An MLS Goalkeeper of the Year nominee. A best XI selection, MLS All-Star, and MLS Defender of the Year. A USMNT regular at center back. Another MLS Best XI selection. An MLS All-Star and World Cup player. An MLS All-Star, U.S Men’s National Team Player of the Year candidate set for a multi-million dollar transfer to a top five team in the Bundesliga. And finally a league legend who was an MLS All-Star and a top three goal scorer.
New York Red Bulls squander best roster in club history
Simply put, the 2018 New York Red Bulls were the best team in the club’s 23 year history.
After the match when asked about the roster’s strength and the feeling of a missed opportunity Robles responded, “we put together a really great season and I know in the offseason or at least in the preseason our staff was just so excited about what this team could do because they felt that this was the best roster they’ve ever assembled.”
The perfect storm of a roster petered out as the Red Bulls collapsed one result away from MLS Cup. The 2018 Red Bulls had the best season in MLS history and it is plausible there will never be another one quite like it.
“…at least point to some sort of silverware I think is huge… and yet the big one eludes us. And it’s been 23 years, but we’ll go into the offseason, we’ll see what happens, you just never know how these things pan out. We’re going to lose some pieces, that’s just the way it is, but we’ll just get back to work hopefully next year in January.”
Earlier this week, Paul Tenorio broke the news on Tyler Adams’ move to Europe. “I feel like at the end of the season,” Adams told Tenorio. “It will be the right time to go to Europe”.
After Thursday night’s loss Adams hinted at it once more, “We’ll find out in the next couple of days hopefully.” It is a move Adams needs to make, frankly he’s just too talented of a young player to play another season in MLS.
With Adams gone, there are two other core pieces that could be on the move this January transfer window. Tim Parker’s contract is up at the end of the year and his future remains unclear. On Red Bulls podcast, Seeing Red, Tim Parker reiterated how he would love to be back in New York next year, but playing in Europe remains an aspiration for him.
On the other hand, Michael Murillo is another Red Bulls defender whose future remains in doubt. This summer, Eduardo Solano reported that Michael Murillo could be on his way out of the club during the summer window. While that move didn’t happen, his future is once again in limbo especially after an impressive showing for Panama at the World Cup.
The league’s best defense in 2018 could take a massive hit barring some excellent negotiating from the club’s FO. Yet, one thing they can’t barter over is time. While club legends, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles, had superb seasons they will turn 34 and 35 come springtime.
With time running against the Red Bulls, 2018 seemed like the perfect season for the Red Bulls to finally bring home MLS Cup. Even with all that said, 2019 still has the chance to be another impressive year. Things will become a lot clearer when end of season roster decisions are announced.
Photo by Steve Hamlin