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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 including Andres Reyes and the recently returning Tom Edwards.

Last season the Earthquakes finished seven points out of the playoffs and experienced yet another disappointing campaign. The Red Bulls have won four of the last five games over San Jose and expect to cause some trouble for the home side. However, Struber is setting expectations in case the game does not goes his way. The team is still developing and is a work in progress.

"I will, with my boys, (give) the best and I have the feeling the progress in the last few weeks goes in a good way," said Struber. "At the same time, We have to be realistic and to speak about a trophy would be absolutely not fair to my players."


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