If recent reports are to be believed, Xabi Alonso of Real Madrid and Spanish National team fame is rumored to be heading to New York as soon as his contract with the Spanish giants expires at the end of the 2014 season.
I'm here to tell you that won’t be the case.
Since The New York Red Bulls new regime (consisting of Andy Roxburgh- the new Sporting Director and GM Jerome de Bontin) has come into place, the identity of player identification has switched. Once a franchise known for its grasps at aging talents, now looks towards a new and fresh perspective.
Many reports have linked 30 plus year old stars with the flashy club but the last time they got a star player over 30 was Tim Cahill, more than 15 months ago. The only shot the new regime took for an overage player was for 37 year old Juninho, who by all standards, looked to still have it in him. A 14 goal and 49 game campaign for Vasco da Gama in 2012 made it seem that the Brazilian still had more to give. Within six months of the signing, Petke and Roxburgh as well as Juninho had decided enough was enough and let him loose.
Although new at the Technical Director position, learning from previous mistakes is what makes anyone successful at their job. Andy Roxburgh and others on the technical staff won’t let something like the Juninho situation happen again. Mike Petke even said it himself in July’s interview with MLS Soccer’s Franco Panizo that the club should be focusing on younger players. "I'm in that mindset that we should be looking younger and we should be looking in places that maybe are not the obvious ones where everybody else is looking."
Not only is age an issue, but the reported contract even smells a little fishy. A 2 year contract so Alonso could go back to Spain and play for his boyhood team Real Sociedad? Why would any team in the world, let alone a team who thrives on star power let a Spainish National teamer just get up and leave after two years? The answer is; they wouldn't. I couldn't see Roxburgh, knowing this potential situation let of player of Alonso's caliber just walk away from the club.
Although the prospect of having Alonso on the New York Red Bulls is tempting, it should be said all signs point to this rumor not becoming true anytime soon.
- Marc Kusant (@TheRedestBull)