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2024 New York Red Bulls Season Preview

Image Credit: New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls 2024 MLS Season Preview

The New York Red Bulls are looking to build on their 2023 campaign where they finished 8th in the Eastern Conference and were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs after sneaking in via the Play-In game. Here is a preview of the team's 2024 season, including offseason activity, projected next moves, and season expectations.

Offseason Turnover

The Red Bulls were unsurprisingly busy this offseason considering the poor results from last season. They did not retain the services of interim head coach Troy Lesesne and instead turned to Sandro Schwarz who last managed in the German Bundesliga. Additionally, former Sporting Director Denis Hamlett parted ways with the club and has been replaced by Julian De Guzman. De Guzman was most recently the General Manager of USL Championship side Ottawa Fury FC.

Key Signings

The Red Bulls have also been busy in the transfer market, refreshing the squad with much needed additions. Here are the players that the Red Bulls have signed prior to the start of the season.

  • Emil Forsberg: The Swedish international midfielder arrives from Red Bull affiliate and German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. Operating as a number 10, Forsberg is looking to transform New York’s offensive capabilities.

  • Noah Elie: Elie hails from Swedish side Malmo FF and will be much needed depth at the center back position behind Sean Nealis and Andres Reyes.

  • Dennis Gjengaar: A signing for the future, the U-22 initiative signing was brought over from Norwegian club Odds BK. While not a high profile signing he will be fighting for a starting position from day one.

Key Departures

The Red Bulls were also busy releasing players this offseason, Here are some high profile players let go by the club prior to the start of the season:

  • Tom Barlow: A fan favorite despite not having a prolific career in New York. The hard working forward moved to the Chicago Fire at the end of last season.

  • Omir Fernandez: The homegrown midfielder became a free agent at the end of the season and was not retained by the Red Bulls. Fernandez will reunite with former Red Bulls manager Chris Armas as a member of the Colorado Rapids.

  • Luquinhas: The Red Bulls regain a DP spot after transferring Luquinhas to Brazilian side Fortaleza. His time in New York was mixed, generating only 15 goal involvements in nearly 60 appearances.

  • Dru Yearwood: After 3 and a half seasons with the Red Bulls Dru Yearwood joined Nashville SC this past offseason. The English midfielder joins former Red Bulls Sean Davis and Alex Muyl in Nashville.  

Season Expectations

The Red Bulls are expected to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference this season. Despite an MLS record 14 consecutive appearances in the postseason many fans would consider last season a disappointment.They barely snuck in through the Play-In game and many view the offseason changes as a sign that the front office wants to improve. 

Here are some of the key factors that will determine the Red Bulls' success this season:

  • The health of their key players: The Red Bulls have a number of  players who have been injury-prone in previous seasons, including Dante Vanzeir, Lewis Morgan, and Corey Burke. If these players can stay healthy, the Red Bulls will have a chance to be a top end Eastern Conference side.

  • The development of the offense: The Red Bulls have been defensively sound for several seasons and can strangle even the best teams with their relentless pressing. However the offense has stagnated the past few seasons. The key to this season will be reviving an inefficient offense.

  • The coaching of Sandro Schwarz: After an acrimonious parting of ways with former manager Gerhard Struber, the Red Bulls turn to Sandro Schwarz this season. Schwarz has had mixed success in the German Bundesliga and will be aiming to improve his reputation after a poor run with his last club Hertha Berlin.

Overall, the Red Bulls are well-positioned to have a successful season in 2024. They have a talented and improved roster, new coaching staff, and high expectations. If the Red Bulls can stay healthy and grow under the management of Sandro Schwarz, they have the potential to push for a top end finish in the Eastern Conference.

Prediction: 6th in the Eastern Conference, knocked out of the postseason in Conference Semifinals 


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