Fredrik Gulbrandsen: “It’s been a little bit stressful, but it was good to get my debut.” (Photo by Keith Furman)
By Michael Lewis
Front Row Soccer Editor
HARRISON, N.J. — Please pardon Fredrik Gulbrandsen if he had a sort of a deja vu feeling when he stood on the sidelines before he made his Red Bulls debut Saturday.
After all, he was wearing the same colors and a similar shirt in which he ran around with Red Bull Salzburg.
And he was in a smaller version of the 30K-plus capacity in Austria at which he had played the past several months.
“It was not so new since I played for Red Bulls Salzburg before, but it was good to come on to see the team and to see the guys playing. It was good.
“It was amazing, it was really nice. The fans were amazing the whole game and I was really motivated when I saw them. It’s a bit different from Austria. There’s a lot more crowd here, so it was nice.”
Gulbrandsen, who arrived only at 9 p.m. Friday, some 19 hours from kickoff of the home opener against the Colorado Rapids, was jet lagged. He went straight to bed, had a medical examination Saturday morning before heading for RBA before the 4 p.m. kickoff. He was put listed among the 18 and found a seat on the bench.
“It’s been a little bit stressful, but it was good to get my debut,” he said.
The 5-9, 165-lb. Norwegian international forward came on for Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 88th minute, so he did not get much playing time or the ball. But it was good to get his first game out of the way.
“I think we play very similar to the way Salzburg does so I think it will be easier for me to develop here and to get into the team so I’m looking forward to getting to know all the guys and the club and looking forward to playing more,” he said.