Brian White (right) has not been doing the job up front. (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Will Smith is a long-time soccer fan who lives in Brooklyn.
By Will Smith
Special to FrontRowSoccer.com
We are two games into the regular season and despite playing poorly, the Red Bulls have managed a win and tie (albeit deeply undeserved) thus far.
That said, they won’t continue to have this type of success if they keep ceding two-thirds of the possession each week, particularly with a tough road game coming up against Minnesota United this weekend.
All that said, let’s look at this week’s Starting 11 thoughts about the Boys in Red (or black or grey or eggshell depending on what jersey the team stylist lays out on any given week):
1. It is time for Mathias Jorgensen to start. Neither Brian White nor Tom Barlow has had a shot on goal this season, let alone one at goal. Now, White is good when he gets in the box, but the problem is that his lack of footspeed doesn’t allow him to slip in behind defenders often enough. Barlow’s sole assets are that he is tall and willing to risk life and limb in the box. Jorgensen has the speed and ability to get open and move in on goal. Admittedly, his finishing is suspect. That said, I know two things for certain: (1) It won’t get better unless he plays. (2) White and Barlow aren’t getting the job done.
2. If Jorgensen can’t get the job done, it’s time to bring in a forward from outside the organization to play alongside an out-of-position, but always adaptable Danny Royer. Perhaps the Red Bulls can re-open talks for Scottish Premier League striker Sam Cosgrove, who, ironically, has not scored for his club since the Red Bulls made an offer on Dec. 21. If not him, then someone else. It’s a worldwide sport. Surely, management can find one striker who can fit the system.
3. If, for reasons known only to God and the front office, the Red Bulls can’t find a forward and none of the resident forwards step up, I am all for playing a radical 4-6-0 with six mids (well, actually a 4-4-2 with two converted mids, Royer and Josh Simms, playing up top. It just sounds more radical when you call it a 4-6-0.
4. Aaron Long is hurt too often. He’s still a young man. Shouldn’t he be able to recover more quickly? The defense can’t get him back in the lineup fast enough.
5. Patrick Seagrist has talent, but he is not ready to be a starter yet. He was repeatedly beaten on the left side this past Saturday. Jason Pendant can’t get here from France soon enough.
6. Tim Parker hasn’t looked good at all since he signed his new contract. The Tim Parker of 2018 doesn’t let that tying goal happen on Saturday in Real Salt Lake.
7. Sean Davis needs to play the ball forward occasionally. I like the idea of Kaku on the left and either Simms or Florian Valot wide right, but, if those folks are going to be playing on the wing, Davis and Cristian Casseres Jr. need to need generate offense in the middle. Cassares is doing his part. Davis has to as well.
8. Kevin Duncan has been terrific so far. I don’t even miss Michael Amir Murillo.
9. David Jensen has looked good in goal so far (and I don’t just mean his fashionable cap). Has Ryan Meara once again seen the course of his career altered by injury?
10. If you want to draw crowds, give people a reason to come out. Sign a big name forward and stop messing around.
11. I am pleased with the results thus far, but not remotely impressed. Help is need at left back and up top. Let’s see if it arrives and in what manner.