Mid-way through the 2018 MLS season and the Red Bulls are about where we might have expected them based on how many high-impact moves the team made in the offseason.
Yes, the team was thrown a few curveballs recently with the departure of Jesse Marsch and the season-ending injury to striker Florian Valot – but that does not take away from the team’s terrific start to their 2018 MLS campaign.
With so many players contributing to the team’s success (3rd in the Eastern Conference as of July 11, 2018), we had to poll the writers of Red Bull News Network for their thoughts on this important question:
Which Red Bulls player has been the 2018 Mid-Season MVP for the team?
John Perdicaro: Bradley Wright-Phillips (10 Goals, Hottest start to date), Runner Up: Kaku (D I F F E R E N C E M A K E R)
Anthony M.: I’m going with Luis Robles. Without him there are quite a few games that would have led to dropped points. Even with Tim Parker the defense has had suspect moments.
Kyle Debelak: I’m going with [Aaron] Long. This has been his breakout year, and he should be getting a USA callup sometime in the future.
Roy Emanuel: I’ll say BWP. Continues to be productive and occasionally carries the attack on his own.
Bill Twomey: Robles. The guy is a beast and has saved us plenty of times. Especially in the Toronto away game a few weeks ago
Steve Toto: BWP. Leads the team in goals, but also changed his game in the offseason to distribute. Should be an All-Star over Vela or Ibra. [Author’s Note: He is.]
Eric Friedlander: BWP. If you take him out of the lineup this team is not a top 6 team in the east. Kaku long and Robles are close but Robles missed time long has made a few mistakes and kaku has just not been as good as Brad.
Joe G.: Robles. He’s having a terrific season so far and seems to even be improved since having missed time with his injury. In his first year as captain, you could not ask for a better role model for the team.
Joseph Steen: Kaku. Tough choice between him and BWP but everyone was on edge for the whole transfer saga and there was so much pressure on him coming in and he’s been as good as advertised.
Tzvi Machlin: Aaron Long AND Tim Parker. I can’t choose between the two – they complement each other so perfectly while rising to the level of MLS All-Star & USMNT call-up, that to put one ahead of the other would be too great an insult to the one I left off.
Final Vote: By a slim margin of 4-3, Bradley Wright-Phillips beats Luis Robles and is the first-ever RBNN Mid-Season MVP!
Congratulations Bradley – Feel free to make room on your mantle for yet another well-deserved accolade!
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography