A few months back, I wrote about the New York Red Bulls and whether they could finally win the MLS Cup – they didn’t. This off season has seen a lot of changes in Metro land, and I am discussing them in this article.
Firstly, there have been no managerial changes in New Jersey prior to the 2018 season, Jesse Marsch is back for his fourth season at the top of RBNY, whilst Dennis Hammlet remains the Sporting Director for 2018.
Quite a lot of players who were regulars under Marsch have departed Red Bull Arena for the final time, these include Gonzalo Veron who’s got on the plane out of America and back to native Argentina, Mike Grella also left after being drafted by Columbus Crew, Gideon Baah also said farewell to New York, and the biggest one was when captain Sacha Kljestan was traded to Orlando City for two players, making it two years in a row that the Red Bulls have traded their captain (Dax McCarty in 2017), I fear for the future who is next made captain! The most recent out happened on the 3rd February when the Red Bulls waived midfielder Muhamed Keita, after playing just 6 games for the franchise.
Other fringe players to leave include Brandon Allen, Zeiko Lewis, Dilly Duka and Sal Zizzo.
Damien Perrinelle also departed the club, but is expected to join the clubs’ non playing staff for the 2018 season.
Now for the ins for the 2018 season, the club decided to buy out the loan of Michael Amir Murillo, who had put in solid performances last season. Bonomo, Valot, Mines and more have been promoted from the Red Bull academy.
The franchise got two players for the price of one when they traded captain Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City as they got defender Tommy Redding, and attacker Carlos Rivas for the club captain.
Amando Moreno returned to the franchise after a 5 year absence from the team, resigning with his first professional team whilst Marc Rzatkowski joined on loan from sister club Red Bull Salzburg.
Cristian Cásseres joined from Deportivo La Guaira.
However, the big transfer has been Kaku-gate. New York Red Bulls agreed a deal to bring Alejandro Romero Gamarra or commonly known as Kaku to Red Bull Arena from Argentine club, Huracan, but due to a former agent claiming he owed a percentage of Kaku, the deal got thrown in chaos.
However there is light at the end of the tunnel, with Kaku finally arriving in America on the 3rd of February, with three RBNY fans even introducing Kaku with a sign saying “Kaku > Kaka.”
It is highly expected that Kaku will have joined the franchise by the time this has been released and will have the number 10 shirt, that Keita also left for him. Kaku will join for a fee of $6.25 million, a New York Red Bulls record, and one of the highest in MLS history.
My 2018 predictions
I get asked a lot for my predictions for the season ahead so here I go
MLS Eastern Conference: 2nd (Toronto 1st)
MLS Supporters Shield: 4th/5th
MLS Cup: Eastern Final