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Showing posts from February, 2024

Editorial: Emil Forsberg is the Difference Maker

By Daniel Feuerstein After the first ninety minutes of the season, the New York Red Bulls ended their match at Geodis Park against Nashville SC with a scoreless draw. While we saw multiple times in this match how many chances the Red Bulls took and were stopped by Joe Willis or the woodwork, you knew they should've taken the full three points. But what you saw in this match was something you all wanted for a very long time. A creative attacking midfielder who looked dangerous on the ball and can also be a threat shooting it. Emil Forsberg is the real deal.  What we all saw from him was amazing and I know all of you are going to be begging for more of the same each and every match. How he controls the run of play, what he is doing with the ball, finding his teammates to spring them into attacking runs, and his dead ball shot was also very dangerous in this game. The confidence that oozed out of him was something we hadn't seen in a very long time.  Not since we saw Sacha Kljesta

RBNN Podcast 02-26-2024: Garry Redman Joins to Discuss Week 1

by Anthony J. Merced Week 1 is in the books! New York Red Bulls with a scoreless draw against Nashville to start the season. Garry Redman joins the pod to breakdown an eventful first game of the 2024 MLS season. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 02-26-2024: RBNY Draws Nashville (Week 1 Recap)

RBNY Scoreless Affair to Start 2024

photo by Matt Kremkau by Garry Redman The long-awaited season has finally begun, following numerous player acquisitions and pre-season activities. The New York Red Bulls, who have been rebuilt, are arriving in the Music City to start their season positively. They and new head coach Sandro Schwarz intend to prove they are not the team the experts, pundits, and fans believe them to be. Swedish international and former RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg was unveiled as the centerpiece of an improved offensive package the team hopes will resolve the issues in front of the net that plagued them last season. They faced a Nashville SC side with one of the league's best defenses, surrendering only 32 goals last season. Fifteen minutes into the match, the Red Bulls were the first team to attempt to get on the board as Elias Manoel took a headed pass from Forsberg, but Nashville's goalkeeper Joe Willis was up to the task, parrying away Manoel's shot with minimal effort. In the 21st

RBNN Podcast 02-25-2024: Preview Week 1 RBNY vs. Nashville

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced Week 1 is here! New York Red Bulls travel to Nashville to open the 2024 season and we preview the game with Michael Battista. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 02-25-2024: Week 1 Preview RBNY vs. Nashville SC

Editorial: Green Cards Add Room but Roster Rules Still Restrict

photo by Matt Kremkau by Daniel Feuerstein As the season is about to start on Sunday at Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee, the New York Red Bulls had some news to share about certain international players, giving them more breathing room to make some moves while the MLS winter transfer window is still open. This will be very helpful for new Sporting Director Julian DeGuzman, to make some moves. Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel and midfielder Wiki Carmona, have finally obtained their U.S. Green Cards. That means they are now preeminent residents of the United States, and they will no longer occupy an international roster spot for the New York Red Bulls. This is a massive move by both players who are assisting the club to scout for players on the international market and add on to this roster and improve it. The club also made a trade with the Colorado Rapids by acquiring one of their international roster spots and sent back $175,000 in General Allocation Money for this season. Coronel who is

Red Bulls Free Up International Spots with Player Green Cards

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have freed up two international roster spots and gained a third in a trade with the Colorado Rapids. Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel and midfielder Wiki Carmona both obtained permanent U.S. resident status, meaning that the team no longer needs to use an international slot on the two players. On top of this, the team made a trade with the Rapids to gain another spot in exchange for $175,000 in General Allocation Money. The move to free up the international slots means that the team can go into the transfer market and bring in foreign players with greater ease. This off-season the team has brought in three players from outside the United States, including new captain Emil Forsberg.  Whether these slots are used right away remains to be seen. The MLS transfer window is still open and the team has signed winger Dennis Gjengaar from Norway. The Red Bulls are still active in the market and still have an open designated player spot due

RBNN Podcast 02-24-2024: US Women Dominate Argentina

by Anthony J. Merced RJ returns to the podcast to recap the US Women's National Team's 4-0 win over Argentina. We break down the exciting first 20 minutes and then what Argentina did to kill the momentum.  RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 02-24-2024: US Women Dominate Argentina

