But BWP turns 34 next month and with a more congested regular season schedule and a plan to compete in multiple competitions this year, including the Concacaf Champions League beginning next week, the Red Bulls needed depth up front.
They found that and more in Mathias Jorgensen.
The young Danish striker, who signed a multi-year deal with the club earlier this week, is expected to “have an impact from the get go,” according to sporting director Denis Hamlett.
“We think his ability to stretch the defense, he’s got some incredible movements up front, again, he's someone that is a team player and his willingness to play for the team,” Hamlett said in a conference call with reporters. “I think it's going to be a good fit for us.”
The 18-year-old has been on the Red Bulls radar “for a while,” with Ben Ehresmann, the club’s head of scouting, watching the Danish youth international compete for Odense Boldklub in the Danish SuperLiga, where he scored three goals in 18 appearances.
When Jorgensen expressed a desire to weigh transfer options, Hamlett knew it was time to swoop in.
“We’ve kept track of him and we’re always looking for the right fit to come into our system,” Hamlett said. “So once it became clear that he wanted to come for a visit, we felt pretty good that we have a good chance of getting this thing across the line.”
Jorgensen toured Red Bull Arena, the club’s training facilities, watched a session and met with the first team and coaching staff before attending a Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center.
“For us, character is a big, big piece for us because in terms of the culture that we're trying to create and bringing the right people that are team players,” Hamlett said. “And I think when we met him, I think that was one of the things that really stood out in terms of his humbleness and his team-first mentality, which speaks volumes for a young player.”