The Red Bulls makeover is under way

The Red Bulls makeover is under way

MLS- New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls makeover is under way

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Rojaspietravallo_2

It is taking place a few months later than most fans would have liked, but the New York Red Bulls appear ready for their makeover now.

The team unveiled new signings Jorge Rojas and Juan Pietravallo on Wednesday in what should be the first of several steps toward remaking the roster that head coach Juan Carlos Osorio inherited when he took over as head coach last winter.

With Mexican defender Diego Jimenez close to signing, defender Gabriel Cichero working on a deal and the club searching for a forward to replace Jozy Altidore, the Red Bulls that take the field in the team’s next home game (on July 19 against the Los Angeles Galaxy) should look very different from the team that beat FC Dallas in the team’s last home game on June 21.

Here is a closer look at the new players, potential new players, and the way the team could lineup with those players.

In Rojas, the Red Bulls bring in a skillful left winger who can also operate as the team’s playmaker. He could fill the attacking midfield void in a 3-5-2, but could also play left wing in a 4-4-2 when Osorio chooses to use that formation.

In Pietravallo, Osorio has the sharp-passing defensive midfielder he thought he landed when he brought in Lider Marmol for an extended look (before Chicago claimed him and signed him). Pietravallo is tenacious but skillful, capable of delivering the key tackle, but also smart enough to start the counterattack with a sharp pass from deep in midfield. Seth Stammler has been a pit bull in defensive midfield and would likely partner with Pietravallo in a 3-5-2, which is the system Osorio is likely to run more once all his pieces are in place.

Cichero isn’t on board yet, but when he does sign he will give the team an athletic and skillful center back/left back who might just step in and be the team’s best defender. The Venezuelan national team player could be considered a poor man’s Wilman Conde, though a bit sharper on the attack and not as storng defensively as the Fire defender.

Jimenez is a quick and confident left back prospect who is more a natural left back than anybody on the current Red Bulls roster. He is still a bit young, but has the tools to be an MLS starter.

So what would potential lineups look like with these four players. Here are some possibilities:

Red Bulls in a 4-4-2 with new players:

————–Angel———-Echeverry (New forward)

Rojas———-Van Den Bergh———Richards

——————Stammler———————–

Jimenez—Cichero——Parke———Freeman

——————-Conway————————–

Red Bulls in a 3-5-2 with new players:

————–Angel———-Echeverry (New forward)

Van Den Berg——-Rojas————-Richards

———Pietravallo——Stammler————–

—-Cichero—-Goldthwaite—-Parke————

——————-Conway————————–

Red Bulls in a 4-2-3-1 with new players:

———————-Angel———————–

Van Den Berg——-Rojas————-Richards

———Pietravallo——Stammler————–

Jimenez—-Cichero——-Parke——–Freeman

——————-Conway————————–

Will the signings be enough? Rojas’ arrival means he and Van Den Bergh can alternate on the left and in central midfield. Pietravallo is the classic Argentine No. 5 who covers the defense and gets the ball forward, while Cichero and Jimenez will give the defense a sorely-needed boost once they sign and join the team.

Most importantly, if all four players do sign, they will provide a significant across the board improvement in the team’s passing and ball possession, which have suffered since Claudio Reyna went on the shelf. With more possession and sharper passing there will be more chances for the offense and key weapons Juan Pablo Angel and Dane Richards, as well as whatever forward the club is able to sign.

The players still have to actually perform though. Red Bulls/MetroStars fans have seen enough failed foreign signings to fill a bus, so don’t expect any celebrations over these signings until they start delivering goals, assists and wins.

What do you think of the new signings? Will they be enough to help the Red Bulls compete for a playoff spot and put on a playoff run? Will their fate be determined by the forward they can sign? do you think it won’t be enough to help make the playoffs in the brutal Eastern Conference? Share your thoughts below.

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