New York Red Bulls Season Preview and a look at what is to come from the boys in New Jersey. The Red Bulls have added tons of armor to their roster, making them a lethal weapon in the Eastern Conference this season. It can be the start of a successful run that will hope to end in an MLS Cup win for the first time in its history.
Patryk Klimala- Hapoel Be’er
Klimala will make a move to the Israel Premier League and join Hapoel Be’er on a permanent dea. He joined the team in 2021 as a regular starter, though he dropped in depth towards the end of the 2022 season. Klimala totaled 13 goals and nine assists in 59 matches with the Red Bulls. The Polish native was a good addition to the team, bringing experience and skill to the attack. Prior to joining the New York Red Bulls, he played one season with Celtic and four seasons in the Polish football league.
Aaron Long- LAFC
The Red Bulls’ former captain will head to the west coast and join the reigning MLS Champions LAFC. He spent six seasons in New Jersey, totaling 12 goals and two assists with 639 clearances and 227 interceptions. Long’s tenure with the team had led him to call-ups to the USMNT, including a trip to the World Cup in Qatar this past November. He has become a veteran of the league, spending his whole career in the U.S Soccer organization. Long will leave a big leadership void in the lineup, having been the heart and soul of the Red Bulls.
Dante Vanzeir- from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise
Vanzeir is the Red Bulls’ biggest signing this season and is expected to be the starting forward in replacement of Klimala. He has made 92 appearances with Saint-Gilloise, totaling 48 goals and 21 assists. Vanzeir helped promote the team to the first tier of Belgium football for the first time in 48 years after winning the golden boot in the Challenger Pro League with 18 goals. The forward is expected to deliver most of the goals for the team and is certainly a player to watch out for in the league.
Corey Burke- from Philadelphia Union
The Bulls signed Burke right after he was released from the Union, keeping him in the MLS for another season. He spent five seasons in Philly, totaling 27 goals in 100 appearances. Burke was noted as a “super sub” for the team, generating eight goals in just eight starts in 36 appearances in 2022. Because of Daniel Gazdag, Burke could not get much playing time on the field. However, he scored two important goals during the Eastern Conference Finals against now rivals New York City F.C to help send the Union to the MLS Finals. He’ll have to fight for a starting role with Manoel, but will likely start on the bench for Saturday’s opener.
Players Resigning/Returning from Loan
Kyle Duncan- K.V Oostende
Duncan will return from his loan in Belgium and join the team for the 2023 season. A Brooklyn native, Duncan is also the cousin of USMNT star Timothy Weah. He grew up in the New York Red Bulls organization and made 75 appearances from 2018 to 2021, totaling five goals. Duncan will be a great addition to the defense for the team, who will bring experience after spending a season in the Belgium Pro League.
Elias Manoel- Gremio
Manoel is set to return from his loan from Gremion to be the starting forward for 2023. He made 36 appearances in the Brazilian football league, totaling seven goals in 2022. With Luis Suarez signing with Gremio, there is no need for Manoel on the team, and he will return to his parent club full-time. He already made six appearances during the end of 2021 with the Red Bulls, generating two goals in his short tenure. Manoel is to be one of their number-one strikers alongside Dante Vanzeir, which could be a dangerous pairing this season.
Morgan will remain on the team after agreeing on a three-year contract extension. He was the top scorer for the Red Bulls from the midfield with 15 goals in 33 appearances. Coming from Inter Miami in 2021, Morgan had an upstanding season for the Red Bulls and instantly became a fan favorite. He is expected to be the team’s next captain, taking the leadership role left behind by Aaron Long.
Gerhard Struber will take charge of his fourth season with the team with plenty expected from him in 2023. He has won 32 games with 17 draws, and 27 losses since 2020. Struber has led the team to the playoffs in each season, however he has failed to make it past the first round. The New York Red Bulls had a great first half in 2022, but struggled during the second half, leading them to finish just 4th in the East. Struber came under a lot of criticism for his comment before the Hudson River derby in September, claiming that the Red Bulls will have an easy win against New York City F.C.
Instead, the team lost 2-0, which saw their rivals leapfrog them in the standings.
This was the start of their downfall, losing two of their last three matches. One of the losses included a home defeat against Cincinnati in the playoffs. Struber will have plenty to prove if he has the capability to lead a team to success. With a stacked roster, he’ll look to lead them to a long playoff run for the first time since 2018.
Season Preview Synopsis
The Red Bulls will now have a completely new front line of Dante Vanzeir and Elias Manoel. It’ll be a hit or miss on what to expect from the pair, who haven’t played with each other yet. Vanzeir was one of the team’s strongest signings and has most of the pressure on him to deliver goals. However, he won’t be alone with Manoel there to help with the goals.
The midfielder will be the strongest area for the Red Bulls. There is no change to their midfield line from 2022, with Luquinhas, Cristian Casseres, Daniel Edelman, and Lewis Morgan lining up together. Morgan bagged most of the goals for the team last season, with Luquinhas showing what he can do with five goals and three assists in 31 appearances in 2022. Their defense will also be very similar, with the addition of Kyle Duncan.
They only allowed 41 goals last year, the fourth least in the league. Carlos Coronel will return as starting goalkeeper, totaling 77 saves with eight clean sheets in 34 appearances in 2022. The new additions to the team will only strengthen the team and are expected to be one of the strongest teams in the East. With many comeback players plus new players from both Europe and South America, the Red Bulls will have great chemistry and plenty of skills to be a dangerous team in 2023.
East: 3rd place (currently listed 3rd in the recent MLS power rankings
Projected Starting XI
Goalkeeper: Carlos Coronel
Left Back: John Tolkin
Center Back: Sean Nealis
Center Back: Andres Reyes
Right Back: Kyle Duncan
Left Midfielder: Luquinhas
Center Midfielder: Cristian Casseres
Center Midfielder: Daniel Edelman
Right Midfielder: Lewis Morgan
Forward: Dante Vanzeir
Forward: Elias Manoel
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