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Showing posts from December, 2023

Gotham FC Sign USWNT Star Crystal Dunn

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC have announced the signing of US Women's National Team star Crystal Dunn on a multi-year contract that will take her through the end of 2026. Dunn, who was previously playing with the Portland Thorns, is one of the league's most decorated players and returns to her native New York/New Jersey to continue her career. "This place is one that I hold close to my heart," said Dunn. "I am looking forward to playing alongside top players that will bring the best out of me, as we all work together to push the club to achieve even more success this upcoming season and beyond." Dunn has a career that spans the United States as well as Europe. She was initially drafted by the Washington Spirit, where she made 54 appearances and scoring 17 goals. From there she moved to Europe with Chelsea FC in London for just one season before returning to the NWSL with North Carolina Courage. Most recently she was with Portland where she made 34 appearan

Eljif Elmas Joins Leipzig in January

by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig have bolstered their midfield with the signing of 24 year-old Eljif Elmas from Napoli. Macedonian agreed to a four year deal with the East German club, taking him through the 2028 season. Elmas made his debut professionally at the age of 16 in his home country before moving to the Turkish league with Fenerbahce in 2017. He made 45 appearances, netting five goals in a little under two years with the club. From there he moved to Napoli under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti in 2019. In his time there he scored 19 goals and notched 11 assists, lifting the Serie A championship along the way last season. "Moving to the Bundesliga and joining RB Leipzig is the stuff of dreams," said Elmas. "The club is known for the special football they play. They like gengenpressing, play with pace and have a strong attack. All of that suits me down to the ground." Elmas will join a midfield in need of offense after an early season injury to Dani Olmo. He&

Kristie Mewis Parts Ways with Gotham Before Signing with West Ham

photo from West Ham United by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC midfielder Kristie Mewis has parted ways with Gotham FC before signing with West Ham United in the English Women's Super League for the 2024 season. Mewis joined Gotham in 2022 and made 31 appearances, including helping the team win their first NWSL Championship in 2023. "Gotham has been the most rewarding community to be a part of for the last two years," said Mewis. "I'm full of gratitude knowing the future is bright and I was able to be a part of it. And most importantly, I'll never forget our first championship together." Mewis' lasting memory will be assisting Katie Stengel's 107th minute goal in the semi-final against Portland Thorns to take the club to their first final. She was also an important part of the US Women's National team, scoring her penalty kick goal in losing effort to Sweden in the round of 16 at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Mewis has also lifted the Concacaf W

MLS Not Granted Waver to Skip Open Cup

by Anthony J. Merced MLS has been notified by US Soccer that their attempts to replace first teams with MLS Next Pro clubs in the US Open Cup for the 2024 season has been denied. The plan would see reserve teams take the place of MLS first teams, allowing for less fixture congestion throughout the season according to the league. However, that appears to not be the case as the league and federation are continuing negotiations. "MLS is committed to finding a viable solution for the 2024 tournament and is working to find a pathway that addresses its goals and concerns," said a statement from the league issued on Wednesday. "Moving forward MLS will remain focused on increasing opportunities for up-and-coming players, a key component of the league's player development strategy that ultimately benefits the US national team program." MLS has masked their decision to pull back from the tournament as a way of benefiting MLS Next Pro reserve clubs, giving them more opport

Rumor: Sonnett and Lavelle in Talks with Gotham FC

photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photo/Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced Rumors are swirling of two big signings for Gotham FC in OL Reign midfielders Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett. The two who are considered some of the best, not just in the league but in the US women's national team, would continue the trend of top level talent coming to Gotham as part of the plan to make the club a hub for top women's talent. The report from Meg Linehan of the Athletic emphasizes the difficulty that OL Reign currently has with signing free agents due to the flux in team ownership. The transition from OL Groupe to the Predmore family has been slow, with the announcement of the former minority owners taking full control only being announced back in October. This instability has led many to believe that they may not be equipped to make the best offers to their current free agents. On top of this Gotham FC have shown little reservation in courting talent. The middle of the 2023 season saw them acquire

