New York Red Bulls head of sport Jochen Schneider has revealed that no decision will be made on center-back Aaron Long’s future until after the World Cup.
RBNY announced their end-of-year roster decisions earlier in the week, exercising options on a number of key first-team players, including Cristian Casseres Jr, Dylan Nealis, and Omir Fernandez.
However, the standout news was undoubtedly that the club is yet to agree a new deal with Long, whose current contract expires at the end of the 2022 campaign.
Long is a key figure for the Red Bulls having played 175 times for the club across all competitions since 2016. However, even at 30 years old, the defender still harbors ambitions of playing in Europe.
“Before I arrived here, both parties tried to find an agreement to extend his contract, which did not happen,” said Schneider. “That happens sometimes in the world of soccer. Parties do not come together.
“Since then, he and his agent are moving on to check options and the same [with us]. We are checking options. Nothing is decided yet, so the most important thing now for him is to focus on the World Cup, to play as many games for the US. I wish he could play seven games. Then we’ll see after the World Cup.”
Should Long leave, the Red Bulls would be forced to sign a center-back with Sean Nealis and Andres Reyes as their only remaining senior options. Given his two-time MLS All-Star status, 2018 Defender of the Year award, and form since recovering from an ACL injury last year, Long would be a huge loss.
“He’s not only a great player, he’s also our captain and a fantastic leader in the locker room,” Schneider said. “He fulfilled his role 100 percent. So let’s see what this situation will be after the World Cup. Then we can talk about if he stays what does it mean, if he won’t stay is there room for other players. Let’s see.”
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