By Alex Labidou,
Juventus’ Brazilian playmaker Diego was impressed by the talent displayed by the New York Red Bulls in his team’s 3-1 friendly defeat at Red Bull Arena.
While the 26-year old admitted that the discipline and tactical ability isn’t up to the standards of the top teams in Europe, “I like the team, the arena and the feeling here in New York,” said Diego through an interpreter. “The players are at a very good level.”
Asked how the MLS talent level can improve, the midfielder believes that time and key additions are vital for the league’s growth.
“New players can arrive and add some quality, championship level players who have won at a high level, “said Diego. “I think the teams still need more discipline and the tactics can improve but there are great players in the MLS. “
With every accolade in his trophy case, Thierry Henry exactly fits the mold of the player that Diego is talking about and the Brazilian said that his possible signing would be tremendous.
“It is a beautiful possibility,” said Diego. “He is one of the greatest players in the world. It would definitely be interesting and very important for the MLS.”
Thoughts on the Red Bulls game:
The New York Red Bulls surprising 3-1 friendly victory over Italian Serie A Giants Juventus is very deceptive result.
After ending a miserable season, the “Old Maiden” from Turin came to the states without their recent managerial hire, Luigi Delneri , and several of their key players including world class goalkeeper.
Gianluigi Buffon and defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Cannavaro were away on World Cup duty. Also factoring in that this was an end of the season friendly as opposed to a preseason friendly, many of the players had their foot off the pedal pining for their vacation to start.
Still, seeing the likes of Diego, Amauri, David Trezeguet, Alessandro Del Piero among others dazzled fans in attendance. Diego and Del Piero both impressed with their technical skill on the ball. Powering in with his back at the goal, Amauri rewarded the ‘Juve’ faithful with a consolation goal in the last minute of the game.
Despite the match being a friendly, the Red Bulls took a lot of positives from the result. Still mired in a three game losing streak in the MLS, the team desperately needed some confidence going into their US Open Cup match against the Colorado Rapids.
The team’s young players such as Tony Tchani, Connor Chinn and Irving Garcia played fearlessly against the 27 Scudetto winners. There is especially a buzz about Tchani, who many believe should be starting. The rookie midfielder physical presence continues to pose matchup problems for several teams and even Juventus had trouble controlling the Cameroonian. If he continues to develop his offensive game, there is no reason why he shouldn’t get the attention of teams in Europe.
There were some interesting answers from several of the Juventus players regarding whether or not they would ever join the MLS. Forward Alessandro Del Piero appreciated the interest from fans and the league alike but the 35-year old was very dismissive in the likeliness of him joining the league to close his career.
“Right now, my mind is on the next season and my next season is with Juventus,” Del Piero said. “I really appreciate everyone’s interest in me.”
Del Piero’s teammate Diego admits that any possible move to the MLS would be in the distant future but he left the door open to the possibility.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me,” said Diego. “Right now, I am under contract with Juventus for the next five years but the future is an open book.”
Open to changing his mind…
Readers might remember that in our exclusive interview with Tony Tchani a month ago, the 21-year old midfielder discussed Cameroon being his eventually choice for international call up if given the opportunity between both the US and his home country. Speaking again about the opportunity, Tchani seemed to back off his stance. The former Wake Forest player admitted that he is working on becoming an American citizen and that he is still undecided on where he would ultimately play. It seems like someone’s coming to the realization that it is probably a lot easier to get a call up as a US player than a Cameroonian squad that features the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Alexandre Song, Jean Makoun and Sebastien Bassong.
View From The Laboratory is written by Alex Labidou. Throughout the 2010 MLS season, he will provide insights on the New York Red Bulls as well as inside rumors and hilarious tales of irrelevance. Labidou joined 90:00 Soccer as a contributor in August 2009 and has worked as a journalist for VIBE, NBA.com, ABC News (20/20) and New York Newsday. He can be reached at AlexLabidou@gmail.com.