As has frequently been the case for the New York Red Bulls, the offseason saw plenty of turnover. Out went the likes of captain Sacha Kljestan and veterans like Mike Grella, and in came several young players, including the club’s first young Designated pPlayer in Alejandro Romero Gamarra. Yet, for a club that perennially is expected to collect titles, there are challenges that come in an attempt to better the squad.
“They always have to adjust,” Daniel Royer said during the club’s annual media day, referencing the new signings. “(They have to) change a little bit of their style of playing soccer because it’s just different what we’re doing here.”
However, that does not mean the adjustment has been hard. Gamarra, the biggest offseason acquisition for the club, has had only positive things to say about his first days with the club.
“It has been easy to adapt,” the Argentine said, adding that his teammates have been very welcoming.
The longer-standing members of the team are just as pleased with the offseason arrivals.
“I think we got some good players” in the offseason, Royer said. “I’m really excited, of course, about Kaku,” the midfielder added before discussing fellow newcomer Marc Rzatkowski, who Royer has familiarity with.
“I know [him] because he played in Salzburg and I was watching some games, and actually, I played against him in Germany,” he said. “He’s a really good soccer player and a good guy as well.”
Long time Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips was also happy with the newest members of team. He believes that, while some pieces are new, the product on the field might not be too different from the recent past.
“I don’t think much will change,” he said. “Players leave and players come, but the way we play here, we have a system, so it’s easy for players to come in and [the] instructions are clear.”
The goal, regardless of upheaval with new players, is to lift trophies for the Red Bulls. That plays heavily into squad building.
“Every year, we put teams together that we think can win it all and this year’s no different,” head coach Jesse Marsch said.
Questions remain, of course, particularly since the season is so young. It’s always hard to tell in preseason whether or not new players will be successful at a club, Royer said. The midfielder added that it is “easier” to discuss the topic “in the middle of the season where you’ve seen really tough games.”.
The ambition to win titles is clearly something even newcomers are aware of. Gamarra said that, in addition to proving that the Red Bulls were right to spend a record amount of money on him, he want to validate the club’s faith with trophies.
Wright-Phillips is adamant that he and his teammates are committed to being champions.
“I personally don’t come in just to try to play until October,” Wright-Phillips said. “My teammates don’t either.
“We take [these competitions] very seriously,” the forward added. “Hopefully, we get some silverware.”