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Preview: New Look Red Bulls Start Season Against Veteran Sporting KC

photo by Matt Kremkau
photo by Matt Kremkau

New York Red Bulls will start the process of disproving the naysayers on Saturday night against Sporting KC in the team's home opener at Red Bull Arena. New head coach Gerhard Struber will lead a very young and unknown squad against an injury riddled KC team that can still be a major threat to New York's intentions of starting fast.

The Red Bulls are expected to return to their high-pressing style that made them incredibly successful since 2015. While it didn't directly lead to a US Open Cup or MLS Cup winning season, the game plan is one that both Struber and the organization feel is the proper path to that end goal. 

Still, fans are still wondering who will lead the line. Since the departure of Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York has had difficulties securing goals.

"The whole team has the responsibility to score goals," said Struber during the pre-match press conference. "We have many players that have the ability to score goals. It is more a group of players, it's more the team that we need in the end to score. I think it's a completely different time."

The method of relying on your entire team as opposed to a singular player is something Red Bull teams know well. Julian Nagelsmann in Leipzig has transformed the team from relying heavily on Timo Werner to distributing the load among other players. It has led to success with the team still in German Cup and second place in the Bundesliga.

In MLS, the goal may be the same. New York will be looking to different players, many of whom are still unknown, to produce the magic in front of goal. Saturday's game will be the first true glimpse into what the club's preseason work has produced.

Probably Starting XI:

New York Red Bulls: Coronel; Duncan, Long, Tarek, Gutman, Davis, Casseres, Valot, Clark, Fabio, Royer

Where to Watch: MSG Network or ESPN + 8PM Saturday


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