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Showing posts from November, 2023

Dylan Nealis Signs New Contract for 2024

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Defender Dylan Nealis has signed a new contract with the New York Red Bulls, keeping him at the club until the end of 2024. The defender, and younger brother of team captain,Sean Nealis, made 10 starts in 2023 with 19 total appearances for the club. "We have seen a lot from Dylan over the last two seasons," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "He made a big step forward in his development over the last year - on and off the pitch. We are happy to keep consistency within our back line." Nealis will join his brother as well as Andres Reyes, and Matthew Nocita as center back options heading into 2024. While he began play as a wing back, head coach Troy Lesesne utilized the player in a center back role that appears to be one that will keep him on the pitch with significant minutes in 2024. Nealis joined New York in 2022 as part of a trade with Nashville SC. He has a total of 70 MLS appearances between Nashville, New York and M

Rumor: Tom Barlow to Chicago in GAM Trade

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls striker Tom Barlow could be on the move to the Chicago Fire for $400,000 in General Allocation Money according to Tom Bogert of The Athletic and MLS . The move would see the maligned striker leave the club in a turbulent year where former head coach Troy Lesesne relied on him heavily in their 2023 playoff push. Barlow is a career Red Bull player having joined the club professionally in 2018, having been drafted by the club. He made early appearances with the reserve team New York Red Bulls II before moving up the main team in 2019. The past two seasons he's played in 30 plus games with 2023 representing the most starts he has had with 20 in the regular season. Despite the opportunities, he was only able to score three goals and notch two assists in the campaign. The trade would not be particularly straight forward should it happen. Barlow is listed as a potential free agent with a club option. The team would more than li

RBNN the Pod: Off Season Discussion... So Far

by Anthony J. Merced Anthony and Dan talk about the early off-season moves ahead of the official end of the season. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN: RBNY Off Season Moves... So Far

Defender Hassan Ndam and Red Bulls Part Ways

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have announced the departure of defender Hassan Ndam from the club following the 2023 season. The 25 year-old Cameroonian defender has finished his second stint with the club after re-signing with New York in 2022. During that time he made 17 appearances as well as 12 appearances for the MLS Next Pro team New York Red Bulls II. "Hassan stepped up in big moments for the club," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "We wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavor." Ndam will become an MLS free agent now that the team has declined his option. Previously he has played for FC Cincinnati as well as Orange County SC, Charlotte Independence and Miami FC in the USL Championship. His experience in the American soccer landscape will more than likely see him included on a roster in 2024.

RBNN Podcast: Gotham Win the NWSL Championship!

by Anthony J. Merced RBNN is joined by Women's Soccer Show host Sara Ach to break down the NWSL Championship win for Gotham FC. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN: Gotham are NWSL Champions!!!!

Jochen Schneider Listened To The Fans

Photo by Matt Kremkau By Daniel Feuerstein As the New York Soccer media attended the exit interviews at Red Bull Arena, we were met by Head of Sport Jochen Schneider as he discussed the season overall. He was happy with the fight after the coaching change from Gerhard Struber to Troy Lesesne after their disastrous start to the season. They earned nine points after playing eleven matches and of course, we all know the situation with Dante Vanzeir. But when Lesesne took over you saw the changes being made and how he brought back the fight within the club. Yet at the end of the day, it wasn't so much what Troy did wrong to be let go from the hard work he did to bring them back to the playoffs, destroying Charlotte FC, but unfortunately to get knocked out of the opening round to FC Cincinnati in the playoffs. The feeling from Schneider was that he and the head of Red Bull Global Soccer President Mario Gomez decided to make a reset for the 2024 season. They felt the club needed to be re

Rumor: Sandro Schwarz Set to Become Red Bulls Coach

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Former Hertha Berlin and Mainz head coach Sandro Schwarz is rumored to become the new manager of New York Red Bulls according to the German publication BILD . The news comes after the release of head coach Troy Lesesne and the parting of ways with Sporting Director Denis Hamlett earlier this week. Schwarz has a long history, specifically in the Bundesliga where he managed the Mainz reserve team before becoming their head coach in 2017. He was with the club until 2019 when he took over at Dynamo Moscow where the team finished runner-up in the Russian Cup in 2022. From there he returned to the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin but he was unable to keep the club in the first division as they were relegated at the end of the 2022-23 campaign. Schwarz is a German-born coach who is only 45 years old despite his significant experience. While most of it has been in Germany, we have seen such coaches transition well into other leagues around the world. Sho

