New York Red Bulls: Red Bulls can right their wrongs with some solid performances

New York Red Bulls. #99. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Red Bulls. #99. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The 2019 New York Red Bulls are playing nothing like the Red Bulls that won the Supporters Shield in 2018. While the problems are pouring out, a few solid performances coming up can help fix them.

The New York Red Bulls were the best regular season MLS team in history in 2018. It takes a lot to win the Supporters’ Shield in this league and quite frankly, it is probably very draining. So, to be honest, I am not 100% surprised that the Red Bulls are struggling a little bit. I am, however, surprised that they are struggling a lot of bit.

Though five league matches this year, the Red Bulls have just a single win, four points, no clean sheets, and an even goal differential. They lost to three teams that failed to make the playoffs last season and Bradley Wright-Phillips doesn’t has just a single goal and Kaku doesn’t have a single assist. The Red Bulls are struggling on offense, and the defense, while still stout, is not nearly as good as last year where they helped Luis Robles set many club records.

However, as the cliché goes, what is life without grind? While I am worried about the Red Bulls at this point in the season, they still have a long way to go. They will have an entire summer to turn things around before we start thinking about the playoffs. The Red Bulls, while falling behind in the Shield race, can still easily make the playoffs in a new single elimination format that could favor them.

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The question becomes how can the Red Bulls turn things around? That is a really complicated answer. The Red Bulls are easing Cristian Casseres into his new role slowly, but they are also simply not getting production from their designated players. Assuming that BWP will eventually turn it around like all great players do, the answer can get even deeper.

How the Red Bulls turn it around is up to them. Chris Armas is going to have to get creative because it is no coincidence the Red Bulls are struggling out the gates in his first full season. But the when they can turn it around needs to be soon.

It doesn’t get any easier

This Sunday, the Red Bulls travel to Kansas City to play Sporting. In my opinion, SKC is one of, if not the best club in the MLS. The Red Bull are lucky SKC just played in the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday night, but the Red Bulls haven’t exactly pounced on great opportunities very well this season.

What I can tell you, is that if the Red Bulls go into KC and at least get a result, it’ll be a huge confidence boost. The game is the lone MLS match on Sunday, on national cable, and I fully expect the stage to feel large. The Red Bulls will enter that with no excuses.

After that, the Red Bulls once again go on the road for a match. This time against New England on a Saturday night. The Red Bulls will for sure need points if they get leave KC empty-handed, but the Revs are also just an original rival.

The Red Bulls have a massive opportunity to right all their wrongs these next two matches. They need to start playing with a chip on their shoulders, they are no longer the best team in the MLS. We are well into the 2019 season and they are not even in a playoff spot right now.

The Red Bulls need to start getting points. The ideal scenario would have been to bank points against both Orlando and Minnesota at home where they are usually so solid so they didn’t need road points as much, but they blew that chance dropping both of those matches entirely.

Now, they put themselves in a situation where they need to go on the road and play well. In MLS, that is not an easy task. If they don’t play well and walk away from both matched empty-handed it will mean many things.

One, four points through seven matches is what they would have, that is abysmal and they could kiss the Shield goodbye with teams like LAFC, Sounders, Crew, Galaxy, Toronto, Philly, Houston, and Dallas already with double-digit point totals.

But also, the Red Bulls play back to back road matches four other times this season. It could be an awful according effect if they unravel during this stretch and do the same the other four times they do it.

What is encouraging is they do have a point on the road this year in Columbus. That also came at a time where the Red Bulls were still balancing the Champions League and were thrilled to just get a result, just getting a result on the road would be ideal again, albeit much different circumstances.

Silver Lining?

The good news for Red Bulls Supporters is that Luis Robles is a damn good captain. He always holds himself and his team accountable, but he is also a veteran who knows how to handle just about any situation. He said, per, that this early season struggle reminds him of 2016, when the Red Bulls weren’t getting results early but then almost roared back to win the Shield .

So, this is not a situation the Red Bulls haven’t seen before, but that was a long time ago. MLS has plenty of more, competitive teams now and is only getting more difficult to win. So, while it is great to have a captain like Robles, they still don’t have much room for error.


If the Red Bulls go out on Sunday, and the subsequent Saturday match and play great-to-excellent, get some results, maybe score some goals, and gain a few points in the standings, then that would be awesome to see.

The Red Bulls can’t keep dropping matches, 1-0, 2-1 etc., They need to start winning/drawing matches.

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Right now, I am still panicked about the Red Bulls, this is the worst they have looked in a long time, but I don’t need to see much to change my panic level, just something. And in the upcoming matches, which are tough ones, the Red Bulls can right some of the wrongs on the 2019 season so far by showing us they are RBNY, a playoff team the last nine seasons.