Denis Hamlett: “We feel very confident with the roster we have right now.” (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
It looks like the Red Bulls have had their fill of Designated Players, at least for the time being, as they eye the start of the Concacaf Champions League and Major League Soccer season.
The Red Bulls have two DPs — forward Bradley Wright-Phillips and midfielder Kaku.
“We feel very confident with the roster we have right now,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett told reporters Wednesday. I think we have the flexibility that if we want to add a bigger piece or another player, we have those resources that we can do that.
“Our main focus is just getting ready for CCL. We have a good group that’s been working really hard and they’re ready to go. We’re excited for the moment. I think the key part is just making sure that we have some flexibility that we can bring in players if we think it’s the right fit for us moving forward.”
New York kicks off the CCL against Atletico Pantoja in the Dominican Republic Wednesday, Feb. 20, with the return match at Red Bull Arena Feb. 27.
The MLS club Tuesday announced the signing of its latest addition — 18-year-old Danish youth international forward Mathias Jørgensen.
“We’ve been following him for a while,” Hamlett said. “We have a scouting network setup and he’s someone that we’ve been keeping an eye on. The important thing is when you’re tracking players, it’s about the timing. When the right opportunity comes for a player to make that move to come across, because it’s never easy. We’ve kept track of him and we’re always looking for the right fit to come into our system. Once it became clear that he wanted to come for a visit, we felt pretty good that we have a good chance of getting this thing across the line.”
Hamlett said the team like Jørgensen’s willingness to play in its system, his speed, his movement and his ability spread defenses.
“These are all things that we felt like were important pieces for an attacking player that can come in and fit into our system,” he said. “When you look at a guy like Kaku, he’s along the same lines in terms of having those types of characteristics and we feel like that’s a good starting point and to get them into our team, integrate him, and then we’ll see how it goes from there.
“So, we felt very confident. But the most important part was it was more about him coming here and seeing our environment. Seeing where he’s going to spend the next few years here and get a real good feel for that because you know it’s a big move for young players coming from Europe over here. Usually you don’t see those young players making that type of move. I think for us that was the most important part, that he felt there was a comfort level, a sense of, he thought he could do well in our system and so for us was the key part.”