the Paraguayan international “because I don’t think we can all see where his mind is other than what we’re seeing every day.”
“His mind is on the New York Red Bulls,” the head coach said. “He’s the best player in training. He’s committed, he’s doing all the fitness, he’s getting out with his teammates and that’s what we’re focusing on. We shouldn’t focus on these comings and goings. It’s a part of the game of soccer that these things aren’t even talking points elsewhere in the world. It comes and it goes. Things either happened or they don’t. We deal with it as it comes. So, we have a committed player in Kaku, who always is going to have aspirations, and he should. But he’s fully committed, and he seems happy to be here and we’re thrilled to have him in the future.”
Last year Kaku, 24, scored six goals and assisted on 14 others for the Red Bulls.