Bradley Wright-Phillips is on his last legs, says Will Smith. (Photo courtesy of MLS)
Will Smith is a long-time Red Bulls supporter and local soccer fan
By Will Smith
Special to FrontRowSoccer.com
I went to Red Bull Arena two Saturday nights ago specifically to applaud Tim Howard one last time. I was present when Howard made his Metro debut in 1998 and wanted to be there to wave goodbye and thank him for a great career even if he is now wearing the uniform of the Colorado Rapids.
While I was pleased to have this opportunity, I would like point out that this was the only pleasurable thing about Saturday night at Red Bull Arena where I watched a disorganized home side lose 2-0 to a mediocre Colorado side.
Now that I have had a few days to clear my head post-defeat, here are 11 thoughts about the New York Red Bulls:
1. I love Bradley Wright-Phillips, but he is done. He runs like he has a piano on his back and stops to play it every 90 feet. He can no longer get off the quick shot. Out of gratitude for past achievements, make him a player-coach for next year and move on. There is no way he should be starting next season — or even the rest of this season.
2. With regard to the Michael Amir Murillo v. Rece Buckmaster debate at right back, the truth is that neither should be starting. Murillo makes too many mental errors defensively and Buckmaster has no offensive skills. Next year’s right back is playing somewhere else right now. Probably in Austria.
3. Josh “Duke” Sims looks pretty at right mid. I hope Red Bull buys his contract from Southampton and he starts here next year. That said, he needs to work on his finishing.
4. Why Cassares doesn’t start every match is a mystery to me. Probably to Cassares as well.
5. Shot-Kowski (it’s more fun to spell it that way) has no defensive propensities and thus should not be starting as a defensive midfielder. That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
6. I do not recall the last time Sean Davis had a shot on goal.
7. This team spent a lot of money on Matthias Jorgensen in the off-season. Might he ever see the field for the first team again? I am guessing not.
8. You can’t play in New York (ok, New Jersey) and have the second lowest payroll in the league. We are starting to make the Wilpons look like sailors going wild on leave in comparison.
9. Why do we have three empty roster spots down the stretch? Are you telling me Jared Stroud or Jean-Christophe Koffi weren’t good enough to get the call-up from RBNY II because it sure didn’t look that way to me. We couldn’t pick up recently released former Red Bull Chris Duvall to get in some time at right back??? (See #2 above)
10. Armas is in over his head. There are five pivotal games left to the season and he still hasn’t figured out who his Starting XI are. I recognize that what goes on during the game is often beyond his control, but filling out the line-up card is not. A 12-12-5 record for the defending Supporters Shield winners is a disgrace.
11. The worst thing that could happen to this team is a late hot streak that lands them, and then takes them deep, into the playoffs. It will mask all the issues that should be obvious to anyone watching the team.
I expect a lot of changes in 2020. In the meantime, I will grind my teeth and endure the rest of this deeply disappointing, disjointed, depressing season.