Red Bulls Part Ways With Hamlett & Lesesne

Photo by Matt Kremkau  By Daniel Feuerstein On Tuesday, November 14th, Head of Sport Jochen Schneider decided to not re-sign Head Coach Troy Lesesne and agreed to part ways with Sporting Director Denis Hamlet. After a Tumultuous 2023 season with so many ups and downs, which ended in the miracle of qualifying for the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, Lesesne took over for Gerhard Struber after the home loss to the Philadelphia Union on May 6th. he started off with a win in the fourth round of the US Open Cup against DC United, then his first win as a head coach in MLS against NYCFC in the Hudson River Derby. He then started an unbeaten streak in all competitions in four straight till a loss in Seattle but earned a win with a Messi-less Inter Miami. Everything started to fall apart till they got toward the end of the regular season by going unbeaten in six of the final seven games with four wins and two draws while having a winning streak in the remaining three games to clinch a playoff spot down i

Rumor: Leipzig Star to Join New York Red Bulls

photo by DFL/Getty Images/Reinaldo Coddou by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls are rumored to make their first big move of the off-season according to Fabrizio Romano in the signing of star Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg. The 32 year-old player has been a feature in the Bundesliga for the past eight seasons, making over 200 appearances and scoring over 40 goals. Along the way he lifted the DFB Pokal for the past two years with Leipzig. Forsberg's career has seen him linked with moves across Europe but his level of play and preference amongst multiple managers has led to getting the most playing time in the German giants. It has also given him the experience of playing in multiple UEFA Champions Leagues against the likes of PSG, Real Madrid and Manchester City. The Swedish-born player has also made 84 appearances for his country scoring 20 goals dating back to 2014. Before Leipzig he played with Swedish giants Malmo before being signed in Leipzig's first season in the Bund

RECAP: Gotham FC Win NWSL Championship with 2-1 Win Over OL Reign

photo from Gotham FC by Anthony J. Merced SAN DIEGO, CA - Gotham FC raise their first championship in club history with a 2-1 win over OL Reign in front of a record-breaking 25 thousand fans at SnapDragon Stadium on Saturday evening. First half goals for Lynn Williams and Esther Gonzalez were enough to ward off a Reign team that pushed late for an equalizer but continue to come up short in big games. Ali Kreiger will end her career with a championship, leading Gotham to one of the biggest turnarounds in league history year-over-year. Emotions ran the spectrum in the first half with Women's Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe having to exit the game in the sixth minute due to a leg injury. What followed as a spell of domination from Gotham as they pulled the Reign defense thin by playing through the wings. It paid off in the 24th minute when Midge Purce dribbled into the box and passed to Williams for the game's opening goal. Minutes later the Reign equalized with a pass from substitute

Gotham Title Chances: "We've Spoken This Into Existence"

photo from AP/Ben McKowen by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC are heading into their first ever NWSL Championship game on Saturday against OL Reign in what has been described as an unlikely, or miracle run, that has seen the sixth and final playoff team emerge after two road wins against North Carolina and Portland. Despite some being unsure as to how this could have happened, team captain Ali Kreiger, who celebrates her final professional game on the big occasion, felt that the team manifested this outcome with their attitude. "We've really spoken this into existence," said Kreiger a day before the big game. "We've prepped ourselves in manifesting that we would already be here. I think that's what's really exciting. That we're putting everything into action. All the words we've spoken throughout the year." While the team isn't interested in the year-over-year comparison that saw this last place club do a complete 180 degree turnaround to make

RECAP: Stengel ET Goal Lifts Gotham to First Ever NWSL Final

photo from Gotham FC by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC have reached their first ever NWSL final after a dramatic extra time win over the Portland Thorns on Sunday night a Providence Park. Katie Stengel scored the game's only goal in the 107th minute, with rain lashing down and both teams battling each other as well as the elements. Gotham showed their same perseverance as they have all year by forcing their style of play in the first half. The elements played a major factor in the game with passes and bounces on the very wet synthetic pitch, wrecking havoc on both offenses. Still, it didn't keep both teams from putting their best foot forward in an attempt to win the match. Gotham in particular showed their fight with chances from both Midge Purce and Jenna Nighswonger missing the net. The second half saw Portland push more with Becky Sauerbrunn missing a header in the 71st minute and Olivia Moultrie as well just minutes later. Gotham's star striker Esther Gonzalez was mostly

