It’s a new era for the New York Red Bulls, with sweeping change in place for Gerhard Struber’s first full season in charge. The Austrian manager arrived last fall and is well-known for his high-pressing system.
With a ton of players in and out this offseason, the Red Bulls are doubling down on their philosophy.
- MLS Reg. Season: 6th in Eastern Conference (32 pts - 1.39 PPG - 9-5-9, -2 GD)
- Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: Eliminated in Round One by Columbus Crew, 3-2
The US national team regular and former MLS Defender of the Year, Long is among the league’s top center backs. At 28-years-old, he’s firmly in his prime.
Davis has developed from a promising homegrown to a constant starter during his time with the Red Bulls. The defensive midfielder has made 138 appearances with his boyhood club over six professional seasons.
Another central midfielder, Casseres is hoping to make another jump as he enters his age-21 season. He’s added five goals and five assists in 45 MLS appearances as well.
Young Player to Watch
Clark burst onto the national stage last year, scoring a goal in his MLS debut and continued his form, becoming one of the league’s youngest ever to score a playoff goal. What will a full season bring for the 17-year-old?
- Fabio: The Brazilian striker is a rangy presence up top, his height giving the team another aerial threat. Fabio was a regular goal scorer in the Brazilian second-tier before making the move, but how will his play translate to MLS?
- Andres Reyes: Reyes spent 2020 on loan with Inter Miami, making 13 starts, but the club opted not to bring him back this year. He returned to his parent club before RBNY acquired him.
- Tom Edwards: Edwards is on loan from English club Stoke City, where the attacking fullback made 51 appearances. He’ll battle with Kyle Duncan for minutes on the right side of defense.
- Tim Parker: Parker was traded to the Houston Dynamo this winter as the center back’s time with RBNY comes to an end. Reyes will likely replace his minutes.
Projected Starting XI
- Goalkeepers (4): Carlos Coronel, David Jensen, Luca Lewis, Ryan Meara
- Defenders (10): Kyle Duncan, Tom Edwards, Mandela Egbo, Andrew Gutman, Aaron Long, Sean Nealis, Jason Pendant, Andres Reyes, Amro Tarek, John Tolkin
- Midfielders (11): Wikelman Carmona, Cristian Casseres Jr., Caden Clark, Sean Davis, Youba Diarra, Bento Estrela, Omir Fernandez, Cameron Harper, Daniel Royer, Florian Valot, Dru Yearwood
- Forwards (3): Tom Barlow, Fabio, Brian White
Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: There are no obvious strengths with this RBNY side relative to either their recent past or to the rest of the league. Perhaps the surfeit of unknowns — new coach, a likely new formation, perhaps some new tactical approach, a teenaged No. 10, a host of little-known imports — can act as an advantage in the same way that Jesse Marsch’s revamped approach worked in 2015.
- Weakness: All those unknowns listed above could turn out to be not so great, and this RBNY group is not the kind that can just out-talent you on the day. They will have to be cohesive, energetic and bought-in basically every time out.
- Charles Boehm: 10th in East
- Tom Bogert: 11th in East
- Susannah Collins: 12th in East
- Charlie Davies: 8th in East
- Matthew Doyle: 8th in East
- Sam Jones: 11th in East
- Michael Lahoud: 13th in East
- Joe Lowery: 10th in East
- Jillian Sakovits: 10th in East
- Greg Seltzer: 11th in East
- Steve Zakuani: 9th in East