Fans have been watching their Supporters Shield-winning New York Red Bulls with much chagrin as of late. Their league-record, 71 points, edged out Atlanta United FC on the last day of the MLS regular season. Captain Luis Robles had to lift a plastic Captain America shield, as the actual trophy was in Toronto on Decision Day 2018.
The cheers have faded, the smiles waned. What was a positive start to the 2019 season has devolved into grumbles and grimaces. Now winless in five matches, at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, fans speak of curses and aggravation. Oh RBNY, where did you go?
You went to Germany, with Tyler Adams. The young American lit up the Bundesliga upon arrival, but now an adductor injury keeps him home on gamedays. Credit to RB Leipzig for giving Adams the time and space he needs for full recovery. Fans will be happy to see him back in the States for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
You went to Austria, with Jesse Marsch. Now appointed to the helm of Red Bull Salzburg, Marsch will continue to play that “energy drink soccer,” as he once called it. He will be a UEFA Champions League manager for the 2019-20 campaign.
You went to Mexico, and England. At least, you already have in your mind. Alejandro Romero Gamarra, and Michael Amir Murillo are rumored to be looking for transfers every other week at this point. The rumors aren’t going away, and nothing is being done to quash them.
You went to the Hospital for Special Surgery. Florian Valot, returning from season-ending surgery on a ligament tear in his left knee, had to have another procedure, this time on his right. While Alex Muyl hasn’t followed Valot to needing medical intervention, his ankle injury keeps him off the gameday roster.
You went to USL. Mathias Jorgensen, the Danish International, meant to make an immediate impact for the first team, scored his first goal for NYRBII this past weekend.
As for the rest of the team, the answer isn’t as clear. Luis Robles, Tim Parker and Aaron Long haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet. Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski and Cristian Casseres Jr. haven’t kept the press going. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer have only three goals between them in league action. All around, it’s just not enough.
Can the Red Bulls turn it around? The team contains the talent necessary. The task remains easier said than done.