Red Bulls Find a Star in Damien Perrinelle

Why the Frenchman is important to Jesse Marsch and the 2015 RBNY
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Saturday, June 13, 2015

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

When Thierry Henry retired and Peguy Luyindula called it a career, the question of course was where RBNY would find their quality players, save for Sacha Kljestan, Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty & Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Strange enough, it wasn’t on the attacking end of the ball, but it was coming from the backline in Damien Perrinelle, who has been solid since the start of the season.

You can see him screaming instructions and pointing to his centerback partner where to go when they are defending their net. But not only can Perrinelle defend, he can score as well. During set pieces, as we saw him on the road at DC United — down 2 goals — leap high and head the ball past DCU goalkeeper Bill Hamid inside the near post.

The chemistry with his fellow teammates has been quite extraordinary as he had to deal with 4 different centerback partners from the opening game at Sporting Kansas City with Ronald Zubar, who injured himself, to Matt Miazga, who is currently with the US U-20’s in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, to the former Montreal Impact Karl Ouimette, and now Roy Miller, who is normally a leftback, but has played central before.

Speaking French to Zubar and Ouimette has given Perrinelle a comfort zone, but English with both Miazga and Miller has also done some wonders, too. To see him perform at a high level with no issues whatsoever shows that he is a true professional.

You saw Perrinelle last season come over and play sparingly as he saw some CONCACAF Champions League action and coming off the bench during some league games. But from the start of pre-season camp and into this season, Jesse Marsch liked what he saw from him. Perrinelle has been a rock ever since.

But there has been a strange controversy with Perrinelle this season: yellow cards.

He was suspended for the road game at Houston on June 5th due to yellow card accumulation, but the truth is 3 to 4 of his cards have been very soft.

One particular booking Perrinelle earned after he got one removed for good behavior was down at Toyota Stadium. On Friday, May 15th Perrinelle got to Mauro Diaz and he tried to steal the ball away, but the foul was called and a yellow card by Ricardo Salazar was shown for what was a hand ball, but wasn’t at all. Perrinelle’s left arm was blocked by Diaz as the ball hit him in the chest during the steal, which meant that he had to handle it with his right arm. But once again the ball struck the left side of Perrinelle and not his right.

So with no warnings whatsoever Perrinelle earned three to four bookings for actually playing solid defense. If Peter Walton, who runs P.R.O. in Major League Soccer, can try to take a look back at some of the video on these yellow cards that were issued to Perrinelle, maybe he can get a few more rescinded.

But overall Perrinelle has looked fantastic for the Red Bulls and hopefully he will be ready to go against the Atlanta Silverbacks in the US Open Cup on June 16th.

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.
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