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Showing posts from February, 2022

Red Bulls Sign Watford Striker Ashley Fletcher on Loan

New York Red Bulls have strengthened their striker pool with the addition of Watford striker Ashley Fletcher from the English Premier League on loan for a six month trial. The 26 year-old English forward has experience on many levels and looks to translate that to Major League Soccer. "His general movement off the ball suggests he has a good level of game understanding," said head coach Gerhard Struber. "He will hopefully prove to be a good piece in the attacking zone." Fletcher has played a majority of his career in the English Championship, the second division of English football, with Middlesbrough. In his most productive year he scored 13 goals in 46 appearances. Only once has he hit double digit goals. He joined EPL's Watford in 2021 but failed to make much of a splash with just one goal in three appearances.  The move deepens Struber's options with Tom Barlow as the main back-up thus far this season. Whether or not he can remain with the club will be s

RECAP: Red Bulls Silence Earthquakes

photo by Matt Kremkau With both head coaches Gerhard Struber and Matias Almeyda expecting more from their respective teams during the winter transfer window before the 2022 Major League Soccer season, Struber, had a hard time hiding his disappointment when the targets he wanted were not acquired during the press conference with the local media on Wednesday.  “I think I am a realistic man, I am not a dreamer,” Struber said. “I know when everything goes in the right direction when we make the right progress the next two weeks, then I think we are an interesting team. But this needs time right now. We are very, very young without many experienced players. This is the situation. I have to manage that. I have a big trust in my players that we progress in the next few weeks, but this needs time.” Meanwhile, San Jose's head coach Matias Almeyda hinted at leaving the Earthquakes after first reporting that things were "great" during his tenure, but since then, things have changed

Preview: Thin Red Bulls Start Season Amidst Turmoil

photo by Matt Kremkau A very thin New York Red Bulls team will travel to San Jose to play the Earthquakes in the first game of the 2022 MLS season for both teams on Saturday night. The game comes amidst turmoil as head coach Gerhard Struber expressed frustration with the team's off-season signings and Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell has departed for a Sporting Director job at Everton in England. "This needs time right now," said Struber when speaking of the team's young and developing roster. "We are very, very, young without many experienced players. This is the situation. I have to manage that. I have big trust in my players that we progress in the next few weeks, but this needs time." New York is expected to go into the game with just 16 players available. Recent signing Luquinhas will not be available as his visa issues are still being handled. He has not trained with the team and needs time to integrate. Other players will be missing due to injuries includ

Kevin Thelwell Leaves New York Red Bulls for Everton FC

photo by Matt Kremkau In the latest bit of drama coming out of the offices of the New York Red Bulls, word out of Harrison that Kevin Thelwell has left the organization to become Director of Football for Everton Football Club in the Premier League.    “On behalf of the organization, we would like to thank Kevin for his contributions and efforts to the club over the last two years," said Marc de Grandpr√©, General Manager, New York Red Bulls. "We wish Kevin all the best, both personally and professionally, in his new endeavor."   Thelwell was announced as Head of Sport in February of 2020 and helped lead the club to back-to-back Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances. Over two seasons, he has made key acquisitions to build the roster, which is highlighted by Carlos Coronel, Caden Clark, Patryk Klimala, Andr√©s Reyes, and Dru Yearwood. New York tied for the fewest goals allowed in 2021, moving up from 14th in 2020, with the help of those additions.   Most recently, Thelwell has he

New York Red Bulls Name Aaron Long Team Captain

photo by Matt Kremkau Ever since former New York Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis took his talents over to Nashville SC during the offseason, one of the questions that supporters had was who was going to be the next captain of the team in 2022 and, possibly beyond. Well, wonder no more. The New York Red Bulls have selected the United States Men’s National Team defender Aaron Long as the team's captain, Head Coach Gerhard Struber announced today.  Aaron Ray Long, 29, is the first player in franchise history to sign with New York Red Bulls II, earn promotion to the senior team, and be named captain. The Oak Hills, California native signed with Red Bulls II on March 10, 2016, and subsequently earned 2016 USL Defender of the Year while anchoring a Red Bulls II backline and team to a 2016 USL Championship title. Long then was promoted to the first team on February 22, 2017, and has been a mainstay for New York’s and the USMNT’s backline. For the club, he has recorded 135 starts, 140 tota

New York Red Bulls Sign Serge Ngoma to a Homegrown Contract

photo from New York Red Bulls New York Red Bulls announce the signing of Serge Ngoma to a homegrown player contract for four years with an option for a fifth season. The 16 year-old made his professional debut with New York Red Bulls II and has impressed enough to be brought into the first team. "We see big potential out of him," said head coach Gerhard Struber. "We want to see him continue to grow with Red Bulls II and hope his development goes in a positive way." While his contract is an MLS one, his loan to the USL Championship side is all but guaranteed. Many talents have sharpened their skills with New York Red Bulls II including Tyler Adams, Aaron Long, Derrick Etienne Jr., Alex Muyl and others that have featured for the first team in recent years. Ngoma started his time with New York in the U-13 ranks as part of the Red Bulls Academy. The New Jersey-native helped the U-15 club qualify for the Generation Adidas tournament in 2020 and made it a habit of scoring

