Red Bulls acquire Alexander from Portland for allocation money

By IVES GALARCEP

The New York Red Bulls traded away Kenny Cooper both for the allocation money he could bring in, and the salary cap space his departure would create, and now the team has made the first move since dealing Cooper to FC Dallas.

The Red Bulls have acquired midfielder Eric Alexander from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday. Sources tell SBI the allocation amount is $75,000, with Portland also paying a portion of Alexander’s salary.

(UPDATE- The Red Bulls and Timbers have confirmed the trade.)

Alexander produced six assists in 24 matches with the Timbers in 2012, never quite showing the qualities that made him a rookie standout with FC Dallas in 2010. He became expendable after the Timbers roster shake-up that included the arrivals of Will Johnson and Diego Valeri.

The Red Bulls will be banking on Alexander providing creativity in central midfield, where he could see time next to former FC Dallas teammate Dax McCarty, who he partnered with on the FC Dallas team that reached the 2010 MLS Cup Final.

The trade makes sense for both sides, with the Timbers dealing from depth, and the Red Bulls landing some sorely-needed midfield depth. Alexander could wind up being a steal for New York if he can show the form he showed as a rookie, which helped him earn a U.S. Men’s National Team call-up in January of 2011.

What do you think of the deal? See Alexander providing quality depth for the Red Bulls midfield? Think the Timbers should have held on to him, or do you think Portland already has enough midfielders?

Share your thoughts below.

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32 Responses to Red Bulls acquire Alexander from Portland for allocation money

  1. Eugene says:

    Great pick up for NY. I’m breathing a sigh of relief that we have some creative midfield depth in case Juninho gets injured this season, or when he’s out. Also, a young, American player — can’t argue with that!

    • landrewc says:

      He is going to leave you disappointed. He just never seemed all that creative on the pitch.

      • Eugene says:

        He’s a depth pick up, that’s ok. He has time to develop and he’ll hopefully learn some from the veterans here. It’s not like he has to produce right away.

      • Portlandia says:

        To be fair, it’s hard to be creative when you have teammates around with no clue on how to make a proper run.

        • Mike says:

          Ain’t that the truth. He’s showed flashes but it always ended up flat bc he’d pass into space where you expect someone and they’ve stopped, hard to show much. Good pick up y RBNY. Real sad to see him go. My favorite Timber.

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  3. The Imperative Voice says:

    When you trade a marquee player for “cap room”/allocation I think it is then paramount how that room/allocation is then spent; that is your “trade.” They just traded away part/all of the allocation…and spent 1/4 of the cap room….on a journeyman middie with like 2G 9A for a 4 year career. So far, it’s Cooper for Alexander hmmmm I wonder who took whom to the cleaners.

    I just remember Houston trading DeRo for cap room and we got Julius James in direct exchange and later went on to use the cap room on one of the worst DPs in league history, LA Landin. I think the cap room trades are overrated because the team giving away the player for space and/or allocations often misspends the room they get or dribbles it away on mediocrity. I’m a big believer in roster talent being the difference between MLS success and failure, and if you give away someone good, cheaply, you better have a good plan to replace them at a similar level, or the team actually gets worse.

    • Sabella says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Never trade away proven results. Sometimes trying to be too smart gets you in trouble

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        To me, success follows a few players around the league…..Donovan, DeRo, etc. I felt like NY already had workable forward pieces in Henry and Cooper, what they needed was a defensive revamp/ GK (46 GA) and maybe a true playmaker to distribute the ball come playoff time.

        Olave if healthy addresses part of the defensive issue but I just don’t see where they are addressing their obvious needs sufficiently. It reminds me of Dallas in the mid-’00s when they were knocking on the door but just couldn’t close out Colorado series in the playoffs with their defense. Then they’d go to the next year and not fix the defense any better….but at least now signing Cooper and Hassli on top f Blas Perez they seem to get what they need and where they need it.

    • seth says:

      We were able to sign izquierdo as well with the cap space and we still have a good amount of allocation money. KFC was a 350k hit. That’s a huge portion of the cap. When you consider the fact that we already picked up espindola and Cahill can play the same position (arguably better) it’s not really a bad move.

      Not only that but it has to be understood that TH14 calls a lot of the shots right now and he was not a KFC fan. It’s sad but true. And honestly, how many goals would cooper have scored without henry? Still a solid 8-10, but he wouldn’t have been 2nd place in the golden boot race. Put cahill in the same places that cooper was and he not only scores just as many, but maybe a few more.

