The season for the New York Red Bulls looked to be like an utter mess about a month ago, however those views could be up in the air.
The Red Bulls have had a relatively decent preseason so far, contrary to what a lot of people felt would happen. They started off strong with a 4-0 win over college side USF with Bradley Wright-Phillips leading the charge. It didn’t seem like they would lose to a college team, but believe it or not, New York lost 2-0 to them last preseason.
However, this matchup was much, much different. The players looked like they were just routinely executing plays. They looked comfortable out there and the reserves did most of the work this time. The team didn’t lose this time and they got off on the right foot.
The next test was against Toronto FC, quite possibly the biggest candidate to win the Eastern Conference this year after the acquisitions of Altidore and Giovinco. The Red Bulls used their main players against the Canadian side and pulled off a 2-0 victory.
They looked comfortable out there again and Robles didn’t even have to move for 60 minutes. The team looked great out there, no frustration, great passing, making great opportunities etc. This was the celebration part of the day, mainly because the next match wasn’t so pretty.
The Red Bulls took on the Jacksonville Armada in the second match of the day, and lost… miserably. This match did not contain any guys that would be in the starting XI, but it was a major blow for the reserve squad. Eric Stevenson did score from 30 yards out, but that was the only highlight the team could really produce out the fixture.
Losing by three goals to a lower side is a rather big confidence blow, but it doesn’t look troubling for the team. They learned, they will recover, and again, it’s just the preseason.
Danish side HB Koge took on the Red Bulls on February 18th for the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic at the IMG Academy. The Red Bulls used their entire first team against this squad, with new signing from Mike Grella from Leeds United. They looked strong in this match, getting a good point off a 1-1 draw in the competition.
They take on Oklahoma City Energy on the 21st for the second match of the competition before taking on Toronto again in the final group stage match.
So far, the team looks very solid. Marsch looks in control of his players, they are linking up quite nicely, they are making chances, and look to be enjoying themselves. It may be the preseason, but it’s important for the team to come in with confidence and a positive outlook. If they win this cup, they will come in with bags of confidence, along with bragging rights that they did get a piece of silverware this season.
But let us not forget, the preseason is just the preseason.