As the New York Red Bulls work through their initial preseason preparations, they feel pretty good about where their roster sits.
But that doesn't mean they won't be adding to it, even if in an ideal world any further reinforcements would have already arrived.
In an offseason that has seen club legends Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles depart and a bevy of New York Red Bulls II talent graduate to the first team, head coach Chris Armas confronts the balance between patience and urgency in the transfer market.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint," Armas told reporters on a conference call Thursday. "So in the big picture, I have to have patience. Adding quality and difference-makers, I welcome that at any time. But the train is moving, it’s moving fast. Guys are onboard. The longer time goes without players being here, it’s not ideal. If we’re going to add, I want the guy here yesterday to be honest. But I have to understand it’s part of it and that’s okay.”
Armas isn't ruling out the club utilizing its final Designated Player slot, either.
“I think it’s important that we think to add, but it has to be the right player," Armas said when asked about adding a DP this winter. "If we’re going to add, it’s going to be to make us better. We have a solid group, a young group. On the inside, we’re working really hard to get the right pace. If we find that in the next few weeks, it’s a plus. That’s what we’re looking to do."
One DP already in this offseason? Winger Josh Sims on loan from Southampton. The speedy wide man returns after spending the last few months of 2019 on loan with the club, showing enough ability and potential that a reunion made sense.
“It’s not so easy to find people and players that fit who works well with us," Armas said. "We were really excited when Josh came, because he fit both roles really well. Having him back with the team, it’s no longer a question of how he’ll fit in. ... Josh operates with intelligence, he looks to stretch back lines and is a good 1v1 attacker. He adds something we don’t have an abundance of, a guy who can create on his own."
Armas also envisions a scenario in which Sims, who is with the club on loan through June 30, sticks around long-term. Of course, nothing is set as the player only returned this week, but it'll be a consideration.
“I believe if things are going well – if the club is happy with Josh and Josh wants to stay – there’s a possibility that we keep him (through a purchase)," Armas said.