The 2021 MLS season was one that was rather unpredictable at times for the New York Red Bulls given the start of the campaign that they had, however followers of the soccer club will have found that things had finished in rather familiar circumstances once the campaign had come to its conclusion.
New York Red Bulls 2021 ML S Season Review
Gerhard Struber’s team started badly but ended well
Indeed, those that follow Gerhard Struber’s side would have found it difficult to have seen their side actually reach the playoffs after the disappointing start they had to the beginning of the campaign, with some perhaps of a feeling that the man was not quite the right fit for the job.
Admittedly, it would be harsh to suggest that the New York Red Bulls were a failure this season given all the changes that they had to go through from the beginning of the campaign. The manager had to try and blend his squad with a host of new faces with players in every single area of the pitch having joined the franchise in the offseason.
As mentioned, things simply did not start well for the team as each of these new signings appeared to fail to gel together, with the roster of players appearing to struggle to get the results that were needed whilst also appearing to fail to bring through the new style of play that Struber wanted to implement.
The defense was one of the best in the MLS
However, things did start to turn around as time progressed and it became apparent that the New York Red Bulls were a team that should be feared as the campaign continued to war on. The Austrian manager decided a change of formation was required and that allowed the team to become one of the best teams in the second half of the season. He watched his team go on a 12 game run that included just one defeat and elevated the team into the playoffs for the 12th consecutive time by the grit of their teeth.
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Despite all of the issues at the beginning of the season, the team had only conceded a total of 33 goals in the league, tied for the fewest conceded in the MLS with Eastern Conference rival Nashville SC and Western Conference team Seattle Sounders.
However, once things appeared to work themselves out whilst on the pitch, the New York Red Bulls managed to do something that they have not failed to do since 2009: make the playoffs. Given this record, it has made them a reliable option for those within states that allow for legal sports betting to place a bet on the New York-based franchise each season.
Of course, the team will be looking to push on and do better than last season’s finish and you can view Red Bulls predictions at BetMGM NY sportsbook app if you want to see what chances the sportsbook has given the franchise to do exactly that.
Nonetheless, if Struber’s side is to be able to improve on their first-round playoff appearance last season and progress further, then they are going to need to improve in a number of areas to ensure they are in a position to compete and have a real chance of being crowned the MLS Cup winners.
Attack was the real problem for NYRB
Indeed, the attacking department should be an area of concern heading into the upcoming MLS season for the New York Red Bulls, as they were simply not prolific or effective enough in front of goal and appeared to had lost all of their shooting skills. The franchise scored just 39 goals in the league; the fewest of any team that was to qualify for the playoffs. In the final 20 games of the season across all competitions, the franchise managed to score more than once in a game on just two occasions.
Klimala, Fabio, and co all struggled
Patryk Klimala actually looked like a decent player throughout the campaign, however he never really provided the goods. He had some rather brilliant moments with the ball and linking up with his teammates as he provided six assists, but he struggled to find the net from open play. Of the eight goals he scored, he managed just five of those without the use of the penalty spot.
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It could also be suggested that the Polish forward also struggled to combine with Fabio up top, whilst the Brazilian who joined from Brazilian outfit Oeste FC-SP on loan and failed to be purchased permanently managed to fire in seven goals in his 30 appearances whilst in the Big Apple.
Beyond this pairing, things did not look much better for the New York Red Bulls, as Wiki Carmona scored just one goal, whereas Caden Clark and Frankie Amaya fell wayward, with the former of the two have since returned back to Germany’s Red Bull Leipzig after his loan came to an end. Cristian Casseres Jr. looked like he was finding form at the right time, but when it mattered in the playoffs, he was nowhere to be seen.
Some players did manage to impress
It was not all bad, though, as there were a few players who did manage to impress in what would have been considered a largely disappointing season. Indeed, these players will need to be at their best if the team is to improve on their 2021 finish.
Carlos Coronel was impressive between the sticks and appeared to strengthen the organization, whilst Sean Nealis and Andres Reyes looked impressive in defense. Klimala looked to be adapting throughout the campaign, so he could certainly be one to watch, whilst captain Sean Davis was a joy to behold as he continued to run the midfield. However, the team is going to have to find someone to step up and replace him now as he has since moved on to Nashville SC.
The New York Red Bulls will be hoping signings such as Lewis Morgan will be able to improve the attacking threat that they so clearly lacked last season if they are to improve and progress further.
Image credit for the above photo goes to the New York Red Bulls.