      Yes it sucks to trade away a good guy and a good american player, he’s a victim of circumstance and a victim of how the MLS salary cap is set up. In a league with no cap he’s kept without question.

      • Mark says:

        Red Bulls lose Cooper, but get Alexander, sign Izquierdo and have brought Peguy Luyindula (per the NY Post) on trial who is supposed to be Thierry Henry’s compadre. Figure they also resign Tyler Ruthevan and a few supplemental draft picks, and it’s not a bad haul for the Cooper money.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Cooper had as many goals in one season last year as Luyindula (who is several years older than Cooper at 33) has had in several seasons with PSG since 2007.

          Izquierdo was on loan to a Spanish third division team after generally playing non-League football in England plus barely appearing for Charlton before going on loan. 3 pro goals total. Potential at best.

          Espindola’s best year is about half Cooper’s. Plus he is barely younger than Cooper where it’s not like you’ve bought more potential or longer term career. Henry has to hit the age and injury wall sometime if he already hasn’t.

          You just took an all star level player and replaced him with a few “now he might be interesting(s).”

          Thing to me is Cooper only made a little under $300K, was not the DP. Marquez should have done a ton of cap clear already. What I am waiting on is the marquee move to match LA’s recent efforts. Maybe this summer? But to me this is like you move a very productive player and sign some role players to compete at positions you already have staffed.

          I don’t buy the Cahill bit because while he was worked hard I haven’t seen the production. He’s a quality player but you’re talking about someone with miles on them whose forte is throwing his body around and scrapping, IMO.

          • T-lover says:

            Listen okay, Cooper sucked before NY. Luyindula may be older, but is way better then Cooper. Cahill came in preseason form, while MLS was in mid-Season. Similar to how Henry struggled his first season, because he was in pre-season form. Izquierdo is only 20 years old, and has showed potential, as he continues to develop. Espindola has never played with Henry, which is why Cooper had such a great year. He also can create his own goals as well, something Cooper can not.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              I think it’s absurd to justify running a player out of town on the argument that his production reflects the fact he played with Henry. Henry didn’t leave, did he? You had 33 forward G, who breaks that up on purpose?????

              Cooper had an 18 goal season for Dallas before heading to Europe. I’d be more inclined to buy an EJ “inconsistency” argument than a “sucks” argument. He’s had 3 MLS seasons in double figures and Espindola has one in his career.

              I think you’re being hopeful on Espindola and Cahill, who are experienced players. I don’t see them magically becoming more effective. Good but not great.

              Izquierdo is probably roughly the level of a draft pick.

              • T-lover says:

                Yet when he came back to MLS, he scored how many goals for Portland? I believe it was 8 or 9, but not 18 goals. Cooper is not the same player he was before he went to Europe, I’m sorry he’s not going to score 18 goals for dallas next year. I watch every game the NYRB play, almost all of his goals was because of good service, not him creating it on his own. Again Espindola has never played with the talent of NYRB. Yes RSL was a good team, but they didn’t have the top players the NYRB have. Cahill, Juniho, and Espindola will be a lot for MLS clubs top handle. Izquierdo has played very good in Pre-season. He is a young player that could develop into a key player.

              • T-lover says:

                Also the more talent a team has, the more a talented player will produce. Which is Espindola will have his best year yet.

          • T-lover says:

            You sound like a LA Galaxy troll. Landon Donovan is hiding, Beckham is during charity events. Also you have failed to sign any one that impresses me. Espindola killed the galaxy ever time they met. Also this claim LA Galaxy has the best academy, NYRB academy was voted number one in the country.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              I’m sorry but arguing that a team who scored a ton of goals especially at forward, but also gave up a lot, may have messed up in trading away a productive forward for cap considerations that seem to be being frittered away on lesser talent, does not make me a troll, and considering who I root for, most assuredly not a LAG troll.

              I think the headwind I am getting is classic preseason hubris. No one wants to believe their team dismantled too much and didn’t get good enough replacements while rebuilding.

              But, for example, I’ll gladly admit that I don’t think my Dynamo have done enough so far this offseason to be a winner. We traded for a forward who went down with a knee problem. We didn’t pick up a #10, our only new middie is Songo’o, who was basically cut in Portland. And I don’t think Brunner is going to fix all our defensive issues that LAG exposed in the final. In fact, two college teams have scored the first goals on us in preseason the last two games (HBU and SMU…who tied us 2-2 and were up 2-0). But I’m trying to be objective, your team, my team, anyone’s.

              I think NY’s problem is defense and other than popping Marquez out and Olave in it’s not fully addressed. You then took out your best F and replaced him with a bunch of offensive depth players. I don’t see where the team moves forward in the postseason that way.

