The opening weekend of Major League Soccer saw the return of the New York Red Bulls to the pitch. As the team battled to a 1-1 draw against Columbus, the club relied on roster depth. A brief turnaround between Champions League round meant that usual starters got some rest.
While defender Kyle Duncan claimed his spot in the international competition, two international players had yet to retake their places. The match at MAPFRE brought French midfielders Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt back into the fold. Both players suffered season-ending injuries in 2018.
Back to Business
Just six minutes into the game in Columbus, Florian Valot crossed the ball to Andreas Ivan. This marks Valot’s sixth assist for the first team. A student of the Red Bull system, Valot began his journey in 2015 with the Red Bulls’ U23 team in the PDL. He was brought to the first team after tallying ten goals and seven assists for USL side Red Bulls II.
The Monaco native was well on his way to competing for the title of assist king for RBNY when an ACL tear in his left knee required surgery in July of 2018. The road back has been long, but Valot is confident that he can make an impact for the team going forward.
Holding His Ground
Vincent Bezecourt, who made the jump from RBII to the first team in 2017, was a vital part of roster depth in the midfield. The French international debuted against Portland that year, and posted an assist against D.C. United. His right MCL took him out of the lineup in August of 2018, having made nine appearances for RBNY up to that point. With the absence of Tyler Adams, the team needs a strong holding midfielder. Bezecourt fits the bill, as he showed going the full ninety minutes in Columbus with three total shots and one on goal.
Whether they factor into the next round of CCL competition or not, Valot and Bezecourt have made their case going forward. There was little doubt aside from their health. Both players have been brought up in the Red Bull system of play. They have shown their commitment to the team’s philosophy and style. This should mean a successful season for both “frenchies” on the roster. Nous saluons le retour.