Brian White walked off the field with his head down. Ten minutes earlier, he skied a penalty kick, wasting a chance to extend the New York Red Bulls II lead over FC Cincinnati. FCC went on to win the match 2-1.
The impact and implications surrounding the miss could have crushed a young forward. White took it in stride, shaking it off and continuing to showcase his talent for the USL side. A short memory is a valuable tool in soccer. White made sure to learn from that moment and continue to grow.
Brian White’s rapid rise is no surprise
“As a striker and a goal scorer, you kind of pride yourself on the number of goals you score for your team and try help them win. And when that’s not exactly happening, you have to kind of look at yourself, and see what you are doing wrong and what you’re doing right,”, said Brian White on ‘Raising Bulls’. “I was going in a little bit early doing training sessions and staying after. I was having meetings with John [Wolyniec] about what I kind do better, and pretty much keep going. Staying confident.”
The hallmarks of a class striker. Keep your head down and keep working. The Red Bulls value mentality as a main tenant of their current philosophy. The players that thrive in MLS all share that quality.
When the Red Bulls announced they signed Brian White to a MLS contract, there was no surprise. White talks the talk, and walks the walk.
After the disastrous outing against FCC, White put in strong performances through June and July at NYRBII. He scored three goals and notched three assists in that time. White tallied eight goals and five assists in 22 games played for NYRBII in his rookie season. Those are strong numbers for the young player, but they only tell a part of the story.
Brian White also played for the New York Red Bulls U-23 squad in the USL Player Development League. In PDL, White first hit his stride. In 2017, White struck for 17 goals in 14 appearances, earning the league MVP and Golden Boot in his second season with the club.
The Red Bull system suits White well. His combination of speed, attacking sense, passing, and finishing are highly valued in the high press. Creating opportunities quickly off of changes in possession are where the Red Bulls thrive. Bradley Wright-Phillips is the prototypical striker in the Red Bulls new age. Brian White may well be heir apparent.
Few strikers have shown enough sustained progress or success to warrant such lofty expectations. But White should give the Red Bulls hope that he may one day be able to take over the role. Transitioning a striker from the USL squad is one of the missing pieces in the Red Bulls youth movement. Both Brandon Allen and Stefano Bonomo washed out of the Red Bulls when other USL stars like Florian Valot, Aaron Long, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, and Derrick Etienne found roles in MLS.
Time will tell if Brian White can make the leap, and the Red Bulls are ready to find out.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography