New York Red Bulls' midfielder Emil Forsberg during an exhibition match against Florida Gulf Coast at IMG Academy on January 20, 2024 (CREDIT: Will Vragovic / New York Red Bulls)
New York Red Bulls’ midfielder Emil Forsberg during an exhibition match against Florida Gulf Coast at IMG Academy on January 20, 2024 (CREDIT: Will Vragovic / New York Red Bulls)

On Sunday, the New York Red Bulls opened its season and star signing Emil Forsberg made his Major League Soccer debut. While the game against Nashville ended in a scoreless draw the Swedish national team player had multiple looks on goal in his first game. A week prior during RBNY Media Day, the midfielder spoke with members of the media about the upcoming season.

New York Sports Nation, specifically Red Bulls Nation, was invited to take part. Below is a transcript of the conversation had with Forsberg.

NYCSN: First off, it’s kind of funny that your introduction press conference, the original one (on January 16) was canceled for snow. (Considering where you are from) do you think we should (have) canceled it?


Emil Forsberg: I didn’t even think it was that much snow, to be honest. laughs No. I don’t know why people get- I mean, we have, I don’t know how much snow we have in Sweden right now. But it’s a lot more than here and people are still going to work everyday.

So, I mean, it is what it is. If it would have been in Sweden for sure, that would have been canceled because it’s normality.


NYCSN: You’re gonna go into a Major League Soccer season playing across the country in a totally different climate. Maybe some snow in the early going, maybe 100 degree games at one point in the middle, rain, sleet, whatever. How is that something that you’re gonna prepare for?


Emil Forsberg: Yeah, I mean, you’re gonna prepare for it when it comes. It’s always different everywhere you go. We gotta prepare in the best way possible. So it’s just gonna be fun. I’m excited to be here like you said, it’s my first year. Feels good.

The guys are ready, we’re ready to get going and every obstacle that comes we are ready for it.


NYCSN: Something you said in your introductory press conference was how excited you were not only to win but also work with the younger players. The Red Bulls – three of the four players they brought in are younger guys. Could you talk about what these six weeks have been like, not just with them, with the whole unit, getting them ready, working together to get ready for the season and getting ready for this (Sunday) in Nashville?


Emil Forsberg: With young guys is always special because when you’re young, you want so much all the time. You want to be the best all the time.

We have some young guys now who are demanding a lot from themselves. But sometimes it takes time, but sometimes it’s gonna be ups and downs. When you’re young, you’re not gonna be always as constant in your performance. This is something that you have to be prepared of.

But still believe in your qualities and don’t let that put you down. And I think, keep working hard on training, putting pressure on yourself to get better. I think this is the ways you’re gonna get better.

What I’ve seen so far from the guys, it’s been really good. I think the intensity and the mentality has been getting better along these six weeks. And, like I said, the guys are ready to go on Sunday.


NYCSN: Going into this MLS season. A lot has been talked about the fixture congestion – Leagues Cup, Open Cup, regular season, playoffs. You (Emil) would have to do the national team as well. Talk about those challenges and how a player like yourself goes into a season, making every game matter when it feel like it’s a mountain ahead of you with everything that you gotta play.


Emil Forsberg: But I love to play soccer. I love to compete. For me it’s no problem. I mean, I’ve done it now a long time and I mean, I wanna win everything we take part of. Otherwise I can sit here and look at the game. For me I don’t see it as obstacles.

I don’t see it as, oh, you have that… It’s just… embrace it. Enjoy it. I mean, we’re playing soccer. We compete (for) championships, (for) the shield. I mean, love it. Embrace it and have fun and this is the way to see it.


NYCSN: What were those national cup (knockout) games like in Europe, if you don’t mind me asking?


Emil Forsberg: I mean, it’s special. It’s special.

But you have to be on your best self when it comes to those games and you have to be sharp. Because it’s about small things in those games and you need to have your day.

That’s what we’re trying to do as well with the team to prepare for those kind of things because, like I said before, I think the team had a good run before the playoffs. I think the guys kind of developed a mentality that they were able to win games and they can do it. But as soon as the playoff game came, they were a little bit scared to lose it all.

I think this is the kind of feeling you have to overcome. You have to be wanting it more than the others. You have to be ready when it comes to get that chance, goal scoring, defend the goal, small things. But you have to be mentally strong in those situations.

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