Bad Break for Baah, Red Bulls

HANOVER, N.J. –  It looks like the New York Red Bulls might be adding one more player in the next couple of weeks after a devastating injury to one of their key defenders.

The Red Bulls confirmed on Wednesday that Gideon Baah will be out for the remainder of the 2017 season. The Ghanaian suffered a leg break last July and was shelved for the rest of his debut campaign in MLS. The center back was expected to be a major part of the team’s plans this year after the front office elected not to import a pricey central defender this offseason under the assumption the 25-year-old would return.

New York will be in the market for center-back depth and need to add a starting-quality defender to the heart of their backline. A move is sounding likely.

“There’s potential that we have to add someone; we’ve been evaluating that one for a while,” head coach Jesse Marsch said Wednesday following training.

“That’s probably the one more piece that we need to supplement that position. So we’ll see. Right now, [sporting director Denis Hamlett] and our scouts are evaluating what might be next in that spot. Yeah, a lot of work is being put into that.”

After missing half the second half of the season in 2016, his first year in MLS, Baah seemed pointed for a prime role with the Red Bulls.

It looked as if Baah was inching closer to a return. He was jogging and doing fitness work at the team’s training facility last week. It was only yesterday when the league website indicated that he was designated to be out for the season with an injury.

Marsch said that organization remains “optimistic” that the defender will return in 2018.

“It’s taken a little bit longer than anyone had hoped,” Marsch said.

“It’s a strange kind of injury and one he’s been through before. It’s tough, it’s a tough moment for Gideon. And that’s the thing that makes it tough for all of us, trying to get through this but do it in a way where we’re very supportive and give him the best chance to ultimately get back to being a pro.”

Red Bulls Notes

  •  With Hamlett moving into the role of sporting director, the Red Bulls are without an assistant coach. That could change soon as the club looks to make an announcement in the coming days to round out the coaching staff.

“We’re hopeful to make an announcement in the next week or so,” Marsch said. “We’ve made a decision and we’re just trying to get everything cleared up.”

  •  Left back Connor Lade, who missed the latter part of last season with a torn ACL, was on the field Wednesday and logged a full training session. Lade had been integrated into the team at points last week, but Wednesday marked the first day that he was involved from start to finish.

 “I think that’s the goal at this point. We want to get a good week of training here before Colorado,” Lade said Wednesday.

 “I’m going to continually talk with the coaching staff and John, and see what capacity I can get in there. Not really sure what game yet, but there’s a couple coming up and it’d be good for me to get some minutes.”

 Marsch said that this was the first time this season that Lade participated in practice and wasn’t a neutral player during the session.

  •  Winger Mike Grella and right back Michael Murillo both played in the New York Red Bulls II scrimmage against the Harrisburg City Islanders. Grella, coming back from a recent knee scope, worked 45 minutes in the match and Murillo, recently signed this offseason, used the match to gain fitness and sharpness. 
  • Marcello Borges was in training on Wednesday, the Red Bull Academy and U-20 national team product getting work in with the first team. Borges pulled his hamstring recently and didn’t participate in the U-20 national team’s qualification for the World Cup.

 “It’s been good to have him in first team training,” Marsch said.

 Borges took the semester off from playing college soccer at Michigan in anticipation for a possible role with the U-20 national team.