Marc Rzatkowski said he was relieved after scoring twice with the New York Red Bulls against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
“There were a lot of ups and downs for me because of my injuries … but I’m really happy to be here in this club and I want to give my best and show what I can.”
Rzatkowski, on loan from sister club Red Bull Salzburg, had been dealing with a calf problem since April. The match against Sporting was the first in which he got significant minutes.
The attacking midfielder is not the first New York player to have previously played for another Red Bull owned club. There have been numerous players that have been exchanged between the various Red Bull clubs, and New York is no exception.
A Recent History of Intra-Red Bull Loans in New York
In 2013, Ugandan defender Ibrahim Sekagya made the move from Salzburg and enjoyed some success under Mike Petke. The centerback was part of the 2013 New York team that won the Supporters Shield. Sekagya still works with New York as an assistant coach with New York Red Bulls II in the USL.
Another notable loaned player was Omer Damari, who joined New York from Leipzig in August 2016. The Israeli striker made five league appearances, did not score in any of them, and got a straight red card in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He did, however, score against Alianza FC of El Salvador in the CONCACAF Champions League in a 1-1 draw. Damari is now back in his native Israel after signing with Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Finally, in 2017, another striker came on loan to New York. Norwegian forward Fredrick Gulbrandsen made a loan move from Salzburg in March 2017. He was waived by New York that June after making just twelve appearances without scoring once. Gulbrandsen is now back with Salzburg and was part of the team that made a surprising run to the 2018 Europa League semifinal stage.
The recent transfers to New York from Salzburg and Leipzig have been hit or miss. While Sekagya did have a reasonably successful time in MLS, Gulbrandsen’s and Damari’s stints were short lived and forgettable. Despite struggling with injuries, Rzatkowski seems to have made a breakthrough after his brace on Saturday night. New York fans can only hope that this is a sign of things to come from the German. Perhaps they can also wish that Rzatkowski would be able to stick around in New York beyond 2018.
Photo by Bill Twomey