Shockingly, Kaku didn’t play in the New York Red Bulls’ 4-1 win over San Jose. The Paraguayan’s name wasn’t even in the gameday roster.
It looks like the Kaku saga is from a conclusion.
Toward the end of January, New York Red Bulls star playmaker Alejandro Romero, otherwise known as Kaku, wanted to transfer to La Liga MX giants Club America. The club, however, didn’t want to let him go and overpriced him to the Mexican side with a fee of $12 million.
America signed another attacking midfielder in Nicolas Benedetti, showing that they were no longer interested in the Paraguay international.
Later on Feb. 1, RBNY head coach Chris Armas noted that Kaku was dedicated to the club.
“He’s committed, he’s doing all the fitness, he’s getting along with his teammates and that’s what we’re focusing on,” Armas said via the club’s website.
The Argentine-born played in four of New York’s first five matches of the season, tallying one assist. The saga was over. Kaku and the Red Bulls lived happily ever after. Or was it so?
The former Huracan player’s name surprisingly wasn’t in The Metros’ gameday squad in their MLS home opener against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
New York won the match 4-1. Later after the game, Armas expressed that he didn’t put Kaku on the gameday roster due to a minor conflict that was already dealt with.
“Look, I’m going to make one comment and I’ll probably go back to this in a simple way every time. I’m not going to speak about that more than what I’ll say right now,” the 46-year-old coach said in a post-match conference.
“We had a minor internal issue and we dealt with that quickly. It’s nothing to talk about or discuss here. That was it. Nothing changes our feeling with that. I don’t want to talk about that much more.”
Kaku’s transfer saga back in January did end a bit abruptly—or did it end at all? Perhaps the internal conflict that kept Kaku’s name off Saturday’s gameday roster was partially due to the transfer saga. Perhaps not.
Remember Kaku’s last message to the club. He reiterated that he wasn’t giving up and that he was willing to try other keys. Maybe he was referring to a New York strategy exit.
No te rindas, a veces la última llave es la que abre la puerta ??
— kaku (@kakuromero17) January 23, 2019
English translation: “Don’t give up, sometimes the last key is the one that opens the door.”
Another thing that could’ve led to the conflict is RBNY’s Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League’s heartbreaking exit. The Jersey-based club fell to Club Santos Laguna 6-2 on aggregate after experiencing a 2-2 mark in the first half of the second leg on Tuesday.
After the match, the youngster tweeted that he’s not as necessary as he thought he was.
Triste cuando te das cuenta, que no eres tan importante como lo creías
— kaku (@kakuromero17) March 13, 2019
English translation: “Sad when you realize, you’re not as important as you thought.”
One can only try to figure out what led to the issue. It didn’t appear to be a minor conflict.
Nonetheless, the New York coach insists the issue was already resolved. The Red Bulls fan sure hopes so.
The Supporters’ Shield champions’ next match is against Orlando City SC next Saturday at the Red Bull Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET. All eyes will be on New York’s gameday roster to see if the 24-year-old’s name will be included.
But as for now, it isn’t a time for New York fans to focus on conflicts. The club won their home opener after being down 1-0. The Kaku drama aside, it should be a time for celebration.