Eastern Moves: New York Sign DP Goalkeeper


German keeper Rost, Jamaican M/F Johnson head to Bulls, Reds

By Michael Ligot, Eastern Conference and Bundesliga Correspondent

The New York Red Bulls’ goalkeepers are having trouble keeping the ball out of the net. Toronto FC is having trouble putting the ball in the net. The last couple of days, they made bold moves to solve those weaknesses.

Rost came from Hamburg SV
Photo: New York Red Bulls

Wednesday, New York signed German keeper Frank Rost, late of Hamburg SV, to shore up the uncertainty between the sticks. Today, the Reds traded three players to the San Jose Earthquakes for Jamaican midfielder/forward Ryan Johnson, to boost the league’s second-worst attack. To get Johnson, they sent to the South Bay much-traveled forward Alan Gordon (on his fourth team since 2010), defender Nana Attakora, and midfielder Jacob Peterson.

Rost, 38, is a veteran of 426 Bundesliga matches for Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 and Hamburg. With Bremen, he won the 1998-99 DFB Pokal (German Cup) over Bayern Munich, and even scored a goal in the run of play against Hansa Rostock in 2002. Despite being one of the Bundesliga’s best goalkeepers, “Frost” (as the Hamburg fans called him) has only four caps with the German national team, due in no small part to the presence of Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann.

Rost will be the Red Bulls’ third Designated Player, along with Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez. He told his official site that he would be practicing with his new teammates Friday. As incumbents Greg Sutton and Bouna Coundoul have struggled with consistency of late, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe that Rost would have the inside track for the starting position. His contract is for the remainder of the season.

Johnson, 26, has had MLS stops with Salt Lake and Chicago, but he has made his name with San Jose, scoring 17 goals in 99 appearances. For scoring 11 goals in 2009, he earned the Quakes’ Most Valuable Player award. He’s only netted one goal since, though he has contributed 10 assists in that time. Johnson is making his mark with the Jamaican national team, scoring five goals in 13 games for the Reggae Boys, including two in this year’s Gold Cup.

As Toronto has notched all of 17 goals this season, ahead of only New England’s 16, they will be counting on Johnson’s scoring and playmaking. He joins Dutch striker Danny Koevermans, German midfielder Torsten Frings (DP signings) and midfielder Terry Dunfield (trade from Vancouver) as recent additions in coach Aron Winter and GM Paul Mariner’s rebuilding job.


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