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New York Red Bulls begin search for outside back depth

Mar 24, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls defender Kyle Duncan (6) plays the ball against Minnesota United midfielder Collen Warner (26) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

HARRISON, N.J. — Kyle Duncan signed with the New York Red Bulls March 9 and one day later had a solid debut performance in a 4-0 win over the Portland TimbersThe 20-year-old from Brooklyn, who graduated from the vaunted New York Red Bulls Academy and then returned to the club after two years in France’s Ligue 2, also started the next three MLS matches before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee March 31 against Orlando City SC. He will have season-ending surgery this week. 

Duncan’s injury, coupled with Michael Murillo competing for Panama at this summer’s FIFA World Cup — and possibly leaving in the summer transfer window if he plays well in Russia — means the Red Bulls are in need of depth at outside back.

And the search has begun.

The Red Bulls have made preliminary inquiries with Manchester United about Matthew Olosunde, a 20-year-old former Red Bulls Academy product who previously has been linked with the team, according to a source close to the club.

Olosunde played for the Red Bulls U-16 and U-18 Academy teams and competed in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile before joining Manchester United in Jan. 2016. But he hasn’t been able to crack into Jose Mourinho’s first team.

The Red Bulls have also identified targets in the Oceania region and Central America, a source told Pro Soccer USA.

A Red Bulls spokesperson declined comment, citing the club’s policy to “not comment on rumors or reports.”

There’s also options within the first team, Marsch said. Connor Lade, who is week-to-week with a high ankle sprain, can play either outside back position. Marsch also said Alex Muyl could slot in at right back. Marsch also said there’s a possibility of dipping into the Red Bulls II squad.

The most likely candidate there being 22-year-old Ethan Kutler, a former Colgate University forward, who initially started at left back before moving to right back following a broken foot last season. He’s started all five games this season at right back.

 

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