RBNN Podcast 12-18-2023 with Special Guest Kartik Krishnaiyer

by Anthony J. Merced RBNN podcast is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer of World Soccer Talk to discuss the recent news of MLS pulling out of the US Open Cup. They also discuss the signing of Emil Forsberg as well as other New York Red Bulls news.  RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 12-18-2023 with Special Guest Kartik Krishnaiyer

Tom Barlow Traded to Chicago

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls forward Tom Barlow has been traded to the Chicago Fire for $250 thousand in allocation money over the next two seasons. The embattled striker had been rumored to have a move away from the team after his option for 2024 was picked up by the club at the end of the season. Barlow made an appearance in every MLS regular season game in 2023, scoring three goals in that span. The 28 year-old has been with the club since 2019 and with New York Red Bulls II before that. Over that span he played in 123 first team games, scoring 14 goals and notching two assists. Injuries to Corey Burke and Dante Vanzeir saw head coach Troy Lesesne rely on Barlow for large chunks of the campaign, despite his inability to score goals. "Tom was a true professional and had a great attitude," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "We are wishing him and his family the best in this next step of his career." This news follows the signing

Emil Forsberg Joins New York Red Bulls on 3 Year Deal

photo from DFB picture alliance/Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have added Swedish international and RB Leipzig star Emil Forsberg to the club as a designated player until 2027. The three-year deal is the first of several rumored player moves under Head of Sport Jochen Schneider, who has promised major changes ahead of the 2024 season.  "This transfer showcases the Red Bull philosophy of high-intensity and attacking soccer and the power of our multi-club eco system which will benefit our club," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "Emil is an amazing talent with a skillset that will particularly help develop young players and we cannot wait to see him take the pitch in 2024." Forsberg has been a staple of the RB Leipzig line-up since before the club's ascension into the Bundesliga. Joining the club in 2015 while the team was still in the 2. Bundesliga, Forsberg has amassed over 200 appearances and scored 48 goals for the club in that span. A

Editorial: MLS opts out of US Open Cup

By Daniel Feuerstein Shocking news for New York Red Bulls fans coming out from MLS Commissioner Don Garber, as Major League Soccer has decided to opt out of the 2024 US Open Cup just so they can reassess their participation for 2025, so instead of the senior team competing for the Open Cup, the Red Bulls two team from MLS Next Pro will take their place just like the other MLS clubs will not have their senior squads battle and in their place will be their Next Pro squads.  Every single season outside of the two COVID years you as supporters of the New York Red Bulls and all the way back to the beginning of the MetroStars, we always watched this club battle against those clubs from MLS or in the lower leagues to see if they can become the National Champion of American Soccer. Battles against the Long Island Rough Riders, Charleston Battery, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Harrisburg City Islanders, Hartford Athletic, Staten Island Vipers, Wilmington Hammerheads, and all clubs within MLS to sho

Sandro Schwarz named Red Bulls Head Coach

by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have named Sandro Schwarz as the team's newest head coach. The former Bundesliga coach will bring his expertise from Mainz and Hertha Berlin to MLS and the New York Red Bulls in 2024. "Sandro is a great leader that fits our culture and his head coaching experience fits with what we are trying to accomplish," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "We are excited to get him here and begin work towards success in 2024." Schwarz worked his way up both the playing and coaching ranks where he became the Mainz Bundesliga coach in 2017. From there he moved on to Dynamo Moscow in 2019 where he led the club to their first top three finish in nearly two decades. He returned to the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin and stood with the team until departing in April of 2023. "I have a lot of motivation to accomplish many great things with this club," said Schwarz. "I am excited to get to work for the upcoming season." Schw

Gotham Trades Ellie Jean to Bay FC

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC has traded defender Ellie Jean to Bay FC in exchange for expansion protection. The move continues a trend of making sure the incoming clubs don't take other formidable players as goalkeeper Mandy Haught also moved on from the club to Utah Royals. "Ellie is a very adaptable and smart player who has contributed immensely to our success this past season," said General Manager and Head of Soccer Operations Yael Averbuch West. "We wish her the best of luck in this next chapter of her career and thank her for all of her contributions to the club, on and off the field." Jean joined the club in January of 2022, appearing in 15 games with 10 starts. Originally a wing back, she transitioned into a center back role shortly after joining the team. In particular Jean played in all six NWSL Challenge Cup games as well as being a started for four clean sheets Gotham had in 2023. "I've really enjoyed my time growing as a player and as a p

