NYCSportsNation
Carlos Coronel will be returning to the New York Red Bulls in 2022 following a successful season between the sticks while on loan (Credit: New York Red Bulls)

It’s Christmas time and the Major League Soccer offseason is in full swing! New contracts and transfers are being worked out. The U.S. Open Cup is coming back next year. A whole new third division is being created by the league for player development. It’s all gearing up for what should be an exciting 2022 for soccer.

In Harrison however it has been a time of change. Head coach Gerhard Struber’s first full season at the helm came to a close with a mixed bag. The team has let a lot of talent go while beginning the process of bringing in new players. With all this happening, it feels like a good time to look some of these over. In the spirit of the gift giving season it’s time to grade just how well the New York Red Bulls have treated it’s fans.

 

Carlos Coronel – GK – Signed permanently following loan from Red Bull Salzburg

Of the plentiful players the Red Bulls loaned in during 2021, Carlos Coronel is the only one (as of this writing) to be signed to a full-time contract. The 24-year-old Brazilian will remain in Harrison through 2024 after proving himself between the sticks. Finishing the season with 13 shutouts and an average goals against per game of 0.97 was one of the main reasons why New York was able to make it into the playoffs after a notable summer slump.

“It is the first time that I start a season and I end it playing,” said Coronel in an interview with Once A Metro last month. “For me it is a very big achievement, personally. I am very grateful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to play.”

On a backline that came together at just the right time, keeping Coronel was one of the best decisions the front office has made during the offseason. Following Luis Robles departure, the options in net between an aging Ryan Meara and still green AJ Marcucci means the Brazilian is going to be the main option going forward.

Grade: A

 

Lewis Morgan – MF – Signed from Inter Miami CF

Trading fake money for players is always going to be a net positive. For the cost of $1,200,000 in General Allocation Money over two years, New York gets a versatile player with a lot of upside. His time in South Beach, which itself has been hampered by league punishments and mismanagement, means Lewis Morgan is looking for a strong rebound year.

The Paisley, Scotland, native tallied seven goals and 12 assists in 57 appearances with Inter, which includes a five-goal, seven-assist 2020 campaign where he was named Team MVP. As an attack-minded right winger, Morgan could fill plenty of voids left by off-season departures. Either working as a full field defender like Kyle Duncan or serving as a focal point like Andrew Gutman. 

Morgan has two appearances with the Scottish National Team since 2018 (both in friendlies). It’s doubtful he’ll be called up for any internationals during the season whether that be the World Cup Qualifying Playoffs or UEFA League. That means little risk of him becoming a focal point in a Struber system only to be taken away.

Grade: B+

 

Andrew Gutman, Tom Edwards, Kyle Duncan – DF – End of loans & End of contract

This list is not just going to be about additions. The backline saw heavy losses following 2021 with Andrew Gutman and Tom Edwards both finishing their loans. Local talent Kyle Duncan also left with his contract finishing up. The Brooklyn, New York native has already found new work after being signed by  Belgian First Division A club K.V. Oostende.

The easiest loss to talk about here in Duncan. While his upside had somewhat fallen in recent years the winger was still a main focus of the RBNY XI. He appeared in 32 games last season and had played in over half the team’s games every season since 2019. His ability to cover the entirety of the pitch as a defender was a key part of many attacks. While he had a breakout 2021,  providing the bulk of the team’s offensive width on the right side, many signs pointed to him leaving. The issues containing oncoming attacks and rumors about apparent interest from Europe were seen often this past year.

For both Gutman and Edwards it’s easy to see why the latter would want to leave. The Stoke City player was forced into a Center-Mid position that he was not equipped for due to injuries. The team let in more goals and he got very frustrated. While things improved as the season went on its not hard to imagine Edwards wanted to go back home, even if there isn’t a solid spot for him on that roster.

As for Gutman I can’t imagine why RBNY let him leave. His play on the left side and his commanding status in the wake of Long’s injury were huge bright spots. One only needed to see the difference in confidence between him and John Tolkin in subsequent games. His injury in the middle of the season may have hurt his bargaining power, but Atlanta is lucky to be getting him back.

Overall a huge mixed back with some sour grapes. It’s hard to fault the front office for losing two of these players but at least one should have come back to Harrison. It’s hard to see an addition like Dylan Nealis making a huge difference here.

Grade: B-

 

Daniel Edelman – MF – Signed to a Homegrown Player Contract

This is probably the hardest move to grade so far this offseason. Last September I wrote that it would be best to keep Daniel Edelman in the USL for 2022 and call him up afterwards. Just because he was signed to a first team MLS deal does not mean he won’t spend most of his time in Montclair.

The Warren Township, New Jersey made the most of his first year under a professional contract. He played 30 games for New York Red Bulls II in 2021. He started 28 of them and went the full 90 minutes in 25. On the field Edelman was one of the team’s on field leaders behind head coach John Wolyniec and fellow RBNY call-up Omar Sowe. While the results on the pitch were pretty bad, with the team having one of the worst records in the league, the defender himself was a constant threat.

He also made his debut with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team this past summer during a tournament in Mexico.

Overall keeping him locked into the RBNY ecosystem is a smart move. But I don’t know if it’s what the first team needs. He’ll need to prove himself to become a regular first team starter. With all the departures on the backline I’m not sure the team will have the time to wait.

Grade: High C+

Comments are closed.

Check Also

Can the Jets Come Back from Their Disappointing Opening of the Season?

The New York Jets have had a rough start to this season. Granted, they didn’t exactl…