Former RBNY USL Prospect Ndam, wasted talent by FC Cincinnati

We all know how strong the scouting is at the New York Red Bulls, we also know when they bring in talent from within their academy, or transfer talent from another country and uses that said talent for their USL two club, you know they are bringing over the best of the best. Well in this case that said talent is now not playing any club football for the 2021 season.

Foubam, Cameroonian native and center back Hassan Ndam was a blossoming talent the Red Bulls had and was showing how strong the pipeline was for the club, he showed how strong he played in the USL Championship level and when he was at the MLS club he made two appearances and one of them was the fourth round victory over NYCFC in the 2018 US Open Cup.

During his two years down in the USL Championship League, with the USL Bulls, Ndam shows his strength as a Center Back with the club and had a knack for scoring a few incredible goals that made you scream with delight. If you are a Red Bulls supporter, you would want to see him challenging either Aaron Long or Tim Parker at the time for one of their starting spots.

But in the 2019 season, a USL Championship club had asperations to make the move to the top league in US Soccer as FC Cincinnati not only made their name with strong supporters culture but their road in their run to the 2017 US Open Cup that began in the second round, all the way to the Semi-Finals as they lost in extra time to the Red Bulls by a final of three goals to two.

For those two seasons, Ndam was with Red Bulls II, he played strong defense and showed the supporters and the club of the Queen City what he was all about on the backline, so when FC Cincinnati had their expansion draft, it was logical back in the 2019 off-season, that they brought over Ndam to be apart of their backline and defense, or so we thought.

For the two seasons Ndam was contracted to play for FC Cincinnati, he never played a single minute for the Orange & Blue. He spent two seasons on loan back in the USL Championship League, First with the Charlotte Independence in 2019 and then to the south beach as he was with Miami FC in 2020 in the coronavirus pandemic sseason. He played a combined 19 games within those two seasons.

But sadly when the calendar turned to 2021, FC Cincinnati decided not to keep him and is currently out of contract. How is it possible that a player like Hassan Ndam who was a shinning prospect with the New York Red Bulls, gets picked up by FC Cincinnati and they not only just send him back on loan to two different clubs in the Championship League, decides to throw him out on his back side and never use him at all?

I know at the moment the Red Bulls have a centerback problem due to injuries. Aaron Long is out for the entire season with the ruptured achilles, Andres Reyes is still out with injury, Sean Nealis has returned from his issues and was on the bench in the match at Toronto FC, Tom Edwards has been a saviour going from full back to center back, but if theRed Bulls can try to get Ndam back to the club and purchase his rights, I think it would be a big move to bring him back to where he played like the rockstar he can be.

But until them, we shall have to see if Ndam is even in the thoughts of heead coach Gerhart Struber and Manager of sport Kevin Thelwell, if there is a possibility that he can return and be apart of the club that had belief in him.

IT’s that time of year again. It’s that moment the schedule takes a turn and this club will either host or head down to our Nation’s Capital and prepare for that huge match, when all the emotions go in a frenzy and, you want to take out, as well as humiliate that historic rival for the entire 90 minutes of the match.

That’s right everyone, it’s time for hate DC Week and the trip down to Audi Field at the Navy Yard. Ever since DC United moved out of RFK Stadium and into their new home, DC United has never beaten the Red Bulls in the past four matches. The Red Bulls are three wins and draw at the new home of DC United and are currently on a six-match unbeaten streak at four wins and two draws that include the final two visits at RFK Stadium before DC United moved to their new home.

While it is a big moment for the Red Bulls to tangle with their old foes, Head Coach Gerhart Struber is paying attention to the club needs to play a full 90 minutes at this point in time, than worrying about the rivalry between these two original MLS sides that loves to battle it out every single season.

