New York Red Bulls: Red Bulls will have no problems with schedule about to heat up

New York Red Bulls. #31 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls. #31 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Red Bulls are about to play leg 2 of their CCL round which is shortly followed up by the beginning of the MLS Season. However, no matter how many games they play in a short-time, the Red Bulls will be fine.

One of the perks of being consistently towards the top of the MLS Standings is that it often qualifies the New York Red Bulls for the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL). Essentially what it is a tournament to help determine the best club in North America. It often comes down to a battle between the MLS and Mexican soccer giant, Liga MX.

If you are an avid soccer supporter in North America, you likely already know all of this, if not, it is actually quite a riveting tournament. The gap in talent between some of the teams is truly remarkable, yet it consists of mostly Champion soccer clubs. The Red Bulls are marginally better than their CCL opponent, Atletico Pantoja.

That brings us to the point of this article, while all of this is going on for some MLS Clubs, Red Bulls included, the beginning of the MLS regular season is right around the corner. Like, the Red Bulls play in the CCL on February 27th then go to Columbus to open league play on March 2nd.

Related Story. Breaking down how the Red Bulls build their club and what they did this offseason to prove it. light

That is a lot of soccer in not a lot of time. The issue is both of those games are incredibly important. This is not like most sports leagues in North America where there is a long pre-season, then the regular season follows. The Red Bulls 2019 season began a few days ago in leg one of the CCL.

That alone was just mere months after almost taking their 2018 MLS Season the distance. They fell just short of missing their goal of the MLS Cup getting knocked out in the East Final. But, we already know that. Once again, this story comes back to a lot of soccer in not a lot of time.

The Red Bulls are still just getting into the swing of things, yet will be juggling two different tournaments, both of which are important and should be taken seriously. While it has been made clear in this column that I am all about the MLS Cup and focusing solely on that, that is not how everyone will see it.

To avoid frying everyone out in one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet, the Red Bulls are going to have to sacrifice their lineups.

Chris Armas could decide to either a) go all-in on the CCL and start his best players and not worry about the MLS match a few hours later b) go half and half on both CCL and MLS and go with his best team in half the starting XI’s or c) go all in on the MLS opener and sacrifice the roster on the CCL’s second leg.

This seems like a tough dilemma and like a tough decision. However, it is just a non-issue for the Red Bulls. To begin with, they are one of the deepest team’s in MLS. They were able to win games without Luis Robles, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and Tyler Adams all at some point last season, arguably their best players. The Red Bulls have depth at positions, depth that is capable at any level of competition.

So, no matter what Chris Armas decides to do with his lineups, he is fine. What helps the most in this all is that the Red Bulls were hardly challenged in the first leg of the CCL. Luis Robles didn’t even face a single shot and the Red Bulls relentlessly attacked. The Red Bulls notched two away goals and have a healthy cushion over their opponent from the Dominican Republic.

The Red Bulls shouldn’t put a roster so badly out there on Wednesday night that they butcher the CCL entirely, but at their best, and on the road, they were hardly even challenged by Pantoja. That means they can but their “B” team and still hold on. All they have to do is not give up two goals. Plus, Red Bull Arena is such an advantage for the Red Bulls.

Also, when the MLS regular season rolls around, the Red Bulls will need everything they have to beat Columbus. The Crew gave the Red Bulls everything they could handle last season. Even though The Crew is under a new coach and new ownership, the need to avenge for a playoff elimination last year at the hand of the Red Bulls is very much real for them.

So, ideally, the Red Bulls start shifting focus to the MLS, at least this early in the season. That is just what I want them to do. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. The Red Bulls had this same dilemma last season and won the Supporters’ Shield in League play and took Guadalajara, who won the CCL last year to their limits in the semi’s of that tourney. RBNY almost won that too.

So, it really doesn’t matter what the Red Bulls throw out there because they have proven to be solid and prepared no matter what. It is all up to Chris Armas, and I am sure a loss means the blame will be put on him, but there is just no way of knowing.

Either way, the Red Bulls, from every level and platform up, need to be able to bring it to start their 2019 season. The MLS Regular Season constantly proves to come down to the last point, it took the Red Bulls until the last regular season game to win it last year, and the CCL would be a great trophy to have for a club with an empty trophy case.

Overall, there are a lot of trophies to be won and the Red Bulls will be a serious player to go out and win all of them. That is for great reason. They are not this one-dimensional team with no depth or skill. They are world-class and playing with the best this continent has to offer consistently.

Next. Why the Red Bulls extending their best player's contract was so important. dark

This is about to crazy, folks. Hang on.