So far the Red Bulls haven’t had a result on the road to start this 2021 campaign. The club did have a better performance in their second trip to Gillette Stadium down three goals but tried to make a comeback, which was a goal short of earning their first points on the road. So their net road trip is down in the Peach State, where the club has remained undefeated in the regular season.
As the news broke out about Caden Clark leaving the New York Red Bulls at the end of the current MLS to Red Bull Leipzig, of course, there were plenty of emotions going around the club and the supporters as well. A talented young kid who has started converting chances into goals with seven in all competitions and becoming the new face of the club, until his rights were snatched up from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Gerhard Struber who came over during the pandemic last season wasn’t allowed to manage the side while Bradley Carnell was the Interim Manager was able to see what Clark was all about, scoring his first goals as a 16-year-old down in Atlanta, then adding another one off the bench against Toronto FC in Hartford, Connecticut.
For Struber, he hasn’t managed the club very long but got to see Clark strut his stuff in the opening playoff match against the Columbus Crew as Clark took the lead with an amazing strike. Since the start of this season, Clark has converted four times in five matches all at Red Bull Arena. It is a happy time, but also a sad occasion for Struber who will only have Clark till the end of this season.
“Yes I am sad, of course, Caden is an outstanding player. I am proud of him but there have been so many players I have managed in my past that have made me proud to perform the right way.” said Gerhard Struber, “But you must let them go, what’s his net step. I have other hungry players ready to come up.
“When players like Caden moves to another club, it always saddens me for the moment. But right now he’s here and when he returns from his appendix surgery he will have six months left with us. Hopefully with an outstanding finish and this is my job as a football coach to get the job done. I am happy for him and ready to prepare the next match.
Since Atlanta United has come into the league as an expansion side in 2017, they have had a lot of trouble earning a result against the Red Bulls in the regular season. After taking a lead in their first match of their history, they fell to Mike Grella and scoring an own goal to put them into the loss column by a final of two goals to one.
Since then they haven’t had a full three-point victory due to the Red Bulls getting help from VAR, or them coming back from a deficit, or the having a man advantage and then getting scored on by a rookie by the name of Tom Barlow who put in a brilliant ball past Brad Guzan. Right now this match is up for grabs if the Red Bulls can earn another victory or a proper result in front of a jammed-packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I think when I watch the games in Atlanta, I saw an outstanding stadium with an outstanding atmosphere. I see a game with a clear identity especially on the ball, I think they have a clear plan, especially with some of the players with good abilities on the ball.” said Struber, “They give much power and focus when they have the ball. They are strong on the ball, it’s a challenge and it will be a hard game at Atlanta.
“My players love to play at this stadium against Atlanta and it would be great to pick up the necessary points down there on Sunday, and we will bring a good performance and an outstanding attitude, we know that they will play on a high level, and we feel we are very close to pick up the points away from home.”
Atlanta United is currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points as the Red Bulls are slightly ahead of them with 12 points, this is going to be another interesting match up as Josef Martinez has returned from his torn ACL injury he suffered at the beginning of the season at Nashville. So it’s time to see what this new batch of young and exciting players are going to do, as they try to add on the woes to the five stripes as they have never earned a winning result against the New York Red Bulls