New York Red Bulls logo - generic image

Armchair Analyst: One big question for New York Red Bulls

One Big Question: How good is Cristian Casseres Jr. ready to be?

The soon-to-be-20-year-old Casseres sure looked good for long stretches last season, and in between those "looking good!" moments were "oh man he was just the best player on the pitch for 20 straight minutes" moments every few weeks. There aren't a lot of teenagers who can say as much, which is a big reason why Casseres finished 11th in 22 Under 22 balloting last year.

They need more than that from him this year. Casseres is never going to be a the field-shrinking, ball-winning force that Tyler Adams was (and is more of a ball-hawking 8 than a protecting 6), but he's the closest thing the Red Bulls have to that and should be an essential part of whatever midfield mix Chris Armas comes up with in 2020. Simply put: Casseres has to take those 20-minute stretches of dominance and turn them into at least 45 minutes pretty much every week if the Red Bulls want to climb back up toward the top of the Eastern Conference pack. That's just the honest truth given their roster make-up.

Now, maybe that changes – there have been whispers about another big-name DP signing heading to Harrison (though I have my doubts). But even if it does, Casseres could and should be a game-changer every single week out there, just like Adams was before his big move across the sea.

Series: