Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: They kept most of a very good (good enough to get a home playoff game, remember) team together this offseason, and the vast majority of the returnees are of an age where you’d expect them to keep improving. On top of that, RB global went out and spent this offseason. Dante Vanzeir is supposed to be the kind of high-end talent that makes a difference in the postseason (let’s not talk about how that playoff game they hosted ended).
- Weakness: They are, at the moment, precariously thin in central defense. And that’s a big issue since, over the past few years, they’ve been much better playing out of a 3-4-2-1 than from any sort of back four.
- Aaron Long: After six seasons, one Supporters’ Shield and one MLS Defender of the Year recognition, Aaron Long leaves the New York Red Bulls. Long made 139 appearances and became a regular with the USMNT along the way. He joined LAFC in free agency.
- Patryk Klimala: Originally signed in April 2021, Patryk Klimala’s arrival from Celtic FC didn’t quite go to plan. A former Poland youth international forward, Klimala eventually fell out of the rotation last season. He was transferred to Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel, a move that opened a DP spot.
- Dante Vanzeir: A new star in attack, RBNY signed once-capped Belgian international Dante Vanzeir from Union SG. Able to play through the center or as a direct, goal-scoring threat on the wing, Vanzeir had 48 goals and 21 assists in 91 appearances with Union SG.
- Cory Burke: Another forward to revamp the group, the Red Bulls added Jamaica international Cory Burke in free agency. He spent the last half-decade with the Philadelphia Union, where he thrived in 2022 as a battering ram off the bench. Burke contributed 7g/5a in 1,177 regular-season minutes last season.
- Peter Stroud: I rarely add homegrown signings to these previews, but Peter Stroud’s development is advanced to the point where he should be recognized as a key addition. The back-to-back ACC Midfielder of the Year (at Duke University) was a US youth national team regular and spent time with West Ham United’s youth set up as well.
- Full roster
Projected Starting XI
- Marcelo Balboa: 8th in East
- Charles Boehm: 9th in East
- Tom Bogert: 5th in East
- Matt Doyle: 4th in East
- David Gass: 2nd in East
- J. Sam Jones: 3rd in East
- Sacha Kljestan: 7th in East
- Kaylyn Kyle: 9th in East
- Joseph Lowery: 4th in East
- Melissa Ortiz: 3rd in East
- Danielle Slaton: 5th in East
- Andrew Wiebe: 3rd in East
- Bradley Wright-Phillips: 1st in East
Odds & Ends
- Head coach: Gerhard Struber
- Stadium: Red Bull Arena
- Last year: 15W-11L-8T, 53 points, 4th in East
- Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Round One