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Showing posts from January, 2024

Red Bulls Leagues Cup Group Announced

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls know their opponents for the 2024 Leagues Cup which will begin play on July 26th and end on August 25th. Each group will have three participating teams between Major League Soccer and Liga MX with the Red Bulls pulling a powerhouse club in Pachuca in Group East 6. MLS competition will also be present with Toronto FC being the third team in the group. The Red Bulls advanced in the 2023 Leagues cup into the round of 16 where they lost to the Philadelphia Union on penalty kicks. They topped their group with five points, and defeated rivals NYCFC in the round of the 32. Their defense held stout against the Union who took them to a 1-1 draw, requiring a penalty shootout to decide the contest. This year's Leagues Cup will show just how deep MLS clubs are as international players will be called upon for both the Copa America and the European Championship. More than likely Emil Forsberg, the team's new star player, should be

EDITORIAL - As the Curtain Rises, Will Promises made finally be Kept?

photo by Matt Kremkau by Garry Redman As I began my eighth season as a soccer correspondent with the Red Bull News Network, I promised my editor and readers that I would be more of a hawk and less of a dove. I'm giving the team more of a critical eye this season and the seasons to come. I made that promise for many reasons, but chief among them were the promises made by this franchise, which were kept from its fanbase. 28 seasons of promises. 28 seasons of them left unfulfilled.  At first glance, it looked like the New York Red Bulls were finally making the moves that would put them firmly in the category of an elite side worthy of being called a "contender." But before you go out and celebrate, please be aware that the supporters have heard this before: In 2019... In 2020... And in 2023... So you can see why the fans responded to those announcements with a collected and dismissive shrug. The response from the fanbase was more of a "Yeah? Really? Show us.". If y

Solid start for the Red Bulls in Pre-Season

photo by Matt Kremkau by Daniel Feuerstein It's been two pre-season matches under the belt of the 2024 New York Red Bulls, but now things look pretty good. It feels like Sandro Schwarz's tactics are fitting in very early and with the addition of Emil Forsberg, and a fully fit Lewis Morgan back full-time from his season-ending injury. While we are seeing different lineups during these first two matches, it's nice to see them converting goals in abundance. So taking a look at these two games they have earned some solid victories.  While it's nice to see them pour in six goals against their opponents, playing a collegiate side like Florida Gulf Coast University was a decent scrimmage, but personally, I felt they should've handled them well. But the pre-season victory over the New England Revolution was a solid performance. While they have moved on from Bruce Arena and began the Caleb Porter era, they are still trying to fix their issues from within. But what I would li

Second Time a Charm as Red Bulls Win Friendly Against New England

photo by Will Vragovic/New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls won their second preseason game against MLS opponents New England Revolution, 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon. The closed door session saw goals from Emil Forsberg, Elias Manuel and Mohammed Sofo to easily take the contest. It is the team's second win and second clean sheet as they prepare for the regular season. "I'm very satisfied with our performance," said head coach Sandro Schwarz. "We played very well, in our structure and defensive behaviors. We were a team. As a team, we were very good today, in our communication, in our principles. We are satisfied on the day." Forsberg's first goal with the club comes from the penalty spot in the first half. youngster Julian Hall was also effective, providing an assist on the Manoel goal.  The team will be back in action on Saturday against the Chicago Fire. Their work down in Florida will continue until the team travels to California

Red Bulls Score Six in Preseason Friendly

photo by Will Vragovic by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls kick off the 2024 preseason with an non-televised 6-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast University on Saturday afternoon. Two first-half goals from Dante Vanzeir has the team's star striker off to a good start, especially given one of those goals were assisted by new designated player Emil Forsberg. "We saw the principles we train in our sessions," said new head coach Sandro Schwarz. "That is very important to us. We have to improve and continue how we want to play." Schwarz comes with tons to prove in Major League Soccer with many unaware of his history in German and Russian football. A strong performance in preseason could help soothe any concerns heading into the Coachella Valley Invitational event and the regular season in late February.  In total four different Red Bulls scored in the game. Aside from Vanzeir, goals from Julian Hall, Elias Manoel and Mohammed Sofo made sure that it was an easy win.  T

