New York Red Bulls: Red Bulls’ biggest storylines to follow in 2019

New York Red Bulls. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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New York Red Bulls
New York Red Bulls. Luis Robles (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Lady time never failed anyone.

Holy h-e-double hockey sticks are the New York Red Bulls lucky to have some of the players they do. It is one thing to keep their young back line together (re a few slides earlier) but they have two of the best to ever do it at major positions.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, and his 106 career goals already put him amongst the MLS Elite. The striker from England was meant to be a Red Bull for life too as that is just how his career has worked out. He has been with the club since his first appearance in 2013 and has been an integral part in two of their Shield wins and countless playoff matches.

The Red Bulls have never failed to give him the respect he deserves  too. He has always been the building block of great teams and his iconic number 99 is even retired when is, in fact, not.

However, “BWP” will be 33 when the MLS Regular season kicks off and there is simply no way of knowing when his age will catch up with him. He was in peak-form last season scoring 20 goals, but was absolutely silent during the grind of the playoffs.

As much as it pains me to say it, and probably more for you to read it, time catching up with him is inevitable. He cannot keep sustaining this elite pace of goalscoring and logging minutes as he get older, it’s just rare.

Also, BWP is not the only aging legend to worry about. In a season in which Nick Rimando and Tim Howard will be playing their last in their last season as goalies for their MLS Clubs, you cannot help but think of Luis Robles and when he will regress. He has been the exception of every single rule so far, that includes being a Red Bulls captain not traded away, but he too, is in his 30’s for he is 34 years old.

Robles has played in almost every single game for the club since 2013, only missing three last season, he actually set the record for most consecutive games played at one point, but once again he is the oldest player on the club.

It does not matter if you are a legend or a random player logging minutes, age is important in soccer and true value lies in players the younger they are. That might not be fair, that’s just how it is.

Robles is off to a fine start in terms of workload. He didn’t even have to face a shot in the fist leg of the CCL this season, but he too at any point, could fall off and decline in a natural way. But, even if he does, he is this writers and pretty much everyone’s favorite Red Bull of all-time so, that is something.

Luckily, and perhaps this is the real story, the Red Bulls are prepared for this possible decline. Mathais Jorgensen was the biggest addition to the Red Bulls this summer, he is young and will be developed to likely be the next striker and Ryan Meara logged some big minutes last season in lieu of Robles, with Evan Louro in the ranks somewhere too.

The ageless legends as they seem now, could be poised to show their age at any point this season. The grind of the MLS Season, all the other competitions could catch up to them at any point. I’d like to think Chris Armas will be prepared.

2019 could be the last great year from both of these legends.