New York Red Bulls: 2020 Season Preview
Last season ended in heartbreak once again for the New York Red Bulls, and fans will be hoping this year might bring their first MLS Cup. It’s been 25 years of waiting, and despite winning the Supporters Shield for the third time in 2018, last season left the Red Bulls with a lot to improve.
They led by two goals twice in that MLS Cup seven-goal thriller before losing devastatingly through an extra-time goal from Philadelphia’s Marco Fabian. Could this year be the turning point? Let’s explore what’s changed and how that will impact the Red Bulls’ chances of turning things around in 2020.
Out With the Old
The Red Bulls stadium will look different after the slight remodeling during the off-season. Fans will be excited to watch their team from the newly integrated ‘safe standing’ section, but that’s not the only thing that has changed.
MLS legend Bradley Wright-Phillips hasn’t had his contract renewed, and that marks the end of an era for arguably the best forward to ever grace the MLS. He’ll be missed, but it’s time for a change after the fastest player ever to score 100 MLS goals managed just two goals last season.
Luis Robles is another team legend that called time on his eight-year stay, and he leaves as the record holder for games and minutes played. The Red Bulls will undoubtedly look different this season without these two club legends. Could that change in personnel make all the difference to the Red Bulls chances this season?
New Kids on the Block
Brian White enjoyed an excellent season in 2019, scoring nine goals in 20 appearances, and the Red Bulls need him to do even more now BWP has gone. He’ll be supported by newly drafted rookie Englishman Deri Corfe. They’ve both got massive boots to fill, but they have what it takes to damage opposition defenses this season.
Tom Barlow is another top young prospect that has helped to develop the Red Bulls’ reputation for growing from within rather than making big-money signings. He managed three goals in 12 games last year and could be a useful player if he can build on that this season.
It’s not all new for the Red Bulls, though. The gap between the sticks will be filled by a man entering his eighth season at the club after Robles departure to Inter Miami. Ryan Meara has what it takes to keep them tight at the back, but with all these changes, it’ll be a new-look side come the first game against FC Cincinnati.
It’s a season of change coming up for the Red Bulls, and only time will tell if they can finally lift the MLS Cup at the end of the campaign. We’re predicting they’ll make the playoffs, but it’s a big ask to see them going all the way after so many significant changes.
The season will give this young team a chance at developing into a force to be reckoned with. It could well be the foundation season of a serious assault on the title in 2021, so don’t miss out on watching the Red Bulls in 2020.