Red Bulls Battled Hard Against FC Cincinnati

photo by Matt Kremkau by Daniel Feuerstein This series was exciting and hard-fought till the end. While it will sting very hard after a thrilling ten-round penalty shootout you can't deny that the Red Bulls gave it their all to force a third and final game in this brand-new first-round series. While they did play a complete 90 minutes against Charlotte FC in the Wild Card round, we all knew FC Cincinnati was going to match everything the Red Bulls did. In the first game, while getting shutout by a final of three goals to nil is not considered a good look, the truth is they still kept fighting and pressing til the end.  The bad blunder from Andres Reyes to head the ball toward his own area from such a long distance allowed the home team at TQL Stadium to take advantage and put Carlos Coronel in a bad place. This forced him to abandon his net and try to slide the ball away, sadly having Luciano Acosta gain the advantage of a free shot. Also, Alvaro Barreal earned a brace with two fan

RECAP: Red Bulls Eliminated From Playoffs in Epic Shootout

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced HARRISON, N.J. - New York Red Bulls were eliminated from the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs after losing on penalties at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night to FC Cincinnati. A deadlocked 1-1 game saw a nine round penalty shootout where John Tolkin, Serge Ngoma and Andres Reyes missed their chances. Red Bulls and Cincinnati played a physical first half with New York surrendering a majority of possession to the opposition. The game's first shot on goal game in the 25th minute when Dom Badji forced Red Bulls keeper Carlos Coronel to make a save. The best opportunity for Cincinnati came in the 38th minute when Brandon Vasquez got his head on a corner kick at close range. Coronel again made the save to keep the game scoreless. Red Bulls took the lead in the 45th minute when a deflected effort fell to the foot of Tom Barlow who finished the chance. Going into halftime, New York had the lead and momentum despite Cincinnati getting the better of play. The Su

Gotham Ready: "Pressure is Subjective"

photo from Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC are heading into one of the biggest games of their history against the Portland Thorns on Sunday evening but appear to be handling the pressure well according to head coach Juan Carlos Amoros. The first-year skipper of Gotham has led the team to a huge turnaround from 2022, making the playoffs, getting their first playoff win and coming within one game of the NWSL Championship. "Pressure is something that is subjective," said Amoros during the team's pre-game press conference. "We put pressure on ourselves on day one to win football games and that's what got us here. For us it is a special game because it is a semi-final, which has certain aspects that are different from the regular season. There has to be a winner." Portland and Gotham are not strangers, having played each other twice in 2023 and most recently in early October. Then it was a 1-0 win for the Thorns but all statistics pointed to a well ba

Leipzig: "We Weren't Hungry Enough" Following German Cup Loss

photo from RB Leipzig by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig were defeated in the DFB Pokal by Wolfsburg, ending a two-year domination of the competition, lifting the trophy in 2021 and 2022. The loss has hit the team hard as their plans to continue domination of German football's oldest competition have been put on hold. "It marks the end of an incredible journey for us," said manager Marco Rose. "We've made a lot of good memories in the DFB Pokal and won it twice. But history's not going to repeat itself." While Leipzig's climb up the German football period has been astounding, their inability to topple the giants like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund is one that has hounded the club in recent years. A loss to Wolfsburg is the kind of setback that reflects just where the team is in spite of their domestic and international success.  Currently Leipzig are in fifth the Bundesliga, just five points off of Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the table. There ha

Excitement is Key as Gotham Prepare for Portland

photo by Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY sports by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC have a chance to go to their first NWSL final in team history but in their way are the reigning champions Portland Thorns. Sunday's game will prove to be one of the biggest challenges for the team, including their 22 year-old wing back Jenna Nighswonger who expressed her excitement ahead of the game. "I think we're all just really excited," said Nighswonger to the media. "I think we're all feeling pretty confident in each other, ourselves and what the coaching staff has laid out for us. Just really excited to play the game." And there is good reason to be excited. Gotham went on the road in their first playoff game of the season, defeating third place North Carolina Courage 2-0 on the road to make a statement. A jammed league table meant that Gotham, a team that could have finished as high as third, was the last place team in playoff qualification. However, it didn't stop them fro

RBNN Podcast: Joe Goldstein Joins to Discuss FCC Playoff Loss

  photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Anthony Merced is joined by Joe Goldstein of Seeing Red to discuss the team's 3-0 loss to FC Cincinnati in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs first round. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN the Pod: Joe Goldstein Joins to Discuss NYRB loss to FCC