RBNN Podcast 02-23-2024: Referee Lockout Report and RBNY Season Preview

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced A deep dive into the current referee lockout with special guest and referee Guido Gonzales. We also have Dan Feuerstein and JJ Pavlick along to preview the RBNY 2024 season.  RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 02-23-2024: Referee Lockout Report and RBNY Season Preview

RBNN Podcast: Women's Gold Cup Recap with RJ Allen

photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced We are joined by women's soccer expert RJ Allen to break down the dominant 5-0 win for US Women as they kick off the inaugural Concacaf Gold Cup. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN Podcast 02-22-2024: Women's Gold Cup w. RJ Allen

MLS Making New Additions to Make the Game Better

photo by Matt Kremkau by Daniel Feuerstein On Thursday of last week, on a ZOOM call with Senior Vice President of Competition & Operations Ali Curtis, along with the Executive Vice President of Sporting Product & Competition at MLS Nelson Rodriguez, the media discussed the new initiatives to better the game for Major League Soccer. Topics such as the flow of the game and fans experience inside the stadium were broached. After a solid thirty minutes of discussing what they are and answering the media's questions, here is what the league has come up with and was approved by the IFAB: TIMED SUBSTITUTION RULE Reducing time wasting during match delays and the abundance of gamesmanship that has plagued the sport is a major point of interest for the league. It has been a major complaint from different leagues, FA's and confederation managers. We have seen delays such as when a player is substituted and taking too much time to remove themselves from the pitch. The objective is

RECAP: Red Bulls Fall 2-0 to Galaxy in Final CVI Game

photo from New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls drop a disheartening 2-0 result to the LA Galaxy in the final game of the Coachella Valley Invitational on Saturday, ahead of the start of the MLS season next week. The game which featured a mix of starters and bench players, saw a disturbing trend that haunted the team for most of 2023, spells of good build-up play with little in the way of conversion on created chances. Most of the first half centered on Red Bull controlling the ball and generating chances. In particular, Emil Forsberg found Elias Manoel on a few occasions but was not able to convert the opportunities. The Galaxy found their way into the game late in the first half and forced an error in the box when Frankie Amaya brought down a Galaxy player. Ricqui Puig converted the effort to send the Galaxy into the break with a 1-0 lead. The Galaxy found their footing early in the second half, pressing the Red Bulls into sloppy mistakes. Substitute defender An

Red Bulls Sign Norwegian Winger Dennis Gjengaar

by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls continue to sign attacking players with the addition of 19 year-old Norwegian winger Dennis Gjengaar. The player has signed a four year contract that will see him with the team through 2027. Gjengaar has spent the last two seasons in the Norwegian first division with Odds BK. In that time he's scored seven goals and assistd on two others in 39 appearances. The attacker has been with his home country's club for his entire career, making the move now to MLS in a team that is looking for depth following the loss of Luquinhas this past off-season. "Dennis is a talented midfielder with great on-the-ball qualities," said head coach Sandro Schwarz. "We are excited to have him at the club." Gjengaar becomes the third major signing for the club, behind Noah Eile and Emil Forsberg. The team will be relying heavily on talent developed within the team over the last few seasons, hoping that the return of injured players like Lewis

Injury Update: Marcucci and Vanzeir Shine; Morgan Still Recovering

photo by Matt Kremkau by Anthony J. Merced As preseason winds down with one game left to play, the players ready and available for Sandro Schwarz become more clear. Dante Vanzeir, who ended his 2023 with a back injury, has seemingly found the form the team hoped to get last year and goalkeeper AJ Marcucci looks ready to prove himself as an MLS goalkeeper with a solid performance on Wednesday. While there are positives from players coming back from injury, one player who still appears to be looking for fitness is Lewis Morgan. The 2022 top scorer for the Red Bulls, saw himself on the sidelines for most of 2023. Now, in preseason, he finds himself still working towards fitness according to head coach Sandro Schwarz. "We don't make risks for him," said Schwarz when asked if Lewis would feature in the team's last preseason game. "He's only in team training since two days. Tomorrow we have recovery training and on Friday one team session on the field. He will be t

