Over the next month I will be putting out a series of previews for MLS (not The) this season. I know you are all wondering why should I care about MLS, however here are a couple facts to get you going.
- Since 2007 the league has gone from 13 to 24 teams (and counting)
- Last year MLS added a new team in LA owned by Will Ferrell, Magic Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra, and Mia Hamm!
- Soccer has the longest run time of the 4 major sports in 90 minutes, however because there’s no commercials the game only lasts 2 hours.
- Great players such as Josef Martinez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Carlos Vela, and many many more come to a tv near you every week!
- ESPN+ has made it very easy to find each game every week.
New York Red Bulls
Owner: Red Bull GmbH
Coach: Chris Armas
Previous Season Record: 22-7-5 1st in East (Supporters Shield Winners)
U.S. Open Cup 2018: Round of 16
Top Scorer: Bradley Wright Phillips 20 Goals
Stadium: Red Bull Arena
What more can be said about this team? Since 2010 they have finished first in the East 5 times and won the Supporters Shield 3 times. They also have not missed the playoffs since 2009, yet they have never gotten past the semi finals. What is the issue? why can they not get over the top? It is really hard to pin point anything other than the fact the ball just has not gone their way come playoff time, seeing as they once again won the Supporters Shield. New coach Chris Armas had great depth all over the field last year, and superstar Bradley Wright Phillips was making magic happen up top. It just all fell apart again late in the year.
The Red Bulls just always play solid but not flashy soccer, and always are just hanging around the top of the standings. Armas clearly went into this off season hoping for a change, however I do not know if they did enough.
Off Season Transactions
*A couple things to highlight here:
- Tyler Adams is a massive loss to the center of the midfield.
- Marc Rzatkowski was essentially traded back for Adams and could make an impact right away.
This team is mostly unchanged except for the fact that Tyler Adams is not there. That is a major loss as he was a key piece in the team. A couple questions linger.
- Will Bradley Wright Phillips and Luis Robles continue to perform at a high level?
- How will new signings fit in to the NYRB machine?
- Is there enough defensive depth in order to make a finals run?
I think if they want to do it the time has to be now, their best players are aging, and teams are getting better around them. I still think with all the talent and depth they will be somewhere in the top 4 in the East, but for some reason I do not believe they will do anything in the playoffs (what else is new). Still though Red Bulls fans the Washington Capitals finally did it last year when everyone had given up on them. Is it finally the year of the Red Bulls?