Red Bulls Bring Tom Edward Back On Loan

photo by Matt Kremkau As the season opener for 2022 draws ever closer, the New York Red Bulls brought back one of their key members of last season. English defender Tom Edwards returns from Stoke City, the contract will be a year-long loan, pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and ITC, and will occupy an international spot on the team's roster. “We are thrilled to bring Tom back to New York," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. “Bringing him back was a priority of ours at the beginning of the offseason because of the quality he has both on and off the field.” Edwards, 23, had a strong first season in MLS for New York last year. The Stoke City defender logged 1,958 minutes in 27 games for the Red Bulls. He helped anchor a New York defense to eight clean sheets in 25 starts. Offensively, Edwards recorded two assists, both of which came in Red Bulls victories. “I am pleased to have Tom back with the squad," said Head Coach Gerhard Struber. “Not only does he have top quality on

New York Red Bulls Sign Brazilian Midfielder Luquinhas

New York Red Bulls have completed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Luquinhas from Legia Warszawa. The move fills a pivotal role that was left abandoned by the sudden and fraught departure of Kaku after the 2020 season. "We made it a priority to add a dynamic offensive player this off-season," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "His extensive experience, especially at the Champions League level, will be beneficial to our young roster." Luquinhas will join as one of the elder members of the team at 25 years-old. He played 110 games for Warzawa and scored 12 goals while assisting with 18 others. The move gives head coach Gerhard Struber another attacking option and one that should fit in nicely with a team that is already on the front foot when thinking about scoring goals. "His ability to turn under pressure, with his back to goal, to create half spaces and driving into space and drawing defenders in to create chances for himself or teammates will be helpful f

Red Bulls II Announce Preseason Roster and Schedule

photo by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls II will be preparing for their final season in the USL Championship with three preseason games at the Red Bull Training Facility against two fellow league competitors and a NISA participant. The games will take place on February 19th, 23rd and March 5th ahead of the season's start on March 12th in Miami. Red Bulls II will play Hartford Athletic, Allentown United FC and Philadelphia Union II.  The roster is also fleshed out more than we've seen in previous years, all set for new head coach Gary Lewis. These preseason games will mostly be filled with academy and unsigned draft players. Still, we will see the likes of Jeremy Rafanello, new signing Jordan Adebayo-Smith and Juan Castillo.  Preseason Fixtures: February 19th - Hartford Athletic February 23rd - Allentown United FC March 5th - Philadelphia Union II Preseason Roster: Goalkeepers:  Giannis Nikoplidis, Derrek Chan, Jason Dubrovich Defenders:  Curtis Ofori, Lamine Conte, Juan Ca

New York Red Bulls II Sign Jordan Adebayo-Smith from Tampa Bay Rowdies

New York Red Bulls have acquired 21 year-old forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith from the Tampa Bay Rowdies on loan for the 2022 season. The move sees him join the club with an option to remain permanently the following year. "He is a player with exceptional pace," said Academy Director Sean McCafferty. "(He) is a threat to any backline with his ability to run in behind and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates." Adebayo-Smith joins New York after making 25 appearances with the Rowdies in 2021 and racking up 683 minutes total. The move to Red Bulls II will almost surely see his playing time increase as well as his opportunity to be seen by the first team coaching staff.  The forward's career has taken him across the ocean as he previously played for Lincoln City in the EFL, playing in both League One and League Two. Last season he joined Tampa Bay and has now moved on to New York in order to progress his career, potentially, to Major League Soccer.

Red Bulls Add Caden Clark on Loan for 2022 Season

photo by Matt Kremkau New York Red Bulls will keeper midfielder Caden Clark on the team for the 2022 season thanks to a loan from RB Leipzig. The move comes with the caveat that the deal may be extended for a longer period of time. To make the deal happen, New York needed to move up the allocation order by trading over $500 thousand in General Allocation Money to Toronto FC and additional GAM to FC Cincinnati to leap frog to the top of the list. The team also received an additional international roster spot as part of the deal which may be used on future rumored signings as well. "Caden has gained great experience last season," said Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell. "I am sure this will stand him in a good stead for a great season." Clark had a stop-and-start season with New York in 2021. He began strong scoring early goals but was sidelined with an appendectomy. Overall, he played a total 24 games with 17 starts. Through that time he scored four goals and assisted in f

New York Red Bulls II Name Gary Lewis new Head Coach

With long-time head coach John Wolyniec stepping down last season, the New York Red Bulls II have announced that Gary Lewis has taken over the reins for this upcoming season and beyond. Lewis comes to New York after serving as the Seattle Sounders' Academy Director since February of 2020. “Gary has a tremendous amount of experience, having worked at some of the best clubs and academies in both the U.K. and the U.S.,” Red Bulls Academy Director Sean McCafferty said. “He has worked closely with the first and second-team staff at every club he has worked with and has a proven track record of developing and preparing top young players for first-team football.” The Liverpool, England, native began his coaching career at the Liverpool FC youth academy, working with the U-6 to U-9 teams. He transitioned to Everton FC in 2006, where he served as the Head Coach of the U-13 team. Two years later, Lewis returned to Liverpool to become the head of their youth development program. Following his