|photo by Matt Kremkau
The 2022 Red Bulls season has looked good at times, and it hasn't looked good at times., yet we can agree that this team has improved in many areas. But when you still look at this roster, there are still question marks that will pop up every once in a while.
But what can't be said is a season that has looked better than last year with a team that is still young, hungry, and competitive than what we saw in 2021. Everything this team is trying to do is executing from the game plan of Head Coach Gerhard Struber, and it's working very well.
There has been solid communication from Carlos Coronel to the backline of the Nealis Brothers and Captain Aaron Long, along with the fullbacks of Tom Edwards & John Tolkin. The midfield has looked solid since the addition of Luquinhas and Lewis Morgan in the attack. We have seen some great moments and bangers that we weren't expecting this season.
Cristian Casserers Jr. & Omir Fernandez have been growing in front of our eyes as they have contributed to the defensive side and even supported the attack. Currently, the Red Bulls are in fourth place in the east inside a log jam where they are only two points away from the top spot in the Eastern Conference. At the same time, they are on a big run in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for their Semi-Final opponent as they will travel to Orlando City in late July.
But the one glaring issue this club is showing is the concern of the position that adds to the goal-scoring department, which is a Center Forward position. Either as a starter or a substitute, Patryk Klimala & Tom Barlow haven't been clinical enough to convert chances, and currently, the midfielders are leading the goal-scoring department. When Klimala has a moment to score goals, he is off the mark, or the keeper makes the save, and Tom Barlow is making runs but hasn't connected most of the time. Ashley Fletcher's loan is a huge disappointment.
So the midfielders like Lewis Morgan leads in goal scoring in all competitions with nine, Luquinhas has scored six, Klimala is currently with five, and Tom Barlow tied with Omir Fernandez & Aaron Long for three goals. In some ways, you can say there is a form of balanced scoring, but again, you do expect more from the striker position. The short era of Kevin Thelwell at the Red Bulls is currently a mixed bag with positives and negatives. Now we need to see what Jochen Schneider can do when the MLS Summer Transfer window comes and how quickly they can get players up to speed on the game plan.
But as the season currently sits, the Red Bulls are having a solid season, with a hiccup or two. But if you support this team, even if you know that the depth is slowly returning from injury, the attack is strong, and they are compiling wins, everything is going according to plan. The shame of the loss at LAFC was that COVID struck two of their most important players, which led to a short bench but still showed their competitive nature.