Dax McCarty - Jesse Marsch - New York Red Bulls
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Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch placing high expectations on young players

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch knows he might sound callous, but he insists trading captain and fan favorite Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire last month was a straightforward decision.

Speaking to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, Marsch said that the emergence of two young central midfielders – Sean Davis and Tyler Adams – made sending McCarty to the Fire in exchange for $400,000 in General Allocation Money a relatively simple move.

"The decision was clear for me. Sean Davis and Tyler Adams are ready," he said. "It was impossible not to make room for those guys to have opportunities. We know that those guys are going to make us a better team moving forward, and that's why the decision was made.

"It's cold, it does sound cold, I understand it. It's not fair in a lot of ways, but it's the reality of the world that we live in.”

Marsch, who said last year’s playoff loss to Montreal in the Eastern Conference Semifinals prompted many of the Red Bulls’ changes this winter, also hinted at a new tactical setup for 2017. New York are expected to line up in a two forwards this season, with Gonzalo Veron the probable partner for Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Defensively, Marsch said the Red Bulls are focusing on making sure their pressing system is “more compact." He also said that center back Aaron Long, who helped Red Bulls II to their USL title in 2016, will likely emerge this year as a regular starter alongside Aurelien Collin