              [LAG is a wildcard, IMO. Does Landon play? Does Gonzo force a sale? But last year reminded that you never count Arena out even if they start slow. The man knows how to build a team in this league....]

              • T-lover says:

                I’m sorry but arguing that a team who scored a ton of goals especially at forward, but also gave up a lot, may have messed up in trading away a productive forward for cap considerations that seem to be being frittered away on lesser talent, does not make me a troll, and considering who I root for, most assuredly not a LAG troll. You are the one that started talking about the LA Galaxy, not me. A LA Galaxy team who has done nothing this entire Off season.I would also argue Espindola is way more talented then Cooper, when you look at his ability to create for himself, and his deadly runs. Cooper can’t create for himself, and doesn’t cut it in the playoffs. When you add Olave, you now improve in another area. When you add a player like Junhio you also now improve in the CM, a place NYRB has struggled to find a quality player. How did the NYRB dismantle their team? was you in out of space during this off season? Adding quality players like Olave, Juniho, Espindola, and now this trade, is not dismantling your team. The team is not even done adding players, and they are even now better then almost every team, and deeper. Just because the only player your Dynamo added was Omar, doesn’t mean the NYRB didn’t have a great off season. STOP HATING!

              • T-lover says:

                You are the one that started talking about the LA Galaxy, not me. A LA Galaxy team who has done nothing this entire Off season.I would also argue Espindola is way more talented then Cooper, when you look at his ability to create for himself, and his deadly runs. Cooper can’t create for himself, and doesn’t cut it in the playoffs. When you add Olave, you now improve in another area. When you add a player like Junhio you also now improve in the CM, a place NYRB has struggled to find a quality player. How did the NYRB dismantle their team? was you in out of space during this off season? Adding quality players like Olave, Juniho, Espindola, and now this trade, is not dismantling your team. The team is not even done adding players, and they are even now better then almost every team, and deeper. Just because the only player your Dynamo added was Omar, doesn’t mean the NYRB didn’t have a great off season. STOP HATING!

  4. Rock says:

    This also leaves room for Porter to sign his boy Nanchoff who has been very solid in preseason.

  5. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I honestly have never seen him play. What’s his story?

    • Zaggy says:

      Can play across the midfield (though more as a central player, he’s not really a winger). Good, solid passing skills, and when he gets into the flow of games, he’s pretty solid. Not really flashy/takeover the game kind of midfielder, but very competent. Struggled to find a regular place in Portland’s lineup, and was most often forced out wide due to Spencer preferring the Jewsbury/Chara combination in the center (yuck), but you could tell he was always more of center midfielder. Seemingly good amount of upside, if he could find some stability. Not the greatest, nor the weakest at defense. Certainly not a destroyer or anything of the sort, but could, for brief periods, play competent defense. Good value for his salary.

      This move probably wasn’t planned like some of the other moves by Porter, but Nanchoff, one of his former players, has shown really well in preseason, and this is probably just a preference to the familiarity. Most Portland fans will be a little bummed, but at the same time, he was pretty solidly stuck as a fringe bench player on Portland’s roster, even though many fans wondered if given more consistent minutes if he could have blossomed into more.

      • Swazicar says:

        Agree with Zaggy’s summary. The unfortunate thing is that Alexander was one of the few midfielders on last year’s team who could contribute to possession, yet the people managing the team weren’t interested in possesssion. Now that a possession man is in charge and has brought in other players, Alexander was far enough down the pecking order that he likely wasn’t going to get much time.

  6. Old School says:

    Looks like the Green Goblin in that picture.

    • john.q says:

      i wish i had the work ethic to photoshop him onto a green hover board. alas it is 11:37pm and i’ve 2 glasses of wine.

  7. @NotAlexis says:

    I would love if they got Estoyanoff as the third DP. Great winger to play in that RW service to Henry and Espindola. Also he’d be great cover for Juninho as he can play up the middle if need be. Great on set pieces too so he could give Miller the night off if Juninho is out. Seriously tho I’d love to see him. Also it’ll get the Uruguayan population in queens out to rba instead of waiting on ny2.

  8. Berto says:

    Alexander will allow the midfield to gel. It’s always hard to find room in the midfield for a guy like this, he is a good plug in player. Problem is, you usually want him as a sub to help swing possession in your favor, but he likes starting. He has trouble working into the games…. Maybe it’s just his style… You don’t notice a difference.

    Portlands midfield is packed… Nice to see him leave for a good club that needs help