RECAP: Forsberg Assists Again in 3-3 Draw with Austin

photo from New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls drew 3-3 against Austin FC in the second game of the Coachella Valley Invitational, with Emil Forsberg again showing his strength on the offense with another assist. A starting lineup full of starters bossed the first half but substitutes gave Austin a way back into the game in the second half. "I'm very satisfied with the development," said head coach Sandro Schwarz on the team's preseason efforts. "To be honest, we also have to improve some things but the behavior of the whole group, I said this before, is very professional. A good atmosphere, good energy, and this is important for me as a coach." Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a goal from Wiki Carmona. The team pressed Austin high up the field, forcing turnovers and impressing themselves on the opposition. A three-man backline of Sean Nealis, Andres Reyes and Noah Eile controlled the game defensively, giving Austin

Gotham Sign Maycee Bell to Mult-Year Contract

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC have signed 14th overall draft pick Maycee Bell to a multi-year NWSL contract according to the team. Bell, a University of North Carolina native, impressed the team as one of the top collegiate defenders in the draft. Her inclusion will add much-needed depth to a roster that will suffer from Olympic and Gold Cup subtractions throughout the season. "Maycee has integrated into our team and style of play very well this preseason," said head coach Juan Carlos Amoros. "She is a strong player and has shown great professionalism in her short time with the club." She is joining a team that is incredibly deep with talent in 2024 but one that will be tested with international call-ups throughout the campaign. To start, the team will be missing new defender Tierna Davidson for the Gold Cup and could see other losses due to the Olympics over the summer.  As reigning champions of the NWSL, Gotham is expected to take the next leap as a dominant club

Red Bulls unveil Metrostar-inspired 2024 Kit

photo from New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls have unveiled their 2024 Metrostars-inspired kit for the upcoming season. The shirt pulls heavily from the team's pre-Red Bull history, something that fans have asked for in recent years but received little in the way of response. Described as a kit that honors the those who came before and inspire the rising stars of tomorrow, the kit looks to bridge the gap between the deep history of the team that started in 1996 and the one that has imprinted itself in Harrison, New Jersey today. This along with the specialty designed yellow kit from last season, will represent what the team will wear in the 2024 season. "Our legacy is built upon the strength and unity of our community," said Red Bull chief marketing officer Elisa Padilla. "This kit represents the culture embedded into the fabric of our city streets and neighborhoods. It celebrates the beautiful game that brings us together and defines our iden

Leipzig Fall in Strong Performance Against Real Madrid

photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images by Anthony J. Merced A spirited effort couldn't topple the mighty Real Madrid as RB Leipzig fell 1-0 at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday evening in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Heading to Madrid, they are one goal behind and will need to climb a seemingly insurmountable mountain in order to continue in the competition. "We had chances," said head coach Marco Rose after the game." We started the game well and scored a goal that should have counted. That's tough at this level, but we still stuck with it and did our jobs." Leipzig controlled possession and goal-scoring opportunities but were unable to find the back of the net. A first half goal was wiped off the scoreboard due to an offside call that haunted the club for the remainder of the game. A 48th minute goal by Brahim Diaz was the difference, as well as a stellar performance by Madrid backup goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.  The lack of goalscoring is something th

RBNN Podcast 02-12-2024: CVI and More with Garry Redman

photo by New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced RBNN is in California to cover the Coachella Valley Invitational! We talk with RBNN contributor Garry Redman and break down the team's first game against St. Louis and the press conference from last week with new head coach Sandro Schwarz. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN 02-12-2024: Coachella Valley Begins with Guest Garry Redman

RECAP: Red Bulls Draw 2-2 in Coachella Opener

photo from New York Red Bulls by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls drew 2-2 with St. Louis City FC in their opening fixture of the Coachella Valley Invitational, a preseason competition looking to prepare the club for MLS competition in two weeks. Goals from Dante Vanzeir and Wiki Carmona salvaged the result as all signs are pointing positive heading into the season. "You see the mentality on the field, off the field," said head coach Sandro Schwarz about his team's performance. "The behavior to help each other, to be professional in the preparation before training, after training sessions." First half goal from Dante Vanzeir is uplifting considering his lackluster start with the team in 2023. Injuries and suspensions curtailed the excitement around the star signing but now he is accompanied by former Bundesliga stalwart Emil Forsberg. The two have connected on several goals this preseason, leading many to believe that the combination will make up for the tea

