No MLS team has been more active on the player-allocation market in the last couple of weeks than the New York Red Bulls. Since Jan. 27, the Red Bulls have signed five players, three of whom have been brought in from foreign leagues. Now, it appears they are close to signing Teemu Tainio, another player with international experience.
Tainio has 51 caps with the Finland national team, mostly as a midfielder. Early indications are he's on trial with the Red Bulls as a fullback. The 31-year-old most recently played for Dutch power Ajax and spent six seasons in the EPL, playing 88 matches for Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Birmingham City.
It's not entirely clear what the Red Bulls would have to do to make room for a player like Tainio. As of today, they have 19 foreign-born players on their roster, at least 12 of whom would seem to occupy international roster slots, not including Tainio. The Red Bulls do have at least two extra international roster spots they acquired in trades from the Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids, which would give them 10 international roster spots. Unless some of the eight players that occupied international roster spots last year have since acquired citizenship or green cards, the Red Bulls still have some maneuvering to do.