New York Red Bulls: Red Bulls are constantly being tested, when will they fail to pass?

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

The New York Red Bulls always seem to have a solid regular season, but it never feels like it comes drama free. At what point will the Red Bulls fail the tests they are constantly facing?

The New York Red Bulls are always a roller coaster and that statement does not always reflect their results. Their results on the pitch always seem to be positive, but as someone who closely follows this team, it seems like there is a never-ending cycle of issues.

First, the is the never-ending narrative that the Red Bulls simply cannot get it done in the postseason. Getting too involved with that story is like beating a dead horse and is neither here nor there. Same goes for the “attendance problems.”

Then, there is the fact that it looked as if the Red Bulls would be splitting their early part of their season going between both the MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League, their CCL quarter-finals performance was a mess in itself. Laying absolute eggs in both the home and the road legs, but not after making it seem like they would come back to win down it Mexico and make it back to the semi-finals, which would have been a remarkable achievement for them.

Then, once I finally coped with the Red Bulls finally being done with that, more drama came along. I was fine with balancing the CCL and the MLS in the beginning of the season. Red Bulls had a short offseason and then hit the opener in Columbus having already played in the CCL. But, once the Red Bulls got booted from the CCL, a part of me was relieved for them. Aside from the fact that many MLS teams were embarrassed in that tourney, the Red Bulls’ lone focus became the MLS regular season.

So, to refresh, the Red Bulls finally just have to focus on the MLS Regular season. They are pretty darn solid in that department. And once the home opener rolled around against San Jose last Saturday, the Red Bulls came out of the gates slow being down 1-0.

It seemed as if they had nothing. At this point Bradley Wright-Phillips hadn’t been scoring, Kaku hadn’t been helping, and the team’s midfield was gone. The Red Bulls backed themselves into a wall tactically in the CCL and it seemed it would carry over into league play.

Luckily, that didn’t happen. New York native Alex Muyl piled on a brace in the second half, Daniel Royer became his forever reliable self, and BWP broke through . But like everything with this club, there was more to it.

A solid three points and another game without a blemish on the record sound great to me, but without Kaku even playing due to what seems to be a lot of tension with the club says all you need to know about that. The Red Bulls need Kaku, if that is going to be a problem, it will eventually catch them. Oh, Florian Valot tore his ACL too.

Thankfully, the Red Bulls have a deep talent pool. This has been proven by winning the Supporters Shield and once again even qualifying for the CCL. But, as the Red Bulls prepare for their next league match, this one again at home but vs Orlando City SC, there is another test they must pass.

With the CCL well behind them now, this could have been a great time to know we are getting the best and freshest lineup possible for the second straight week, continuity is good. However, due to international duties the Red Bulls will not have Aaron Long, Kaku, Michael Amir Murillo, and another defender, Kemar Lawrence.

That is a core of this team’s best players. Having great talent is a great thing 100% of the time but we see its flaw now. The Red Bulls will never have a full-squad when there are international matches happening because Red Bulls players always make their international squads.

So, instead of getting a fresh match vs an Orlando team the Red Bulls could easily beat at home otherwise, they will be putting out a squad and lineup more like what we saw against the Crew in the first match.

While that does mean the Red Bulls will lose, it means the Red Bulls are once again facing an incredibly tall order. Once again, things just cannot be normal for this team. They are constantly finding themselves testing their depth and needing to jump through all these obstacles.

It is almost similar to what happened, and is still happening to 2017 MLS Cup Champion Toronto FC, except the Red Bulls have never won a Cup. They get to go through all the normal struggles of a championship club, but they have never actually won one.

Regardless, I am sure the Red Bulls will be dialed in this Saturday evening when they host Orlando City. I wouldn’t even expect the Red Bulls to walk away without at least splitting points, why can’t they at least draw?

But, what we almost should expect, is that it will not come easy, no matter what outcome, it will be a struggle, something will happen or come up, some sort of drama.

dark. Next. Biggest Red Bulls storylines to follow this year

The positive thing is that once this team finally does fire on all cylinders and the whole squad is back to what we know they can be in league play, they will be lethal and bank points. I just don’t know how much longer we have to wait to see that. At some point the Red Bulls are going to fail these tests, right?