The New York Red Bulls’ winter of coaching staff and roster turnover is nowhere complete, according to multiple reports with sources close to the club.
The 2014 MLS Eastern Conference finalists are reportedly locked in trade negotiations with the Montreal Impact over a swap deal involving 23-year-old Cameroonian Ambroise Oyongo, 24-year-old Brazilian playmaker Felipe Martins and the No. 1 spot in the MLS allocation order.
According to a report by Empire of Soccer’s Dave Martinez on Tuesday, with Jesse Marsch now in charge of the Red Bulls, the former Impact head coach has a strong desire to acquire Felipe, who played under Marsch in 2012 and notched four goals and 10 assists in his first MLS season.
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To reunite with Felipe, Marsch is reportedly willing to part ways with Oyongo, who the Red Bulls only just signed on a permanent basis earlier this month following a stellar 2014 on-loan season in which the Cameroonian national team left back began the season as second-choice and ended the year a vital piece to the club’s run to the conference finals..
A straight swap of Felipe and Oyongo would seem to greatly favor the Impact, thus Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep reported on Tuesday that “any [Impact]-Oyongo deal would involve top allocation spot,” which given recent reports of the Red Bulls’ interest in US national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan, would suggest they’re positioning themselves to acquire Kljestan through the only mechanism by which he could return to MLS: the MLS allocation order.
Montreal currently sit first in the allocation order, with RBNY currently 14th of 20 teams. The LA Galaxy, who last week traded Marcelo Sarvas perhaps to make room on the roster and under the salary cap for Kljestan, received the Colorado Rapids’ No. 3 spot in the allocation order in exchange for the Brazilian midfielder.
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Kljestan played college soccer at Seton Hall University, located in South Orange, New Jersey, just seven miles from Red Bull Arena.
According to Galarcep, the Red Bulls are also close to completing the signing of 22-year-old center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who was drafted No. 8 overall by the Portland Timbers in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, most recently played for Chivas USA and was not selected in the Dispersal Draft in December.