Media Day Interviews 2019 Part 1

The following are excerpts from interviews with New York Red Bulls players from the team’s 2019 Media Day.

Alex Muyl

Feeling after the first match

I think it was a great result for us. I think  obviously in Champions League you can see some of the results from other MLS teams. It’s not easy to go to another country and do well. Sometimes the fields are not what you are used to, the refs can be a little bit iffy, and they’re really excited for the game and they are out for the game. So it’s really hard to come out of those games sometimes, even if you are the favorite. I think for us, it’s a big credit to us, that we knew what the game was going to look like and we got a couple of goals. I think we could have gotten a few more, but I think on Wednesday night we are going to try a few more at home where we are a little more comfortable and we know the surroundings. The field will play faster, less bumpy. There’s a lot of touches I don’t think you would see happen here.

Do these tough physical matches help prepare the team for the season?

I think it does. The way I like to think about it is like, this is really good practice for playoffs and games that are tight and matter a lot. Each goal matters. I think it’s great that we get the opportunity to get that start in this, where other teams aren’t having that challenge right now. We are able to really get practice and become comfortable in those situations. It’s a great way to go into the MLS season. Obviously regular season is a bit different. But, especially in playoffs and open cup, it’s a similar kind of feeling. You go to places where you may not be comfortable playing, but the more you do it, the more you get comfortable outside of your comfort zone.

How do you feel the team is progressing towards their ultimate goal of winning MLS Cup?

I think you saw last year, we took another step forward making it to the Eastern Conference final. Obviously we were a little disappointed, because we felt like we had a good shot to maybe play in MLS Cup. If we had it here, we would feel good about it. I think we continue to take steps. Young guys are getting more experience, more games under their belt, and becoming more comfortable at this level. It’s a beautiful thing. The path Red Bull set upon 4-5 years ago, when they changed their whole staff and changed their whole philosophy, it’s starting to pay dividends.

The 2016 USL alumni influence on the current team

I think it’s a huge piece of the puzzle for sure. I think you have guys who contributed major minutes in the 2016 team who played significant roles for us last season. So yea, 100%. I also think, it’s not going to happen so quickly, but a lot of those guys are getting a lot more comfortable at this level. So maybe the best is yet to come.

Overcoming increased wing depth to get time on the field

I think it’s kind of an unwritten rule that if you are scoring goals, creating goals, you are kind of safe. That’s always going to be a big piece of it. With so much competition, it’s going to be hard to take over that position. There are a lot of good players there, and guys who have done well in the past. The great thing is, we have so much love and respect for eachother, that we always want to see everyone do well. Ultimately, it’s a positive for the team. There is always someone who is next up who is ready to put in a good performance.

Andreas Ivan

Thoughts on his first full preseason

So I integrated very well. The team accepts me. We had one hot week in Florida. It was good. Great weather. After that, 10 more days in Arizona. Good games. A lot of victories. In the end, we start well with a 2-0 victory in the Dominican Republic. I can say it was very good. Can’t wait to begin this season.

Overcoming increased wing depth to get time on the field

Well I can say, the coach, we are his arsenal of weapons. He can chose a more dribbling guy, a fast guy, and everybody gives their best. We have a lot of players on the wings. The competition is high, but it’s great. It keeps the quality high. The coach takes the guys he needs. We are there to give everything in different ways.

Vincent Bezecourt

How does he feel?

I feel very good. It’s been a long journey off the field. I can say that I’m fairly back. Not to 100%, but close to it for sure.

Is there a sense of relief coming off the injury and playing again?

During that long process, I asked the question, am I going to be the same player? Obviously it takes time to get all the sensations back. I think this year, we started preseason early, and I’ve been training a lot with the team. Training with the first team and the second team, I think it’s been really good for me. Just playing those games it’s a really good feeling.

Strength of current USL squad

Somehow we managed to have great players in the USL. The main goal is not to win the USL Championship, it’s to develop players. To promote them to the first team. Since we won the USL, I think a couple of our guys signed with the first team. Last year, they had a great season and we got a couple guys close to signing. The club is doing a really great job with the USL and I’m sure they are going to have a great season again.

Derrick Etienne Jr

Heading into 2019

I’m feeling good. I’m really excited. Had a good year last year, so we’re going to build on that. A good run in CCL, going to build on that. Really excited, ready to get the year going.

Winger depth and standing out

I think if you look at all the players, we all bring something different. Being able to use the best of my abilities to make myself stand out, it’s something I want to do. Last year, I was able to do that, and that’s why I got a lot of games. I want to become a better all around player. That drives me to want to prove myself. Bringing in a player like Marcus, or having Alex, Andy, all of these guys, we all push each other. We all know our roles, and I think the best way to prove yourself is in training. Having good sessions day in and day out is going to be what is best for me.

The 2016 USL alumni influence on the current team

I think we showed that we know how to work the press. We did it with USL. To see those guys come up and now play with the first team and do the same thing is great. We added more pieces. Added a couple of guys that we feel that can help. I think we’re close. In the last three years since the USL Cup, we got to the Open Cup Final, Semi-Final in CCL, and Eastern Conference Final. I think it’s good that a lot of young guys are getting that experience and it is just a matter of time before we do it.

Taking on a mentor role

The best thing about this team is that when the young guys get here, because their are so many young guys all coming from the academy, we are all cool with each other. When I came here, Brad and Shaun Wright-Phillips looked after me. And I thought, if those guys at the top are willing to look after me, then it is my job to look after the young guys. I was in the same boat four years ago. Definitely look after the young guys, help them in anyway I can. I’m sure there are things they can help me with too. At the end of the day, it’s all learning and getting better everyday.

Goals for this season

Just getting better. I think I’ve been able to do that every year. I played, maybe 32 games last year. I’m going to continue doing that. I want to get more starts. I had five goals, but I could’ve had 15. That’s something I want to work on. I want to be more clinical in front of goal to ease up the pressure. We have a great defense, but you don’t want to be missing chances. Try to help out the defenders, give them a little ease. I know there were a couple of games they were mad at us. The games are close, 1-0, and the other team is putting pressure on. We’re getting chances and missing, so I definitely want to do better. At the national team, I want to do well at the Gold Cup, and do well at qualifiers. Hopefully we can make the World Cup.

What would getting Haiti to the World Cup mean to you?

It would mean so much. I haven’t seen them in the World Cup since I was born. I think ‘74 was the last time Haiti was in the World Cup. It would mean a lot to my family. My grandfather was very proud that I chose Haiti. Haitians are very proud people, and being able to be on that list of Hatians going to the World Cup would be everything. It would be everything.


About Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein is the managing editor of RBNN as well as the co-host of the Seeing Red and Raising Bulls podcasts.

View all posts by Joseph Goldstein →

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