October 24, 2014
MY TWO CENTS
Cosmos, Red Bulls disagreement may impact future relationship, but hurts Connor Lade the most right now
By Matthew Levine
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
A broken promise, hurt feelings and one cancelled loan spell.
Connor Lade will no longer turn out for the Cosmos this year after he was expected to finish the season with the North American Soccer League club.
Caught in between a squabble between his parent club and loan club, Lade had no control over his future.
He is in a position not too dissimilar from parents embroiled in a divorce. The kids are always the ones who suffer most and the 24-year-old will very well feel the effects more than both parties.
Finding consistent time in his loan spell it helped rebuild his confidence. He was proving to be a vital part of a side that was looking to repeat as champions. Now he will miss out on the playoff run, but more importantly may miss out on a chance of game minutes.
He will stay with the Red Bulls, who have secured a playoff position of their own, but one Lade played very little part of.
A goal against the Impact in Wednesday night's 1-1 CONCACAF Champions League draw at Red Bull Arena as well as a strong effort in the middle of midfield in two recent performances for the club may give head coach Mike Petke reason to give him more time on the pitch.
While playing well as a more senior member in a reserves side though, Lade still may not have a place when the Major League Soccer club’s regulars return to the fold.
The midfielder-defender could very well find himself on the outside looking in and see a dip in his newly regained confidence.
However, there won’t just be ramifications for the player.
The loan cancellation also leaves the Cosmos a bit short on depth. Already shorthanded due to injuries and suspensions, at least for the upcoming match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Lade would have had a large role to play in the game.
Also, losing Lade may mean Ayoze can no longer take up his more advanced position in the midfield. He might have to revert back a more defensive role.
Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese undoubtedly believed in Lade’s ability and did the Cosmos react just a bit hastily and lash out emotionally rather than use calm and collected heads?
That could possibly be true, but they also have that right to be annoyed. While they understand Lade is Red Bulls’ player and they can choose where he plays, the Cosmos felt they had an understanding for him to remain on Long Island without a hitch.
And what does it say about the Red Bulls?
Did they really need Lade for the CCL game? That’s debatable.
Sure he scored the goal to give the Red Bulls a draw, but it is a hollow one. The club was already eliminated from the competition.
Wouldn’t some minutes back with the Red Bulls have been more beneficial for someone like Tim Cahill, who has been used off the bench of late as it is? Couldn’t Armando have been used in a holding role and become a more versatile asset to the club?
Both options could very well have been more useful than recalling Lade, who was so on the periphery that he was loaned out.
Possibly the Red Bulls just wanted one more look to see if Lade had any part to play moving forward. However, he is still under contract and that could very well have been assessed in the preseason before the 2015 season.
However, it does look a poor touch if they broke a verbal agreement for a meaningless affair that looked more preseason friendly than a continental tournament. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt them when locking up potential loan deals, especially with the Red Bulls needing to link up with a USL PRO side next season.
The Red Bulls-Cosmos relationship, while supporters of both sides may not like it, would have and could still prove to be beneficial.
Savarese has had no qualms giving young players a chance as well as helping wayward players regain their form. There are several players on the fringes of the Red Bulls squad that could use a solid boost in real competition in a competitive fixture.
With what transpired, that relationship may be over before it ever really had a chance to grow, at least for now.
The Cosmos head coach, who doubles as technical director, was certainly peeved when the Red Bulls recalled Lade again. It may have annoyed him and the Cosmos even more that the game had no bearing on the Red Bulls’ season.
Valuing someone’s word as much as a written contract, Savarese may opt to look elsewhere when seeking out potential loan deals. The Cosmos have had success and no such problems with their other MLS loan players in Danny Mwanga (Colorado Rapids) and Jimmy Ockford (Seattle Sounders).
While the bridge may not be completely burned, it doesn’t seem that Savarese and the Cosmos will jump at the opportunity to loan a player from the Red Bulls with the current regime in place after the yoyo loan.
For Lade, maybe being recalled will springboard him into a more prominent role with the Red Bulls. Possibly the Red Bulls and Cosmos can work out a deal to allow Lade to return to the NASL side on a permanent deal. Or perhaps his future lies outside of New York.
Whatever the reasoning behind the recall and the Cosmos displeasure, will certainly impact all parties. Hopefully it doesn’t end up hurting who it was supposed to benefit the most -- Connor Lade.
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