Leipzig Struggles Continue as Champions League Looks Unlikely

photo from RB Leipzig by Anthony J. Merced A draw over the weekend against Augsburg has left RB Leipzig wondering if their hopes for the Champions League has sailed for next season. Augsburg, currently 11th in the Bundesliga, pulled off a 2-2 draw against a team that was supposed to be competing for the top of the league in a year where Bayern Munich have faltered and opened the path for surging Bayer Leverkusen. "The bottom line is that it's not enough for us," said captain Willi Orban after the game. "Things are going to continue in quick succession. We have to recover quickly. We have a difficult home game in the Champions League with Real Madrid on Tuesday." That game against Real Madrid now holds the key to Leipzig's future in the competition. Currently Madrid are top of La Liga and appear to be gaining tractions as favorites yet again to make the final. Leipzig are on the opposite trajectory, with only two wins since the start of the year, the club now

Red Bulls Announce Fan Experience Improvements

by Garry Redman On top of the theme nights announced this season, something new has been added the next time the season ticket holders and supporters step inside The Cathedral... The state-of-the-art LED lighting system at Red Bull Arena will provide higher on-field light levels for enhanced visibility and safety and introduce new entertainment features that heighten the overall experience for spectators.   Built around Musco's Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology, the new system is designed to provide exceptional playability and uniformity while minimizing glare. Cleaner, whiter light will elevate the broadcast quality for fans watching around the world.  Color-changing fixtures and Show-Light® Pro entertainment technology will allow the Red Bulls to wash the stadium in different colors and synchronize light shows to music, heightening the fan experience during goal celebrations, player introductions, and other big moments. If you have no idea what this means, click here t

RBNN Podcast 2/9: Special Guests JJ Pavlik and Dan Feuerstein

photo from New York Red Bulls A condensed podcast week with two interviews. First JJ Pavlik joins to talk Metlife as the World Cup Final venue. We also discuss the controversial comments from USWNT captain Lindsey Horan. Dan Feuerstein joins the pod to talk Red Bulls new head coach Sandro Schwarz on his introductory press conference. RBNN: The Podcast · RBNN 02-09-2024: Special Guests JJ Pavlik and Dan Feuerstein

New York Red Bulls II MLS Nex Pro Schedule Release

photo from New York Red Bulls II by Anthony J. Merced New York Red Bulls II will look to improve on their successful initial campaign in MLS Next Pro following the announcement of the team's schedule for 2024. The highlights consist of trips to Chattanooga FC, the league's newest team in October and playoff rematches with Chicago Fire II and New England II. Last season Red Bulls II finished in fourth place, a rebound after several unsuccessful campaigns in USL Championship that saw them miss the playoffs each year following 2019. The team mostly filled with prospects and developing players found it difficult to compete against more veteran competition but were able to adjust and grow in MLS Next Pro, a league designated third division in US Soccer. The team won their first playoff game against Chicago Fire II but fell to New England at Foxboro, leaving them feeling as if there was still more to play for. Head coach Ibrahim Sekgaya will remain as the team's coach while also

Gotham FC Forward Svava not Rejoining to Team

by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC forward Svava  Guðmundsdóttir has left Benfica following the end of her loan but will not rejoin the team due to an excused absence.  Guðmundsdóttir made no appearances for Benfica last year and is not expected to play in 2024 for the club either. Guðmundsdóttir joined Gotham in 2023 and made just seven appearances before going on loan to Benfica. A majority of her experience comes from her time with Norwegian club SK Brann where she helped the club win a title and qualify for the UEFA Champions League. She scored six goals in 22 games and has also appeared in 41 games for the Icelandic National Team where she scored twice. Currently Gotham FC are stacked at the forward position with Esther Gonzalez expected to be the starter for most of the campaign. Where  Guðmundsdóttir ends up remains to be seen, however it appears her time with Gotham may be coming to an end. 

