Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the lone remaining players from the Hans Backe era is no longer a member of the New York Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls announced on Thursday that they and Markus Holgersson mutually agreed to part ways ahead of what was going to be the last year on his three-year deal with the club. Holgersson had expressed interest in returning to New York following the club’s elimination from the playoffs, but his salary (which was $199,500 last season) played a part in his premature departure.
“After speaking with Markus following the conclusion of our season and taking into account our salary cap situation, we mutually decided that it would be in everyone’s interest for us to part ways,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh in a statement. “Markus indicated to us that he is ready to take on the next stage of his career and we want to thank him for his service to the New York Red Bulls. Markus, an excellent professional, has been an important part of our club and defense for the past two seasons, helping us win the Supporters’ Shield in 2013, and we are very sad to lose him. We want to wish him the best of luck.”
After failing to earn a starting spot at the beginning of the 2013 season, Holgersson made his way into the lineup three games in and never looked back. He wound up starting 32 matches for the Supporters’ Shield winners and formed a solid partnership with Jamison Olave in the heart of the Red Bulls’ defense, but was used as a right back late in the year while Ibrahim Sekagya started at center back.
In total, Holgersson started in each of the 63 games he played in over the course of his two seasons with the Red Bulls and scored three goals (all in 2012) and added one assist (in 2013).
New York now only has Olave, Sekagya and youngster Matt Miazga as centerbacks on its roster.
What do you think of the Red Bulls and Holgersson parting ways? Would you have liked to see him stick with the club for one more season? Hoping New York adds another player at that position or are you comfortable with what the team has now?
Share your thoughts below.