New York Red Bulls midfielder Peter Stroud trains during the team's 2024 preseason (Credit: New York Red Bulls)
New York Red Bulls’ midfielder Peter Stroud trains during the team’s 2024 preseason (Credit: New York Red Bulls)

Ahead of the 2024 Major League Soccer season, the New York Red Bulls welcomed media back to Harrison on Tuesday for Media Day. The event allowed credentialed media a chance to speak with players ahead of the team’s first game this Sunday in Nashville.

New York Sports Nation, specifically Red Bulls Nation, was invited to take part.

Below is a transcript of the conversation had with RBNY midfielder Peter Stroud. The Chester Township, NJ native is entering is second season in Major League Soccer. For him, his rookie year taught him a lot about the process of being a professional player.


NYCSN: Let’s talk about going into this season versus last season. Last season was, you know, a whole different experience for you. What are the changes that you’ve gone through as a player going into 2024?

 

Peter Stroud: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think, you know, first year is always challenging. I think as a player trying to, you know, fit into the team’s identity, the style they want to play and then also just fitting into the whole lifestyle as a professional player.

It’s totally different than anything you can really do. Before that, you know, you can play youth soccer but it’s a totally different beast. And I think that last year was a good learning lesson for me. Just figuring out what makes me feel best, what makes me perform best, that’s like off the field stuff and then also transitioning into the style last year. It took me a while to learn, but I think I got so much better as the year went on and I feel like I learned stuff that I’m gonna take into this season and then now coming into this preseason is a totally different feeling than last preseason.

I feel like a little bit more confident, you know, knowing what’s gonna happen, knowing the surroundings, the settings, just a little bit of experience, even one year can make like a huge difference. So I feel, I feel like it translated into how I started the year already, I feel good. I feel like I know the style and now it’s just instead of showing glimpses of the potential in the field, it’s about showing me more consistently.

 

NYCSN: Now you talk about showing glimpses and going into the style this year. Last year you (guys) brought in Dante (Vanzeir). This year you’re bringing Emil Forsberg. You already have top level strikers on this team. What’s it like to find your style when it feels like people are looking elsewhere.

 

Peter Stroud: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean… we sign such experienced players. I don’t have too much experience but the guys were bringing in, they’ve earned that right to have that attention because they’ve been through the experience. My role, especially, you know, with Emil coming in, they usually play a little bit higher than me just at times just trying to get the ball to those guys as much as possible because they are experienced and have been around for so long because they can do things that other players can’t. So, you know, trying to get the ball to them so they can do their thing.

But also, you know, in my second year also trying to show that I can push on to be one of those players hopefully in the future.

 

NYCSN: So also something for this year is that this is your third head coach in two years. Plus coming from college and USL League Two, you were like changing styles from styles. What are the challenges with that as a player? How is that something that you adapt to and how the team just sort of has to go with?

 

Peter Stroud: I think like, especially my first year, every time we made a coaching change it’d be like a bit of panic for you as a player. I have to change this to do this so I can hopefully impress the coach and play.

But one thing I realized is, it’s part of the game. Coaches are gonna change. We’ve had a lot of changes, probably more than normal. But the best thing you can do, I think, is play your style, play your way and not kind of worry about that other stuff and just focus on yourself performing.

I think that’s the best way because there’s always gonna be changes. People are gonna move on, people are to come in. But I think that the best way is sticking to what you do best.

 

NYCSN: Last season, you guys, you had to deal with the fact that MLS had multiple competitions, the regular season: Open Cup, Leagues Cup, playoffs. As a player coming into it. what was the challenge for that and going to this season?

I know we don’t know anything about the Open Cup yet, but how were you prepared for that and can you talk about those challenges?

 

Peter Stroud: Obviously having those different competitions: Leagues Cup, the MLS (regular season). I think it’s always good.

Match congestion is a part of the game. It’s a part of the league. You look at these leagues in Europe, they’re playing two games a week for longer periods than we are. It’s our job to be ready to be ready to go in these games. I see it as the more chances, the more opportunity to show yourself and to play.

Mass congestion lies more on the team. You have to have a deep team and you have to be able to rotate. And I think overall it’s our, like I said, it’s our job and if you enjoy it and I think it’s all in all good things.

 

NYCSN: And I think I asked you last year, do you still want to play FC Motown the Open Cup?

Peter Stroud: Yeah, of course, always!

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