Gotham FC Trade Goalkeeper Mandy Haught to Utah Royals

photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC goalkeeper Mandy Haught has been traded to the Utah Royals in exchange for protection in the expansion draft as well as allocation money. The move announced on Tuesday afternoon comes just a month after Haught helped Gotham lift their first NWSL Championship trophy over OL Reign in San Diego. "I gave it my all for this team," said Haught. "It has been an honor and a privilege to play for Gotham." Haught made 10 starts in NWSL play for Gotham, filling in for the injured Abby Smith. Her goalkeeping helped the team not just make it into the playoffs but also go all the way to the final where she played an important role in the team's victory by taking a red card late in the championship game.  Mandy joined the club from Swedish side Pitea IF where she made 26 total appearances between 2021 and 2022. After joining Gotham as a back-up, she found herself in the starting position and will be po

Red Bulls Trade Dru Yearwood to Nashville SC

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls trade Dru Yearwood to Nashville SC for $75,000 in allocation money in both 2024 and 2025. Yearwood has spent four season with the Red Bulls, signing from Brentford in England as a young designated player in 2020.  "The positive energy he brought every day was amazing," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "Dru is a great human being and we are wishing him well in his next opportunity." Yearwood made a total of 86 appearances for the club, scoring three goals and notching three assists during that time. Last season he made 11 starts and 20 appearances. His max amount of starts was 18 in 2021 and 2022.  This move gives New York more salary room for future signings with the team being rumored as major players in the transfer market this January. Tom Barlow is also still rumored to be moving on in the coming days. 

US and Mexico Submit Joint Bid for 2027 Women's World Cup

by Anthony J. Merced The United States and Mexico have submitted a joint bid for the 2027, one year after the Men's World Cup is set to take place in the same nations and Canada. This comes after Brazil and another joint bid between European nations Belium, Germany and Netherlands was also submitted last month. "This is a pivotal time for women's soccer," said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone. "The US and Mexico are in a unique position to host a World Cup that will leverage the same venues, infrastructure and protocols as the men's World Cup just one year prior. "This will not only unlock the economic potential of women's soccer, it will send a message to young players around the world that there is no limit to what you can achieve." Women's soccer has seen significant growth in the United States despite the early exit from the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand over the summer. NWSL experience one of their largest attendances

NWSL Regular Season and New Challenge Cup Announced

photo by AP Photo/Gregory Bull by Anthony J. Merced NWSL Champions Gotham FC will begin their defense in the 2024 campaign with a new challenge as the revamped NWSL Challenge Cup will see them playing last season's regular season record holders San Diego Wave. The new one-game format will kick off an expanded regular season that will feature 26 games, a four-game increase from 2023. "The 2024 season will mark the start of an exciting new chapter for the NWSL and one that will set the tone for the future of our sport in the U.S. and globally," said NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman. "Underscored by the addition of our 13th and 14th franchises, an enhanced match calendar and critically groundbreaking media-rights agreement that will ensure our games a readily accessible to more fans than ever before, the 2024 campaign represents a new era for the NWSL as we continue our efforts to deliver the best product in professional soccer." Gotham will play San Diego on Frida

Coachella Invitational Matches Announced

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced The game schedule for New York Red Bulls at the Coachella Invitational pre-season event has been announced with games against Austin FC and LA Galaxy. The event takes place between February 7th and the 17th between teams across MLS including New York Red Bulls, NYCFC, LA Galaxy, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, Chicago Fire, LAFC, Minnesota United, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, St. Louis FC and the reigning USL Championship winners Phoenix Rising. New York Red Bulls games will take place on Wednesday, February 14th against Austin FC and concluding on Saturday the 17th against LAFC. It is a pre-season event where, in the past, games have been played with adjusted rules such as shorter halves and more substitutes.  The event dates back to 2022 where various MLS teams participated with a champion being awarded based on best record. In 2023 New York Red Bulls won by going undefeated in the competition, notching three wins. This is a continuation