Editorial: Sandro Schwarz is ready for his NY Red Bulls adventure

photo from New York Red Bulls by Daniel Feuerstein On a late Friday afternoon the New York Soccer media came to Red Bull Arena to finally meet with new Head Coach Sandro Schwarz and the Head of Sport Jochen Schneider. Watching his introduction after the first half of his pre-season calendar and his intro video a few weeks ago by the club, has shown the kind of  confidence rarely seen from a manager coming over from Europe to MLS.  Hans Backe showed that same type of confidence when Red Bull Arena opened back in 2010, but Schwarz looked comfortable and confident sitting at the podium while discussing himself and what he plans to do for the season in this new era. What hasn't been seen before are the few moments when both Schwarz and Schneider chuckled and laughed in between questions.  Was it nerves or was he truly excited to be here and happy to get things going again when they travel to California for the Coachella Valley Invitational. But what was really impressive about Schwarz

Gotham Send Seven Players to Gold Cup

photo from Gotham FC by Anthony J. Merced Gotham FC will send seven players to the US Women's National Team for the Concacaf Gold Cup in February and March. New signings Tierna Davidson, Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn and Emily Sonnett will all be wearing the crest for the competition. NWSL Rookie of the Year Jenna Nighswonger, Lynne Williams and Midge Purce will round out the crew. Such a star-studded USWNT will be expected to win the competition, the first major trophy since the World Cup last summer. While away, Gotham will start their season short-staffed in the NWSL Challenge Cup as well as early rounds of the regular season. The team worked tirelessly to grow a deep roster to accommodate for the departures and they will be put to an early test. For Nighswonger, it will be her first major competition for the national team after being selected for the December camp as her first call-up. To this point she's only made two appearances on the national stage and will look to cement

FIFA World Cup Final to Be Held at Metlife Stadium

by Anthony J. Merced The 2026 FIFA World Cup Final is coming to East Rutherford New Jersey on July 19th, 2026 as announced on Sunday afternoon. Rumors swirled over the past few weeks that Dallas, Los Angeles and New Jersey were the finalists with AT&T Stadium in Fort Worth being seen as the favorite.  This means that the famed home of the New York Giants and Jets of the NFL will host the 2024 Copa America semi-final and now the FIFA World Cup final two years later. US Men's National team also announced the location of their group stage games for the competition. Los Angeles and Seattle will host the games with SoFi Stadium being the first location for the team's opening round match.  Mexico City's vaunted Estadio Azteca will open the competition for the entire tournament on June 11th, 2026. As a reminder Mexico, United States and Canada will join an expanded 48 team tournament that will span three countries.

Red Bulls Name Sporting Director in Julian de Guzman

by Anthony J. Merced The search for a Sporting Director has ended as New York Red Bulls announce the signing of Julian de Guzman on Friday afternoon. The team has been looking to fill the position since the departure of Denis Hamlett at the end of the 2023 season. "The New York Red Bulls have an exemplary model of soccer in North America," said de Guzman. "I am very motivated to achieve great things with this team. I can't wait to be a part of the family." De Guzman joins the Red Bulls after a stint with Simcoe Rovers County FC where he was the founder and managing partner of the Ontario based club. Previous to that he was the General Manager of Ottawa Fury, a team that found success both in the NASL and USL Championship before joining the Canadian Premier League in 2019.  His experience goes beyond the front office as he was a Designated Player for Toronto FC in 2009, making him the first Canadian to have that honor for the MLS franchise. His experience also to

Leipzig Loan Angelino and Novoa for Remainder of Season

by Anthony J. Merced RB Leipzig have made moves this transfer window, sending out as opposed to bringing in by sending wingback Angelino to Roma for the remainder of the season and Hugo Novoa to Villareal with an option to buy. Angelino has been a journeyman even before joining Leipzig in 2020. The 27 year-old Spanish footballer started his career with Manchester City but was constantly on loan with NYCFC, Girona and Mallorca before moving to PSV Einhoven in 2018. He rejoined Manchester City a year later but was again sent on loan, this time to RB Leipzig. With Leipzig, Angelino made 100 appearances and appeared to be a constant in the line-up with 12 total goals. However, the revolving door of managers saw the player fall out of favor and once again be sent on loan. Now, he sees himself joining a Serie A side that is looking to rebound following the departure of Jose Mourinho. Novoa has had limited appearances both with Leipzig as well as his previously loaned teams. In 23 appearances