“Yeah, I know it is Derby time. I hear from that, but I think for us it is important, maybe we use one Red Bull more. Yeah, for derby maybe this is helpful, of course, I think this is helpful. I think for us it is after the game in Toronto,” Said Struber, “It is very important that we have a big focus, a big concentration, and the winner mentality on board, then I think it is very difficult against my team and this is the big goal. We do not think so much in the direction of a Derby, we think more of what is our responsibility, what is our duty on Sunday night in Washington against a very good opponent and then I think it is in our hands.

“We have massive strength at the moment, and we have to bring a good execution in the game, and everyone is on his personal limit, this is for me always the most important thing in every game that my players come always on his personal border. Yeah, then it is a clear direction on Sunday.”

John Tolkin who is a homegrown player and has grown up through the Red Bulls Academy system knows a lot about the rivalry, the Chatham Borough, New Jersey native has had his share of watching the club take on their oldest rivals, and even though he isn’t sure of which victories were his favorite against DC United, he knows very well what is coming at the club when they visit Audi Field on Sunday night.

“Yeah, I think it is huge. Even in the academy, whenever we would play D.C. [United] it was always a tough, physical game, there were always heated moments. Obviously, when I was younger to watching those games back when D.C. [United] was at RFK, those games are always chippy and there is a lot on the line, each team wants to win, and it is a great rivalry. It is going to be an important game and we are going to get these three points.” said Tolkin.

We remember the current history of playoff victories when Thierry Henry allowed the ball to pass him and Bradley Wright-Phillips converted the opening goal, then Peguy Luyindula scored the second in the first leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, then Henry assisted on the away goal to Luyindula to take advantage on the aggregate.

How could we not forget Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring his 100th career MLS Goal inside the opening ten minutes of the match, and his hat trick to steal a point away after Paul Arriola, Wayne Rooney & Luciano Acosta scored goals That Hat Trick was the last one that BWP converted when he wore an RBNY kit, but those memories will always be etched into our minds, we hope that new memories will continue as these new players and a new crop of talented footballers will head down and get another big win on their rivals and win the Atlantic Cup.

The New York Red Bulls went up to BMO Field in Toronto as they make a big attempt to get a second win on the road, but after 90 minutes of a hard-nosed match, the Red Bulls will move out of Canda and head back to the States as they take a one-goal draw from Toronto FC.

After a scoreless opening half, the Red Bulls wanted to have a quick start to the start of the second half and surprise the home side. They did so in the 46th minute as Patryk Klimala found a way to convert his third of the season. After Tom Edwards was fouled in midfield, he delivered a free-kick towards the Toronto area, Fabio made a run and his chip was swatted down by Alex Bono, but Klimala came in as the trailer, took two shots, and found a way to convert the chance.

“All the time when we can foul in this area when Tom Edwards sends the ball, we know what we have to do. Fabio and I just run behind the line, and the guy who has the ball is who will decide. Fabio shot it, but the goalkeeper saved it, and I was in this moment at the right time and I shot it. The defenders blocked the first shot but the second shot was the goal and that is it, I’m happy.” said Patryk Klimala.

But Toronto who wasn’t in the match from the start of the opening whistle knew they needed some energy to get back into the match, they did so as Jozy Altidore was subbed in, you could see with the way he was playing that the rest of his side was feeding off of it, and they were able to equalize in the 62nd minute of the match.

Jefferson Soteldo was dribbling the ball down the far side and was being defended well by Kyle Duncan, but his cross was aimed at the net, while Carlos Coronel was able to swat the ball away, he left a juicy rebound to Ralph Priso who returned it and hit the back of the net to level the match at one.

All game long this was a hard-fought contest, and while the result was good, the truth is head coach Gerhart Struber felt it wasn’t the result they were looking for. He felt the game plan that the Red Bulls had was good enough to take the full three points, but sadly they dropped two and he showed his emotions talking to the New York Media.

“Yeah, I think we were not so compact. The whole team, we had not good distances with each other in the second half, and they play only long balls, and they switch the game sometimes to [Yeferson] Soteldo. Our distances with the six, with the ten, and with the eight was too long and there was always a one-on-one on the side, and this is what we know went wrong there.” Said Struber, “We create in the first half, it was very good, it was always a two versus one on the side and we can bring [Yeferson] Soteldo completely out of the game and in the second half, we were not compacted enough against Toronto and not only against [Yeferson] Soteldo, but against the other players, especially the backline makes a better job in the second half from Toronto.

“They had a better rest defense and also, we are not ready enough to leave everything on the field. In the end, what you want if you can pick up points away and we need our strikers in a better level against the ball, they have to work more and more. Today, I missed some sprints, I missed some moments that they come back and work very hard with the team and when we miss this important behavior, then I think we cannot pick up three points and this right now is a little bit frustrating.”

The Red Bulls will continue on this road trip as they travel to our nation’s capital to face DC United in the Atlantic Cup rivalry, we all know how strong and good this has been and so far since Audi Field has been built, it has been advantage Red Bulls.

The Red Bulls wanted to play in their last match against a struggling Inter Miami, but the thunder and lightning show continued on from the middle of the afternoon till 1 AM, so there was no possible way the match would get started. So for the Red Bulls, they got an extra day of rest, to get ready for their next match against Toronto FC which will be played at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Toronto FC are very grateful they have returned home to play in Canada and in front of their fans since the pandemic closed the northern border, of course, if any American MLS Team comes to play against Toronto FC, they must make sure that all their players are vaccinated or else they will be ineligible to fly into Canada, due to the Coronavirus that has plagued North America for over a year.

But this time the Red Bulls are going to face this Toronto FC side in a different light as Chris Armas is no longer the head coach of the club and they are under the leadership of interim head coach, Javier Perez, as he led the club to a one-goal draw against Orlando City as Jozy Altidore converted in the 72nd minute, but the visitors equalized from the spot five minutes later from Nani.

But this could be an advantage as I have said for the Red Bulls as the Thunderstorms that hit the Harrison & Newark area forced the postponement to host Inter Miami may have saved their legs, but this team is still going to be a tough side to face with those big-time Americans playing as we will see Jozy Altidore & Michael Bradley become the dangermen that make this side tick.

“Yeah, so to start with Michael [Bradley] and Jozy [Altidore], they have done a lot for our country at the national team level and obviously players with a ton of experience. They have been extremely good for Toronto over the years and have been very important in their success, so again two players that we have to be mindful of at all moments.” Said Sean Davis, “When I think of Michael [Bradley] and his career, it is very admirable, and we just have to be on high alert when he has the ball at his feet. He likes to control the tempo of the game and he likes to get on the ball and another player that really makes them tick.

“Then you have Jozy [Altidore] who has different threats higher up the field and he scored in their last game, and again they are a team with a lot of momentum right now, so if you focus too much on one player, they have other weapons, so we just have to be on high alert at all moments. Again, we have a lot of respect for their team, and we are going to have to be at our best to get a result.”

The Red Bulls are currently on a two-match unbeaten streak on the road with a draw at Atlanta United & the victory at Orlando City. Since the start of the season, they haven’t done well on the road till those last two games. It is important for this club to continue to build and gain confidence to do very well away from Red Bull Arena, as they continue to show why they are an up & coming side in the Eastern Conference.

Yeah, I think everyone realized in Orlando, when we are on the same page with our style of play, I think we can pick up points and I think this was very helpful for our self-confidence that everyone understands and get the self-understanding that we can win also away with our game style and with our game idea.” said Gerhart Struber, “Right now, we have the next two games for our chest, the big focus is on Wednesday against Toronto.

“We realize it is a big team in the MLS. I think it is one of the biggest and the massive opponents that we can have. Yeah, but right now, they have I think some topics and for us it is important we find our focus in our way of style, and then we are ready for the next points.”

Going back to the Thunderstorms that hit our area, no one wanted to be on the pitch more than the New York Red Bulls as well as Inter Miami. Especially for Wiki Carmona who has been playing very strong and has done some good things, not just being dangerous on the pitch but forcing the opposition to make an error. When he drew the penalty and sent off the backup keeper in their last home match against the Philadelphia Union that Patryk Klimala converted.

“Although we shared that moment [with the teammates], it was a very funny moment because we would go out to warm up, then head back in, the coach gave his talk, and so when the moment came when both teams were in the tunnel, they told us that another lighting struck, we need 30 more minutes [to stay inside]. So, we waited and talked, and then we would head back close to the tunnel and another lightning would strike, and so the anxiety kicked in because I wanted to play. It was a unique moment because we tried to enjoy it. All my teammates wanted to play, and in the end, someone made the decision to cancel the game, and we all headed home.” Said Carmona.

Now it’s time to prepare for the mid-week battle against Toronto FC and afterward to take on DC United at our Nation’s Capital, but when I get news on the make-up date for the home match against Inter Miami to be rescheduled, I will let you know when that time comes, but for now, the Red Bulls move on to challenge Toronto FC in Canada.

The New York Red Bulls are about to get ready for their next opponents as they will take the bad taste out of their mouths on the draw they got in their last home game against the Philadelphia Union where they were up a goal and a man until they allowed an equalizer with five minutes left in regulation. So after dropping two points, they want to get back on track at home as they host a struggling Inter Miami at Red Bull Arena.

The second-year side representing South Florida with a star-studded lineup is trying to dig themselves out of a hole, that they created, to climb the ladder in the Eastern Conference. Big-name stars like Blaise Matuidi, Rodolfo Pizarro, Brek Shea, Victor Ulloa, and many more, are having a bad season under current head coach and former Manchester United defender Phil Neville.

The club is currently tied for dead last with Toronto FC with eight points but slightly better points per game that has them in 13th place, yet there is still talent on this roster that can turn things around in a heartbeat if you give them the chance to steal the full three points. That means the Higuain brothers of Federico and Gonzalo have shown to be dangerous and strong when given an opportunity to take over with the snap of their fingers.

“Yeah, what I say in the beginning. I think that we have to be very clear and very focused, and we have to be clear to give the Higuain brothers and other big players no hope to develop the game. We have to kill every moment when they come on the ball and when they come on transitions for that we need a very good organization, very good rest defense, and very good communication that everyone is ready to handle and manage the transitions from Miami in our way. I think when we are ready for that, then it is a big advantage for us.” said Gerhart Struber.

John Tolkin who has recovered from his injury against the Union is fit and ready to go, He knows what he is up for and what he needs to do against a player he has watched many times on Television and how to prepare for a big named star in world soccer. “Yeah, I think it was kind of the same thing against Nani, you see these guys on TV, winning the Euros and playing in European competitions.” Said Tolkin, “Yeah, it is definitely pretty cool, but you need to still realize that their another player and you just need to get the job done, but it is definitely going to be pretty cool seeing them in the tunnel before the game because obviously, I’ve watched him since I was young, so it is going to be pretty cool.”

But once again, it’s going to be a big moment for this club, because you don’t want to be the ones to give them that spark of hope to allow them to start a winning streak on you and at your home at Red Bull Arena. One positive moment and it’s off to the races they go. That will be the big key to stop Inter Miami from earning a win on the road.

“Yeah, we know that Miami has from the results have not had a big success in the last few weeks or month. I think when looking deeper into the roster or the squad from this team, I think they have special key players, they have players that can decide a game with one, two, or three good decisions.” said Struber, “I think for us it is so important against a team like Miami that we are completely focused and concentrated on our style of play and our identity, then I think it is difficult for Miami, but I think for us it is so important.

“We look very deep in our principles and in our tasks for this game and then in the end, when we are ready for that and we have the right attitude, I think it will be very clear that we create a very good performance.”

So get ready for a big matchup and another tough matchup in MLS as this Inter Miami side is going to scratch, fight and claw their way to a result, but it’s up to the kids of the New York Red Bulls that will have to show that they are ready for the challenge that is ahead of them and earn the full three points, by playing the full 90 minutes of this on.

On a rain-soaked evening at Red Bull Arena when Hurricane Elsa dumped several gallons of water that delayed the start of the match, The Red Bulls were looking to add on another win as they wanted to keep on with a three-game unbeaten streak. While they did achieve that goal, sadly it wasn’t the three points they were looking for as they had a man advantage and ended their contest against the Philadelphia Union with a one-goal draw.

The opening goal came in the second half as the Red Bulls took advantage of a misplayed ball from the backline of the Union and buried their opportunity. Wikelman Carmona was chasing the ball as Jakob Glesnes caught up to it first and backed passes it to Matthew Freese, but put him into no man’s land that forced him to do something rash.

Freese who tried to retrieve the ball grabbed and interfered with Carmona by wrapping his arms around Caromna’s waist to block him, then let go to get the ball. As the referee allowed play to continue and saw the ball getting kicked out towards the near side touchline, that’s when the referee blew his whistle, pointed to the spot to award a penalty, and pulled out the red card from his back pocket to send off Freese in the 57th minute.

The man for the Red Bulls to take the penalty was Patryk Klimala as he was ready to earn his second goal of the season, subbing into the match to take over the goalkeeping duties was Joe Bendik who replaced Daniel Gazcag as the Union went down to ten men. Then KLimala converted the spot-kick going to his right at the hour mark to give the Red Bulls the one-goal lead.

But during this match, the Red Bulls couldn’t find that magical moment to earn a second goal and widen the lead. They had multiple moments to beat Bendik who came off the substitute’s bench cold and just getting into the match, but sadly they kept missing the target That’s when the Union took advantage of the situation in the 85th minute off of some bad luck.

John Tolkin was defending along the far side touchline when he got fouled or he overstretched himself and went down hard with an injury to his left leg. Union CAptain Alejandro Bedoya took advantage of this as he quickly threw the ball back into play, a cross came towards the middle of the Red Bulls Area, and substitute Sergio Santos found a way to deflect that ball off his head and off the inside of the near post and beat Carlos Coronel to equalize the score.

The Union took advantage of the situation as Tolkin who was injured inside the field of play was too close to the near side touchline, went down on the field and rolled himself in pain completely over the touchline, and put himself out of bounds. not allowing the referee to make a call to blow his whistle as Tolkin was not aware of his position on the pitch feeling the pain of the injury.

After seven minutes of second-half stoppage time, the referee blew his whistle to end the contest with a draw and the Red Bulls felt sad about dropping the two points. While there were some strong moments the Red Bulls felt they did well, and had a decent performance, it was the ones they couldn’t convert to add the lead that bothers them because they were a man up for the remaining half hour on the clock.

“The feeling right now is not positive, I think we expect a different result in the end. We expect a win and I think so many things in the right way today. We worked so hard as we synchronized and had the togetherness and the tactical awareness.” Said Gerhart Struber, “When we go in front of Patryk’s penalty goal, but not converting on the second goal was missing. This is a learning moment for our players and the learning curve today that we need the energy for the second goal and we missed it. This makes me disappointed and frustrated.

“We have many injured players and many talents on the field. I am not afraid of the future of the club, we have these players that do the job well, but on this day we weren’t sharp enough to get that second goal, and this was a bit disappointing., but we did a good thing today., but still the result was not good enough for us after we had the lead and when we were a man up.”

The Red Bulls will continue their homestand next weekend as they host Inter Miami at Red Bull Arena, as they face Phil Neville and the Higuain brothers in a big contest, to take on the club owned by David Beckham.

The Red Bulls are back at Red Bull Arena after their three-match road trip, where they were able to pick up points in two out of their three matches. Now they return home to continue this two-match unbeaten streak as they take on the Philadelphia Union who have had a good start to the season, and are the lone MLS side in the Semi-Finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Gerhard Struber’s boys are playing very strong and have earned confidence on the road now with the draw at Atlanta United and sweeping Orlando City with another two goals to one result at Exploria Stadium. We all know that the job is not finished with more matches down the road, but so far he has to like what he has seen so far from his side.

“I think the last few games in the last few weeks helped the whole team to go better and come better in our principles and execution. I think it is going in an efficient way, I think especially the last two games show me that we are ready right now.” said Struber, “They were also a way to pick up points and our performances were constantly on a good level. The game on Thursday will show us how ready we are against a massive opponent like Philadelphia. We can handle it and I have big trust in my team that we can win this game.”

But now they have a chance to move up in the Eastern Conference table as the Red Bulls are tied for sixth place with 16 points along with DC United, above the playoff line, then Montreal & Columbus below the playoff line. This is a big opportunity for the Red Bulls as they are currently three points behind the Union who are in third place in the east.

What will help the Red Bulls a little bit is that the Union will be without three of their players who will represent Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup as forward Cory Burke, Goalkeeper Andre Blake & Defender Alvas Powell will be away with Jamaica, and since US Men’s National Team Head Coach didn’t select any Red Bulls for their Gold Cup roster. What will Struber try to do to stop the Union?

“I think Philadelphia plays in a similar direction like us. On the ball and against the ball I think we have to change something, or we have to be flexible in some moments. We know that Philadelphia is an outstanding team with a very good balance between defense and attacking moments and they have many key players. It’s a completely different game, like the game against Orlando City, it’s a challenge from the physical side and from the tactical side that we are in our execution in transition. Also, our buildups will have to be very clear and clean, and we’ll have the right desire in the end that we can create the next win at home.” said Struber.

The one thing about the Union that has been visible in their defensive game plan that has been laid out by head coach Jim Curtin who was a top defender himself back in his playing days with the Chicago Fire. Curtin has really shown the club’s toughness on the backline, preventing goals by the opposition. Even if they are missing two of those three important players on defense and in the net, it could be a long 90 minutes for the Red Bulls to put the ball into the back of the net.

“I think Philadelphia plays in a similar direction like us. On the ball and against the ball I think we have to change something, or we have to be flexible in some moments.” said Tom Barlow, “We know that Philadelphia is an outstanding team with a very good balance between defense and attacking moments and they have many key players.

“It’s a completely different game, like the game against Orlando City, it’s a challenge from the physical side and from the tactical side that we are in our execution in transition. Also, our buildups will have to be very clear and clean, and we’ll have the right desire in the end that we can create the next win at home.”

Hopefully, the Red Bulls can get Caden Clark back for this contest against the Union as he recovered from his appendectomy surgery because currently he and Cristian Casserers Jr are tied with the club lea on goals scored with four. This season we have seen the amazing moments with Clark and thy surprising offensive surge in the game of Casserers Jr If both players continue to surge and improve, we could see a battle for the club scoring title and possibly reach 20 goals for both players.

But now it’s time to prepare and get ready for that big match, this coming Thursday night as the Red Bulls are getting ready to take on the Philadelphia Union and let’s hope the home side can take the full three points and climb the standings.

The Red Bulls knew this was going to be a difficult game as Orlando City was getting back important pieces to their starting lineup. Nani & Daryl Dike weren’t in the last match at Red Bull Arena, but it didn’t matter, as the visitors from Harrison played a strong match and earned their first win on the road this season as they defeated Orlando City by a final of two goals to one.

The return of Cristian Casserers Jr. was the big highlight in this match as he returned from Copa America duty with Venezuela and scored another golazo to take the early lead in the 6th minute. Fabio brings the ball up along the far side, passed it to Patryk Klimala who found Casserers Jr. on the edge of the Orlando Area. He would make a cut to his left, then smashed the chance with his left foot, as he curls it inside the far post.

The Red Bulls were doing a lot of things right in this opening half. Strong defense, attacking runs, also frustrating the big boys of Orlando City in Mueller, Nani & Dike, but they got a golden opportunity to earn a penalty in the 43rd minute as Tom Edwards was called for a foul, but on replay, the call was very soft as Edwards never, or barely brought his man down. As Mauricio Pererya took the penalty Carlos Coronel guessed correctly and made the save diving to his left.

When the second half started the Red Bulls continued to apply the pressure, and continued to get scoring chances through attacking runs. Even though Chris Mueller scored the equalizer in the 59th minute, the Red Bulls would convert late in the second half to retake and keep the lead for good from one of their strikers.

Fabio converted the match-winner with help from his friends as Dru Yearwood brings the ball up from midfield and wasn’t touched by the Orlando City defenders. He was allowed to get into their area, found Klimala, who made a quick pass to Fabio and smashed it inside the near post for his second of the season.

After the full 90 was ticked off the match clock, the referee blew the final whistle, and magically the Red Bulls finally earned their first win on the road and are currently on a two-game unbeaten streak and earned four points out of a possible nine. This club that had a rough start to the season, is finally getting themselves on track and finding ways to get points on the road for the second consecutive road game.

The Red Bulls are in seventh place and has a home date against the Philadelphia Union who I would believe wants to get some form of revenge after they earned a one-goal loss at Subaru Park at least over a month ago, but for now, a big victory for the Red Bulls in the heart of Downtown Orlando to savior as they are the only club in the Eastern Conference to hand the purple and gold two losses on their record for the 2021 season.

The New York Red Bulls are finishing up a three-match road swing where they almost grabbed a comeback point from New England, Got a point to stay unbeaten in Atlanta, and now will try to earn three points as they take on Orlando City at their purple palace on Church Street.

Before the international break came back around the end of May, the Red Bulls took down a red hot Orlando City side that was without Daryl Dike who was at the time on loan with English side Barnsley and was without Nani as he was serving a two-game suspension for touching the referee in a road match at Audi Field against DC United. But this time it won’t be the case as Nani will be ready for the game, but since Daryl Dike has been called into the CONCACAF Gold Cup squad by US Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter.

“I think that’s t’s going to be a tough game on Saturday. The roster from Orlando is very good tactically, and technically. They have some outstanding key players like Nani, and with Dike, he showed in the last few months in the championships in England,” said Gerhart Struber, “His abilities with and without the ball speak very loudly and it will be a tough game.

“But we have a plan and we have the right attitude and the right focus, we hope we can pick up the points down in Orlando and make it a very strong game against them down at their home.”

The Red Bulls are happy that they didn’t lose any players for the upcoming Gold Cup tournament coming within a week as Frankie Amaya, Kyle Duncan, and Caden Clark were picked on the provisional roster, but never made the permanent squad, but the one player I know that the Red Bulls are happy to get back is Venezuelan International Midfielder Cristian Casserers Jr. who has returned from Copa America Duty.

When he transferred to the Red Bulls Casserers was showing his abilities as a strong defensive midfielder, being paired up with Sean Davis, since he has been moved up into an offensive role as a winger in the midfield, Casserers Jr, has scored three times and his last goal was a stunner with a free-kick smash in their home match against Orlando City. His game was missed when he went into international duty.

“I think Cristian is special in the defense structure with a high discipline, his personal behavior in the pressing and counter-pressing moments are on another level, and he’s a hard worker from the opening second to the last second.” Said Struber, “The other philosophy that we see is his attitude of never giving up, and your principles are very, very important. His play is very, very important and gives confidence to our team.

“He can win balls in very difficult moments back in our team, and also in situations when there is chaos, especially in the last two games when he was with us in our belief in football. He’s cleaner and played in the last third how he helps creates chances. Free kicks as well. He’s not just an important player for us, but he is a fantastic human being as well.”

Ever since John Tolkin was given an opportunity o play as a wingback on the backline, he looks like he hasn’t fallen out of place, nor favor as his defensive prowess has really been strong, and fluid. In his last match down at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Toilkin played a solid left-back by stopping Atlanta United from crossing the ball into the area with some solid defensive play. So far it looks like the future for Tolkin is looking better and better for the New Jersey homegrown product.

“Everybody did a great job in the last game against Atlanta, everyone did a great job. That 3-5-2 gave us a little wiggle room in the back, It gives us a little more defensive help.” said John Tolkin, “But every game the principles stay the same, and the aggression stays the same.” said John Tolkin, You can see we are improving the game in and game out, from the New England game to the Atlanta game, we had a lot of positives on the road, so we hope to bring that into the next game at Orlando.

“It’s pretty crazy Nani and those guys. You have to stay focused at all times, It’s really going to be tough, I think we can handle it and we have to go out there to get some points.”

we all know that Orlando City will be looking for revenge after earning their first defeat of the season back on May 29th, as they fell to the Red Bulls by a final of two goals to one, but let’s see if the kids can continue to spoil the party for the purple & gold, then they can really start a positive streak on the road, and earn plenty of points on the road.

FOr the 5th time in the regular season, the New York Red Bulls traveled down to Atlanta, Georgia, and faced an Atlanta United side that has been playing tough, but not earned the necessary results to put them into the top seven spots of the Eastern Conference. After 90 minutes of play and through lengthy stoppage time in both halves, the New York Red Bulls earned their first point on the road with an exciting scoreless draw at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

The majority of the match was played inside Atlanta United’s half a the Red Bulls kept attacking, creating chances, made a few runs, and had some help along the way from the Atlanta United defense to earn opportunities to take shots on goal, but unfortunately, Brad Guzan made several big saves to keep the visitors off the scoreboard. He stopped Patryk Klimala who took advantage of a missed possession and when he struck the ball, it slipped thru Guzan’s gloves, but he pounced on the ball late and prevented it from crossing over the entire goal line,

Late in the second half, Kyle Duncan had a big chance to get the opening goal as he rounded the defender and got very close to the net, but when indecision crept inside his head, his cross went to no one as the space was empty with no Red Bulls teammate in sight. he had Fabio wide open and was ready to tap it in, or he should’ve taken the shot himself. But towards the final 5 minutes in each half, Atlanta United had some good looks, but they were stopped by either the entire backline or Carlos Coronel was able to make all four saves in this one.

But once again injuries have crept back into the Red Bulls play as the field turf was unforgiving and as we always say, the turf monster strikes again. Andres Reyes pulled a hamstring, and while we don’t know the severity of how big the injury is, it’s not good when you are down two centrebacks, one who is out for the season and one who looks like will be out for a while. Tom Edwards who has been doing a good job as a fullback, center back & defensive midfielder also got grabbed by the turf monster as he has a bit of a groin issue when he came out of the match.

But after the end of this match, the number one feeling is that the New York Red Bulls found a way to earn a point on the road, and with the way they played and tried their best to get a big result, this draw will do, as they never backed down, played strong on both sides of the ball, got a little bit of luck a well, but once again they played strong and everyone on the coaching staff was very happy to get their first positive result on the road, even if it only earned them a single point.

“Hello together. Yeah, we expected today, a tough game and we realized that tough game against Atlanta. I am very happy with our style against the ball, I think we have so many in-fights and so many battles on the field today and we win so many battles from that.” Said Gerhard Struber” The attitude, the energy, the synchronized moments, was what we miss a little bit in New England, was today on a very good level. I think the togetherness, to create overload moments in our spaces for want we want and was also very good. We create some very good chances. In the end, I missed a little bit the desire or the determination to score in the end, but we create chances against a very good team, and was a challenge today to play against a team like Atlanta from the technical side and from the ability, from the players, was a very good game for my boys that we handle and manage the game.

“Over the most of the time in our direction, we are a little bit unlucky with some moments from the referee and also we have a little bit luck, also in the end with one or other chance from Atlanta on the post, but I think in the end, we deserve, absolutely this point and with a little bit more luck in the end we can win this game.”

So the Red Bulls will return home to relax and train for the next road match as they will head down to the Magic Kingdom of Central Florida to take on the purple & gold of Orlando City, who are for sure looking to earn a bit of revenge after loss at Red Bull Arena before the International Break came, but for now, it’s time to pat this side on the back and see if they can continue their good fortune.

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