The New York Red Bulls has been close on a number of occasions, most recently in 2018 as the Supporters’ Shield winners, but they hit a snag, have a bad night, or just meet a team that is just a little bit better and they lose by one goal.
This team needs just that little bit more to finally, after over a quarter-century, get over the hump. They have the talent and quality, the brotherhood, the resilience, the fortitude, and that New York-style mentality to win. However, that just need the championship version of it to finally show these team what true, dominant New York, metro style soccer is all about.
Here are five things from my view that can and, should the Red Bull focus on them, will make that happen.
The Red Bulls’ midfield is good, but they need to bear down a lot more often than they do. They have to be tighter in transition and win the ball more. Sure, teams have spells, but they have to be on top of them, have more of the spells that make the difference, and do more of the things that make those difference-making spells happen.
New York has a good all-around game in a lot of areas with a lot of midfielders, they just need to use more of it, and make it more efficient and effective.
The defense, in my mind, has been a rock this season, especially Aaron Long and Tim Parker. However, they have to do a better job of staying that way. They have been too lackadaisical at times and too loose on their marking and filling in of the gaps.
When they keep their good qualities up, they are more than hard to beat.
This especially applies to the postseason, but the Red Bulls have to be more consistent overall. Two streaky seasons in a row doesn’t help, and they will need to get back to dominant ways fast if they are to get a hold on the American soccer scene.
Getting out of the wild card is one thing, but they have to really show teams what they are made of with the conviction, fortitude, and talent that New York soccer commands.
From what I’ve seen, the team is too loose, especially in transition. The Red Bulls have got to be tighter on guys when they bear down on our penalty area, especially big-name players such as Lucas Zelarayan, Josef Martinez, Nicolas Lodeiro, Graham Zusi, and Carlos Vela. These players have devastating abilities and cannot go unchecked.
Plus, we have the chance to stop the hard part from even happening by winning the ball in transition, but we are too loose at the moment to close enough people down enough times to keep the ball from reaching too deep into our half and/or our box.
We need to get players and/or methods that can get the team to be tighter in all areas of the pitch more consistently and more tellingly so that teams know they will have to go through us with a lot more quality.
A NEW Rallying Cry
The team’s rally cry when they come out is “All in”. The USMNT has a rallying cry of “I Believe That We Will Win”. So, if the two are combined, it works out to “I Believe That We’re All In”. The reason why I suggest it is because they say they’re all in and they have shown they believe that, but they need to believe that at a championship level.
I believe that once this combination is made, this team’s mentality will change: it will point straight towards winning a championship and in that endeavor, they will truly be all in.
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