Can Brian White handle the Red Bulls load up front? (Photo courtesy of MLS)
Will Smith is a soccer fan who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
By Will Smith
Special to FrontRowSoccer.com
With training camp well underway, it’s a good time to take a look at the Red Bulls as they prepare for the 2020 season.
Here are 11 thoughts about the Harrison Reds:
1) I am glad the Kemar Lawrence drama is over. He wanted a new contract or he wanted out. It should be pointed out to Mr. Lawrence that he signed a new deal, with a big raise, before last season and then spent most of the season either injured, with the Jamaican national team or playing below his level. Personally, I think, based on last year’s performance, that the Red Bulls should have been looking for a new deal themselves; one that paid Kemar less. Let me add that his failure to get back with the team, from the Jamaican Nats last June, for the game against Philly when his Jamaican teammate Andre Blake did make it back, was a disgrace. Bye, bye, Kemar. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. We will find someone to play left back who can catch a flight on time.
2) West Ham has made a bid to buy Aaron Long and Long, of course, would love to go to England, but the Red Bulls aren’t selling … and good for them. West Ham’s offer is below market rate. Either come up or include a center back in the deal. Good for the Red Bulls for not caving.
3) I am glad that, in addition to the draft picks and loan returnee Josh Sims, sporting director Dennis Hamlet has brought in some goalkeeping and defensive depth. That, however, is only a start if we want to win a trophy and that should always be the goal.
4) I like Brian White, but he, Tom Barlow and Mathias Jorgensen are not enough up front to contend and that’s all there is to it.
5) Does the team have enough faith in Cristian Cassares Jr. to leave him alone at mid and play with a 4-4-2 instead of a 4-2-3-1?
6) I see Omir Fernandez is hurt. Did he get injured practicing his diving?
7) The team will be stronger this year just by virtue of the absence of Michael Amir Murillo. His being on the field, at times last year, made it seem like the other team had 12 players and we had 10. He had as little interest in playing defense as I had in high school trigonometry.
8) How the RBNY budget works is a mystery to all. Does Hamlet have a set transfer budget to work with or does he have to go to the Austrian Overlords, hand in hat, every time he wants to sign a player? Now that Kevin Theiwell has arrived from Wolves, how does that change things? Is it for the better or is it just another step added to the process?
9) Ben Mines has talent, but, if he doesn’t bulk up soon, he will be a career USL player and then a claims adjuster for All-State.
10) I see Bradley Wright-Phillips in no longer training with LAFC and I’m thinking, ” Well, we haven’t signed anyone. Would it be the worst thing?” Couples DO make up sometimes when they fight.
11) I know Red Bull loves it’s “system,” but are you telling me there are NO transfer targets in the ENTIRE WORLD who can learn it and join the starting 11 immediately? It’s not THAT complicated and, frankly, it hasn’t been that successful. Despite winning three Supporters Shields, I don’t see an MLS Cup in that trophy case yet.
Two bonus thoughts:
1) Nice to see Flo Valot up and running again. He is a good depth player. Let’s hope he stays healthy this year.
2) Look out for Deri Corfe! You read it here first.
Let’s hope Papa Red Bull gives Dennis some spending cash and this year turns out better than last.