The next position to be looked at is the one that NYCSN’s Michael Battista said is one of our more loaded positions personnel-wise: the back.
Our defense had just found its identity the last few years, but it didn’t seem to be a winning combination for this Red Bull club.
The last two seasons are a stark indicator of that. I would rather see clubs fight for their guys so that they can make an impact and build something to be remembered forever.
With this new-look defense, along with everything else happening, let’s see what our backline looks like for 2021.
Red Bulls Release Tim Parker
After three faithful and dedicated years back home, the Red Bulls decided to release center-back Tim Parker. Parker was part of a defense that had just found its identity as an intense, dedicated, united group that fought for each other and picked each other up, especially with “partner-in-crime” Aaron Long.
This is why the move is so surprising; they were a pair that was building something, and they came really close, and they just needed to find that special quality that could finally get them over the hump. Still, the club apparently decided that it took too long to find it, and so they sold him to Houston for $450,000 in allocation money so that they can find that special thing once and for all.
Three New Signings
The Red Bulls make three new signings at defense for this year: center-back Andres Reyes, left-back Andrew Gutman, along right-back Tom Edwards. Reyes is a malleable big man with speed in a team that the club figured could use it, which could well give him an advantage over his main competition, Amro Tarek.
On the left, Gutman is a more defensive fullback with physical traits which can play centrally.
On the right, Edwards is a more athletic, all-around livewire that can torch opponents with his physical attributes and his pace. He outworks opponents with energy and his work rate. They will be keeping Jason Pendant and Kyle Duncan busy, respectively.
Gerhard Struber has the option of going with a back four or five, depending on his tactics and style. It will most likely be Duncan, Long, Tarek, and Pendant, with Reyes and Tarek competing for a spot. Long, Tarek and Reyes could also be the heart of the defense, with Gutman also seeing some time at left center back.
Tom Edwards will undoubtedly get some time as he brings his high-level English pedigree, athleticism, and energy to the team.
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