Note: Red Bull GmbH assumed control of the MetroStars on March 9, 2006. This walk down memory lane covers January camps only during the Red Bull era: 2007 to present.
The New York Red Bulls have had its share of national team players every season. Each season the US Men’s National team holds a training camp in January, since historically many of the players called in play for MLS teams.
Holding a session in January made sense. There aren’t any major domestic competitions occurring. MLS players are in their offseason so they are available. This gives the US coach the ability to try out players from MLS that have not been traditionally involved in national team play. Enter… Camp Cupcake. (You can click here if you want an entomology).
The Red Bulls have sent 15 players to the last 13 January Camps.
Let’s take a look at how they did:
2019: Aaron Long
To many fans’ bewilderment, Long was the lone Red Bull called to this year’s January camp. After achieving an MLS all time-record 71 points in the regular season, winning their third Supporters’ Shield and giving up a league-low 33 goals, success of a team breeds notoriety of players. Gregg Berhalter had the ability to choose Luis Robles, Ryan Meara, Tim Parker, Sean Davis and/or Alex Muyl, but only Long was sent to the West coast for camp. It will remain to be seen how the MLS Defender of the Year and the other 26 MLS players fare against Panama and Costa Rica.
2018: Tyler Adams (& Tim Parker)
Adams needs no introduction to the fan base as he made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Red Bulls in 2017. His only two goals of the season came in a 3-3 draw with D.C. United, but his prowess and tenacity as a #6 has recently earned him a transfer to RB Leipzig.
Dave Sarachan called Adams, future teammate Tim Parker, and 27 other MLS players in. The only non-MLS call-in was Rubio Rubin, out of contract at the time.
Adams started and played all 90 minutes during the only game of the window in a 0-0 draw with Bosnia & Herzgovina in Carson, California. Parker did not see competitive minutes and transferred to RBNY a month later from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
2017: Luis Robles, Sacha Kljestan & Dax McCarty
After winning the MLS Eastern Conference with 57 points (and fizzling out against Montreal in the playoffs), 2017 holds the record for most Red Bulls in a January Camp (3). Bruce Arena called in 32 MLS players into California. Included in there were Luis Robles, Sacha Kljestan and Dax McCarty.
The US’ first match came against Serbia in San Diego. Kljestan got the start and played 77 minutes in the 0-0 draw. Heavily involved in the attack, he nearly scored the game winner in the 58th minute as his header lofted wide right off a Sebastian Lletget cross. He received a yellow card two minutes earlier for a late challenge.
Robles and McCarty received their starts in the next match in the 1-0 victory against Jamaica in Chattanooga.
McCarty was influential in most of the US’ opportunities. He missed a header over the bar from Benny Feilhaber’s corner kick early in the match then set up a Lletget curler that just missed from a clever Feilhaber corner in the 38th minute. His breakthrough came in the 59th minute when he fed Feilhaber on a line splitting pass. Jordan Morris’ give and go with Feilhaber provided an opening to put the US ahead and not look back.
Robles subbed off at halftime, making way for David Bingham. This was likely Robles’ last cap in a national team uniform, ending his career with three. McCarty followed in the 63rd minute for Darlington Nagbe.
2016: Luis Robles & Matt Miazga
After winning the team’s second Supporters’ Shield title, Robles and Matt Miazga received a call to Jurgen Klinsmann’s last January camp. The only non-MLS player included was Jerome Kiesewetter from VfB Stuttgart.
Robles won MLS Goalkeeper of the year and finished with a then-career-high 18 wins (he had 21 in 2018). Miazga signed with Chelsea before the end of the camp and did not appear in either of the matches.
Robles and Bill Hamid were the only two goalkeepers called into camp. Each played in one match during the window. Robles started the first match against Iceland in Carson. The US won the match 3-2, but it was a bit dicey for Robles. Kristinn Steindórsson scored in the 13th minute off a Michael Orozco deflection. Then Aron Sigurðarson curled a right footed shot around Robles from about 16 yards out.
However, Altidore and Orozco made the score 2-2 by the 59th minute. Robles recorded his only save in the 69th minute when a wide open Birkir Már Saevarsson drilled a 12-yard shot right into his hands. The US put the game away on a 90th minute header by Steve Birnbaum. Hamid played all 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory over Canada.
2014: Dax McCarty & Eric Alexander
After the team’s first Supporter’s Shield title in 2013, much of the success came down to the central defensive midfielders Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander. The midfield duo’s strong season was rewarded with a January Camp call in from Klinsmann. The only non-MLS player of the 26 called in was Mix Diskerud, when he still played for Rosenberg in Norway.
The only match the team played during the window was against South Korea. They won 2-0 behind two Chris Wondolowski goals. Alexander was an 82nd minute substitute when he came in for Graham Zusi, earning his second and likely last cap of his career. McCarty did not feature in the match.
2013: Connor Lade
During Connor Lade’s rookie season in 2012, he had arguably his best season with the Red Bulls. Three assists during 26 appearances. The fast start to his Red Bulls career was rewarded with a January camp call up by Klinsmann along with 24 others.
The US tied Canada 0-0 in Houston. Lade did not dress for the match and he has not featured for the national team since.
2011: Juan Agudelo & Tim Ream
After each made their professional debuts at Red Bull in 2010, Agudelo (seven appearances) and Ream (33 appearances and one goal) received call-ups to Bob Bradley’s last January Camp for 2011. Agudelo earned his first national team call-up in the previous match against South Africa and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory.
In the only match of camp, the US drew Chile 1-1. The US goal scored in the 74th minute after Agudelo drew a foul in the box after a successful give and go. Teal Bunbury scored the ensuing penalty kick. Ream started and played all 90 minutes. Agudelo came on for Chris Wondolowski after 59 minutes and played the rest of the match.
2008: Jozy Altidore
Before Altidore transferred to Villareal in June, he received a January Camp invite as a member of the Red Bulls for matches against Sweden and Mexico. Altidore started the match against Sweden, but subbed off at halftime. The US won the match 2-0 with goals from Eddie Robinson and Landon Donovan.
The US faced Mexico in their second match. Oguchi Onyewu opened the scoring in the 29th minute, followed by an Mexico equalizer in the 34th. Altidore found the go ahead goal in the 40th minute off a header from a Drew Moor cross, but Mexico once again brought the match even in the 47th minute and the game ended 2-2.
2007: Todd Dunivant
Bob Bradley did not orignally call Todd Dunivant into camp, but after Taylor Twellman left camp with an injury, Dunivant stepped up as a replacement to bring the team up to 31 players. He did not feature in the victories against Denmark (3-1) and Mexico (2-0).