Mitchell Returns to Red Bulls on an MLS Contract

photo from New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced Former New York Red Bulls II forward Roald Mitchell returns to the club, after finishing his time at Wake Forest, and is being rewarded with an MLS contract through 2026. The 21 year-old will also have an opportunity to stay with the team in 2027 and 2028 as his contract has two options that can be exercised. Mitchell, a New Jersey native, last played professionally in 2021 where he made 10 appearances and scored two goals for the Red Bulls II when they were in the second division USL Championship. His career has revolved around Red Bull, coming through their youth academy before being promoted through the ranks and making his first professional appearance on April 30th of 2021. He scored is first goal just one month later against the Charleston Battery. With Wake Forest he appeared in over 50 matches, scoring 19 goals and notching nine assists. He also has the distinction of being one of only six players in his college club's hist

Noah Eile Joins Red Bulls from Malmo

by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have signed 21 year-old Swedish defender Noah Eile from Malmo for an undisclosed fee according to the team. Eile will be on a four year deal that will see him play with the club through 2027. "Noah is a talented defender with a great skillset," said head coach Sandro Schwarz. "We are excited to see him on the pitch at Red Bull Arena this season." Eile may have moved from Malmo but has been on loan for most of his time with the club, making only three appearances in 2021. He has been on loan for the past two campaigns with Mjallby AIF where he made over 50 appearances. The move comes as the team looks to deepen its center back pool following the departure of Hasan Ndam and Matthew Nocita at the end of the 2023 season. More than likely Eile will help lessen the load from captain Sean Nealis and his center back partner Andres Reyes. With congestion from the Leagues Cup and international tournaments in 2024, Eile should see signif

Luquinhas Departs Red Bulls for Brazil

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls attacking player Luquinhas has ended his time in Major League Soccer and will move to Brazilian first division club Fortaleza Esporte Clube according to the team. The move had been heavily rumored for weeks and now has been confirmed, opening up another designated player spot for the club. "Luquinhas was a great representative of our club," said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. "We wish him and his family all the best in this next step." Luquinhas joined the Red Bulls in 2022, playing in a majority of their games over that span. In total he netted eight goals and seven assists over two seasons, helping the team reach the playoffs in both campaigns. The highly touted winger made waves in Legia Warszawa before joining the club, leading many to believe that he was ready to take the next step in helping the club achieve their ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup. His departure does leave a hole in the club which h

Emil Forsberg Meets the MLS National Media

photo from New York Red Bulls by Daniel Feuerstein The Red Bulls big Designated Player singing came to Major League Soccer's Media Day at the Miami Beach Convention Center and spoke to the National Media to discuss what he would do for himself and for the Red Bulls. For the entire day several players and head coaches of almost each and every club came to talk to the media as the beginning of the 2024 calendar season of Major League Soccer is officially underway.  Swedish International Midfielder Emil Forsberg entered the room and went straight to the podium to discuss with the media what his plans were once he sat down After these players spoke, starting with Darlington Nagbe of Columbus, Dean Smith as the new head coach of Charlotte FC, Ryan Gauld of Vancouver, Djordje Mihailovic now transferred to the Colorado Rapids, Head Coach of the MLS Cup Champions Columbus Crew Wilfred Nancy, then members of Apple TV, MLS & Box to Box Films. "I always want to win. I'm a creativ

RBNN Daily: Favian Renkel Joins to Talk MLS Off-Season

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Favian Renkel joins the team to talk all things MLS off-season including roster moves and coaching changes.  RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Daily: Favian Renkel Joins to Discuss Moves Around MLS

Troy Lesesne Joins Rival DC United as Head Coach

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Former New York Red Bulls head coach Troy Lesesne has turned from hero to villain by joining rival club DC United as the team's newest head coach. Lesesne took over as interim Red Bulls head coach after the firing of Gerhard Struber early in the 2023 campaign. "I know how passionate our supporters are and I look forward to connecting with them and delivering the results that they deserve," said Lesesne. Lesesne's work with the Red Bulls was commendable after helping them continue their playoff run despite being outside of the bubble for a majority of the season. Despite pushing first-place FC Cincinnati in two games, he was let go quickly after the season by Red Bull management, bent on increasing the winning culture of the club. The general feeling from the club was that the Red Bulls had under achieved in 2023 and changes to both the coach and sporting director position were a necessity. Before the start of the new year, Re

RBNNY Daily: RIP Beckenbauer with Micheal Lewis and Jack Bell

by Anthony J. Merced We take a moment to look back at a legend, Franz Beckenbauer, who passed away this week. We talk with fellow legendary writers Jack Bell and Michael Lewis about his career in the United States. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Daily: Talking Franz Beckenbauer with Michael Lewis and Jack Bell