Red Bull II Announce Year-End Roster Moves

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls II of MLS Next Pro have announced their year-end roster moves. The team had a successful first year in the new third division, making the playoffs for the first time in several years. The team has exercised options five players, including Ssefubu, Dylan Sullivan, Ibrahim Kasule, Juan Gutierrez and Omar Valencia. Tanner Rosborough and Mohammed Sofo will return to the club with no extensions. Both players have contracts that expire at the end of 2024. Six players will not be returning the club, Oladayo Thomas, Amos Shapiro-Thomas, Henry Wise, Ovante Mullings, Diego Kauan and Will Meyer. While these players will not be returning under their current contracts, players have been signed to new deals with the reserve team or given MLS contracts given their performances. Davi Alexander and Aidan Stokes will be joining New York Red Bulls MLS squad as homegrown players in the 2024 season. 

Former Metro Legend Selected to the Hall Of Fame

photo from Major League Soccer by Daniel Feuerstein It's a very special time in the life of a professional soccer player after an illustrious career for club and country, and none was more special than former US Men's National Team and Metro Legend goalkeeper Tim Howard was just announced on NBC Sports Premier League studio show by host Rebecca Lowe that he has been selected for induction to the Soccer Hall of Fame into the class of 2024. The North Brunswick, NJ native has spent over twenty years defending the net for multiple clubs in the USA and two in the Premier League in England. He was also a part of two World Cup teams in 2010 and 2014 for the National Team. He began his professional career with the defunct North Jersey Imperials in 1997 located at Farleigh Dickenson University's Teaneck/Hackensack Campus before he was allocated to the MetroStars as a MLS/USSF Project 40 player, brought up by his North Jersey head coach and goalkeeper coach at the Metro Tim Mulqueen

RBNN Podcast: Off-Season News with Joe Goldstein

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Anthony is joined by Seeing Red co-host Joe Goldstein to run through all of the rumors leading up to New York Red Bulls roster decisions. (recorded before official roster moves were announced) RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN 12-01-2023: Off-Season Rumors with Joe Goldstein

Rumor: Dru Yearwood to be Traded to Nashville SC

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced More trade rumors are circulating as Red Bulls midfielder Dru Yearwood is linked to a move to Nashville SC according to Tom Bogert of the Athletic . What Red Bull will receive for such a trade remains to be seen. However expectations are that the move will be finalized by the end of next week. Yearwood joined New York in 2020 from Brentford in England. Along the way he has made 86 appearances for the club, including 55 starts. In 2021 and 2022 he made 18 starts, scoring three goals and three assists, his total output for the club in Major League Soccer.  In 2023 Yearwood found his position in the club to vary greatly. At times he played in a defensive midfield role next to Frankie Amaya and other times higher up the field, almost as a second forward. After the departure of Cristian Casseres Jr. earlier in the year, it appeared as if Yearwood's minutes would increase. However Daniel Edelman stepped into the role, relegating Yearwood to more

Red Bulls Season Ending Roster Moves Announced

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have announced their roster moves for the end of the 2023 season with notable names such as Omir Fernandez, Hassan Ndam and Steven Sserwadda either being out of contract or the team declining their option. Forward Tom Barlow, defender Cameron Harper, midfielders Dru Yearwood and Wiki Carmona will remain with the team as their options have been renewed. Barlow has been the rumor of a trade to Chicago, so picking up his option would be the first step in such a move if it is the case. Yesterday Dylan Nealis was announced as having signed a new contract for 2024, keeping him with the club. New York has also exercised their option to retain Kyle Duncan as he is out of contract with his European club.  Forward Jorge Cabezas-Hurtado will return to Watford in England following the end of his loan spell. Remaining Red Bull Roster: Goalkeepers: Carlos Coronel, Ryan Meara, AJ Marcucci Defenders: John Tolkin, Kyle Duncan, Sean Nealis,