The New York Red Bulls were shockingly eliminated from the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Houston Dynamo in the 2013 MLS season, even though they finished first overall above all the rest, lifting the Supporter’s Shield trophy. Now, they look forward to a brand new season where they will know not to make the same mistakes again.
Here is your MLS Preview for the New York Red Bulls.
Let’s take a quick look at the offense of NY. Of course, legendary striker Thierry Henry will still be captain and play down the left flank looking to create opportunities for both himself and teammates. He will be their most influential player in the final third.
However, the one issue this team will face is the lack of a true striker. Bradley Wright–Phillips and Peguy Luyindula are decent at best as they cannot regularly finish in front of the frame based on recent performances. In addition, they like to dribble a lot more than simply take their chances.
The best midfielder is none other than Australian international Tim Cahill, who will be the key holding midfielder in addition to pushing up at times to help boost the attack. He will get help from wide midfielder Johnny Steele, who can sprint up either wing to create chances and can hold up possession if need be. Dax McCarty is another holding midfielder who can also distribute the ball with impressive vision. He can be a difference-maker as well.
The defense will be led by none other than Jamison Olave, the man who makes very few mistakes and knows how to lock down his man in the area. In addition, he is talented when it comes to breaking up quick counters and is a brick wall in the air. He will be their most important man in the back.
The two weaknesses this team will face are at both right and left back. Roy Miller has dipped in form, allowing opponents to get by him easily and committing reckless fouls, sometimes leaving his teammates a man down. Connor Lade steps up with solid minutes, but he cannot be relied on for 90 minutes on a consistent basis as he still has a ways to go.
Keeper Luis Robles made a plethora of saves during his first season with the club and is expected to be even better this year. He needs to keep his defense solid by warning them of oncoming traffic. He can be the leader of the back if he wants to be.
Season prediction: NY will finish second in the Eastern Conference standings to go on and appear in the Conference championship.