RBNN Daily Podcast: Talking Rumors with Michael Bautista

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Talking rumors with Michael Bautista! Will Luquinhas stay? Where did ex-Red Bulls end up and what have we heard ahead of the GM Meetings this week. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Daily: New York Rumors with Michael Bautista

Leipzig: Moriba Leaves on Loan to Getafe

by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig midfielder Ilaix Moriba will join Getafe in La Liga on loan for the remainder of the 2023-24 season. This is a continuation of his loan spell as the player was with Valencia for most of the previous two seasons, barely seeing the field with Leipzig. Despite being highly sought after, with a fee of 16 million Euros, the Guinean central midfielder has found it hard to break into the Bundesliga roster. He's only made two total appearances for Leipzig, a shock after he had pushed his way into the line-up for Barcelona as a teenager. Moriba made 18 first team appearances with Barcelona, 14 of which in La Liga, scoring a goal over that time. His return to La Liga with Valencia had him playing 38 games over two seasons as he continues to grow in the domestic league of his professional origin. "He's conducted himself impeccably here and put in good shifts in training," said Sporting Director Rouven Schroder. "Now it's just important fo

Leipzig: Werner Nearing EPL Move to Spurs

photo from Sky Sports by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner is nearing a loan move back to the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur according to Sky Sports News . The 27 year-old German international is hoping to change the narrative of his English career by returning to a different London team. Werner made his name with Leipzig between the years of 2016 and 2020 where he helped establish the East German club as one of the top sides in the Bundesliga. Over the course of 127 games he scored 78 goals and led the team to European competition in each season he was with the club. From 2020 to 2022, Werner joined Chelsea where poor performance and injuries curtailed his ascension as the next big German star. Over 56 games he only scored 10 goals and found himself on the outs with numerous managers over that time. While Werner did raise the UEFA Champions League trophy in 2021, he only made four appearances in the competition that year. Chelsea's success with player

RBNN Podcast: All Things Gotham with JJ Pavlick and Sara Ach

by Anthony J. Merced Lavelle, Sonnett, Dunn and more Gotham talk with JJ Pavlick and Sara Ach. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Pod 01-05-2023: Gotham talk with JJ Pavlik and Sara Ach

Salzburg: Piatkowski Remains on Loan, This Time in Spain

photo from Red Bull Salzburg by Anthony J. Merced Kamil Piatkowski will remain on loan and away from Red Bull Salzburg, this time with La Liga relegation contenders Granada. The Polish defender has been on loan in Belgium with Genk for the last six months, now moving and upgrading to Spain's top division. Piatkowski, 23 years-old, joined Salzburg in the 2021/22 season and has made 30 total appearances for the club. His first season was where he saw the most action with 16 total appearances across all competitions. Despite early success, he found himself in a losing effort for a starting spot, with current head coach Gerhard Struber seeing it best to send him away from the club. Granada picks up a dependable player who made 17 appearances for Genk since joining the club. Considering the club's likelihood of relegation, Piatkowski will more than likely get opportunities to show his worth and perhaps keep the Spanish club afloat in La Liga. Currently Salzburg is on their winter br

Tolkin Selected for USMNT January Camp

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls defender John Tolkin will return to the US Men's National team as part of the January camp for 2024. Tolkin has made three previous appearances for the national team and is part of a very MLS heavy selection that includes former New York Red Bull player Brian White as well. Tolkin has been a standout player in previous years for New York, showing his poise and leadership in 2023, despite only just turning 21. While there have been links to him leaving the club, he still remains a Red Bull player and could be viewed as one of the team's more important leaders on the pitch. Most recently, the New Jersey-native scored the late penalty kick that put the Red Bulls into the playoffs, extending their streak of qualifying for the MLS Cup playoffs. The US has only one friendly game against Slovenia, scheduled for January 20th at Toyota Field in Dallas. 

Gotham FC Makes Major Signing of Lavelle and Sonnett

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC continues their signing spree by adding two of the best players in the world, Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett. Both players will leave OL Reign and join Gotham on multi-year deals that take them through 2026. "Rose is an amazing talent," said head coach Juan Carlos Amoros. "She is a very exciting player to watch because of her creative and technical abilities. Rose brings so much to every team she is on, and I am very excited to work with her this season." Lavelle has spent the last three season with OL Reign, playing in 32 games and scoring six goals. She was undoubtedly one of the best players on the field during the 2023 NWSL Championship game, missing out on MVP due to her team's inability to win the game. She has also patrolled the midfield for the US Women's National team since 2017, winning the 2019 World Cup and garnering a Bronze Medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Sonnett, Lavelle's midfield partner last season, is