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After spending weeks clearly playing in pain, Red Bulls forward Oscar Echeverry’s season is over.
The Colombian striker will have season-ending knee surgery, the team announced on Monday. Echeverry will go on season-ending injured reserve, which will create another available roster spot for the Red Bulls (the Red Bulls also announced the signing of Mexican defender Diego Jimenez).
The development isn’t much of a surprise to observers who have watched Etcheverry labor with knee pain since returning from a knee injury suffered early in the season. He has shown none of the speed and shiftiness that made him one of the team’s pre-season stars. Without the speed and moves that are the strength of his game, Echeverry became a major liability who was truly painful to watch.
Echeverry’s surgery leaves the Red Bulls with just two forwards on the roster with significant MLS experience in Juan Pablo Angel and John Wolyniec. The club is set to look at a pair of forwards this week, including former Houston Dynamo striker Franco Carracio, but the Red Bulls are expected to search the international market for a striker who can play alongside Angel.
Another forward option, Dane Richards, is also out for another month with a hip flexor strain, an injury that has slowed an already limited Red Bulls offense.
Echeverry’s absence does secure Wolyniec’s future with the club. According to sources, the Red Bulls had been considering releasing Wolyniec, who has impressed as a substitute in recent weeks.
What next for the Red Bulls? The club has a week off from MLS play and won’t return to action in the league until Aug. 10 so the team will have time to look at some forwards.
As for Jimenez, he is expected to step right in and compete for the starting left back spot on defense. Kevin Goldthwaite has been struggling badly over the past two months and could lose his job to Jimenez, who would provide a more skillful option at left back in a 4-4-2 and has a left-sided defender in a 3-5-2.
What do you think of the news? Glad that the club finally got Echeverry off the field? Angry that Juan Carlos Osorio put Echeverry on the field with an injury? Still don’t believe that he actually looked good in pre-season?
Share your thoughts below.