|photo by Matt Kremkau
New York Red Bulls have a problem but you wouldn't know it if you asked head coach Gerhard Struber. The Red Bulls have strikers that aren't scoring goals.
This may not seem like much of a problem as New York just defeated Orlando City SC 2-1, a team that was one of the few remaining undefeated sides in the league. However the combination of Daniel Royer, Fabio, Brian White, Patryk Klimala and Tom Barlow have scored no goals in 2021 as we've pasted the seventh week of play.
Overall the team is being kept afloat by a dominant midfield. Young Cayden Clark is leading the team in goals as he has shown a propensity for being in the right place to clean up the chaos created by the Red Bulls offense. Cristian Casseres Jr. has also been a tremendous threat from the midfield, having scored his third goal of the season on a fantastic free kick in the second half against Orlando.
When speaking with head coach Struber it didn't sound as if there is any concern. As it were, the Austrian coach feels as if it is a bonus that goals are coming from different areas since he is confident that his strikers will eventually find the back of the net.
"My whole team works very hard to score goals," said Struber following the win against Orlando. "We have a long season and I am 100 percent convinced our strikers will score. The time will come and then it's more difficult for the opponents but I have the patience and we have a big trust in our strikers."
Struber isn't wrong in having trust in his strikers. It's not as if they have been doing nothing on the field. Fabio, the Brazilian loanee who has looked dangerous on the ball, has notched four assists this season. He has looked dangerous on the ball and nearly scored on several occasions. His ability to create instead of focusing on his own stats is a plus for the club.
Klimala is another example of positive progress. While not scoring in his first start of the season, he assisted on the game's opening goal against Orlando. His touch settled the ball and he delivered an opportunity across the goal that found midfielder Clark for the goal.
"I think we have a big togetherness," said Struber. "We have many, many, players on the pitch and they have the responsibility to score goals. The time with the strikers will come.
New York heads into the international break with more than a few questions about their striking unit. First is the Fabio situation. His loan spell will end at the conclusion of June and the team will have to decide whether to extend the loan or purchase the player's contract. Considering the amount of time he's already played this season, Struber and his staff must feel positive about keeping the assist man.
"We have a big trust in Fabio," he said. "When he came in he helped the team and this is what we want."