New York Red Bulls: Mathias Jorgensen signing proves club aims for sustainable success

New York Red Bulls (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The New York Red Bulls made a splash this weekend by bringing on Mathias Jorgensen to a multi-year deal from a Danish League. Here is how the move proves the Red Bulls aim for sustainable success.

The New York Red Bulls made a splash to acquire an 18-year-old forward Mathias Jorgensen to a multi-year contract. The signing means many things like simply adding more forward depth for 2019. But, the signing focuses more on the big picture rather than the now.

For deeper context, the New York Red Bulls are not only coming off a year in which they won the Supporters’ Shield, they are coming off winning their third in six seasons and their ninth straight trip to the playoffs.

While the Red Bulls have failed to ever win the MLS Cup, which my pettiness makes me mention pretty much every article I write about them, they have had sustained success for a long time now.

The Red Bulls have plenty of other things to brag about. Regardless of the empty Cup. They do things rare in the MLS. They have managed to have their best players, the Luis Robles’, Bradley Wright-Phillips’, and Tim Parkers’ of the club around for a while. They managed to turn Tyler Adams into a regular fixture on the Bundesliga lineups.

The Red Bulls are a team that is constantly in the playoff picture and constantly a threat to win the Shield. Even if they fall out the Shield race, they manage to find their way into the playoffs season after season like in 2017 when they barely got in.

They are a team who builds and maintains successful regular seasons. That allows for some trophies and for constant qualifications into the US Open Cup  and Champions League. That is something to be proud of.

But, and this has been more of a constant trend that once again resurfaced this week, the Red Bulls constantly aim for growth in the future while always being relevant in the now. Maybe those two concepts go hand in hand.

To get back to Mathias Jorgensen, they signed an 18-year-old forwards. This is while having a much older and more experienced roster and Bradley Wright-Phillips who is a legend, still on their roster.

The Red Bulls did not make this signing to get better for 2019. Sure, having an extra kid around who can play forward cannot hurt the squad as the team will need depth as the season goes on, but he in no, way, shape or form, will be the most important player this season.

That is why he was brought on for a multi-year deal. The Red Bulls are not here to go all-in for just 2019. They will already be going for it and have a solid enough team. The reason they got Jorgensen is to have him eventually mold.

Assuming Chris Armas sticks to his guns and keeps one forward, that would be Wright-Phillips. Of course, things can always change eventually, but the whole point is to eventually have Jorgensen develop into a solid MLS player and eventually replace Wright-Phillips as the true striker. After all, Wright-Phillips is 34 years old soon.

This is not a signing that is going to propel the Red Bulls from a contender to an even better contender. This is a signing that is intended to help the Red Bulls stay a contender when they inevitably lose some talent down the line.

Part of their build for sustain has to do with the recent drama with Kaku. He is going to stay for now because the Red Bulls didn’t want to lose him to transfer just yet because he is hard to replace. That would hinder them being great in the future.

While the Red Bulls’ model for success is not exactly perfect as we just saw Atlanta United, a team built to win now and produce as much talent as possible to ship off, win the MLS Cup, the Red Bulls intentions are not something to fret about.

The Red Bulls might need to win the titles that matter in order to gain traction to the casual sports fan in their own market. But, for those supporters who always have and will stick around for a while, like myself, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think the Red Bulls won’t at least be a playoff team. Perhaps that is selfish, but a standard they set.

The New York Red Bulls never seem to throw the farm and blow through talent to be great one year. Every dollar spent, every player lost or gained is a methodical build to stay a powerhouse in the MLS.

The MLS is truly wild in terms of talent constantly coming and going, players constantly emerging as “too good” for or “retiring into” the MLS. But one thing is for sure, the Red Bulls refuse to fall behind all of those antics.

The Red Bulls get their players young. Often develop them themselves through the academy and second team. Or, they even keep their best talent by paying them a lot to do so. Mathias Jorgensen is a prime example of this. He is 18 years old. In a few seasons, he will be ready for a massive role as he learns thus, making the Red Bulls constant cycle of having great players come and go thrive.

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I’ll tell you what, that, that my friends, is so metro.