HANOVER, N.J. -- The two new additions to the New York Red Bulls trained with the first team on Friday. And while they aren’t the superstar names of the past, the team is confident that they will add immediate value.
The signing of Austrian international winger Daniel Royer and Israeli international forward Omer Damari, a Designated Player, add important pieces in the final third to a Red Bulls squad that has lacked consistency in the attack this year. Royer figures to slot in at right midfield in the slot vacated by Lloyd Sam, who was traded to D.C. United a few weeks ago, and Damari’s addition might let the Red Bulls transition to a 4-2-2-2 formation that would see him line up alongside Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Both newcomers practiced on Friday, but neither is a candidate to travel for Sunday’s match at the LA Galaxy (9:30 pm ET; FS1 in US | MLS LIVE in Canada).
“Right now I think just in fitness wise, Danny is ahead of Omer," Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. "We’ve got a little bit of work to do to get Omer up to speed with fitness so he can start to contribute with matches."
Damari, whose signing was announced by the team on Thursday, comes on loan from RB Leipzig, the German sister club of New York. He also spent last year on loan with Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg, who also fall under the same Red Bull umbrella.
So while he may be behind Royer in terms of fitness, he will be familiar with the overall style of play favored by Marsch. Like Leipzig and Salzburg, Marsch’s squad uses a high-press system that fits Damari’s skill set.
“Speaking specifically about Omer, he’s such a smart soccer player and he’s so clever about how to see things quickly and deliver the ball to the next guy that sets him up for a really good play,” Marsch said. “He’s good around the goal, he’s got a lot of savviness and ease as to how he plays. Watching him today, watching him combine with Brad and Sacha [Kljestan] was exciting. I think he is going to bring a lot of intelligence and soccer to our team.
“Danny, I thought that his way of injecting himself and running and pushing in his spot to cover ground and help his team and put some plays together was good too.”
The hope is that the Red Bulls, in third place in the Eastern Conference coming into this weekend, will find success while blending their new signings into the squad this season. In the past the mega-star signings such as Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Rafael Marquez all found parachuting into MLS midseason to be a challenge and didn’t find immediate success in the league.
Even players such as Wright-Phillips and Sam needed the benefit of a full preseason the year after they arrived to fully integrate into the squad.
“I think as we’re both talking about mid-term additions, Omer knows how we play based off his time in Leipzig and Salzburg. Danny naturally fits what we do, I think these guys have potential to fit in seamlessly,” Marsch said. “We’re excited about both, it’s just about getting them up to speed, getting them comfortable with what we’re doing here and then getting them on the field.”