Three Things to Know About the New York Red Bulls This Season:
1.Replacing Dax – This offseason, the team parted ways with Dax McCarty, their captain and longest tenured player. He was a revelation in 2015 as the Red Bulls stormed their way to the best regular season record in the league but injuries and a dip in form caused for a rocky season last year. The Red Bulls will replace him in the Starting XI with Sean Davis, who brings plenty into the attack and covers lots of turf, a hard worker and a future captain in his own right. There is also young Tyler Adams, impressive last week in helping the United States U-20 national team qualify for the World Cup.
2.Backline Depth – Gideon Baah is out for the year, the fallout from a broken leg last July that shelved him the rest of last season. The Red Bulls were counting on him to step-up this year but his absence leaves the team thin at centerback. Perhaps a signing is on the way to bolster the depth but the Red Bulls central defense is the oldest part of the team and could use some youth and upside. It’s an obvious area for concern.
3.Riding Out the Summer – With the Gold Cup this summer as well as World Cup qualifying, the Red Bulls are likely to lose midfielder Sacha Kljestan (United States) and left back Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica) for a spell. In addition, goalkeeper Luis Robles could be called up to the United States as well. Summer international matches will test the depth of the team, not to mention that Tyler Adams will also be gone with the U-20 national team for the World Cup. The team will need to ride out these games with some serious talent missing, all while hoping not to lose ground in the competitive Eastern Conference.