The 2013 season was a series of ups and downs for the New York Red Bulls. After starting their season 1-2-2 through March, critics called the team inexperienced and out of sync. Then the boys from Harrison found their stride and started piecing together not only some wins, but some solid ninety minute performances.
Captain Thierry Henry took control of the attacking midfield alongside superstar Tim Cahill. The team started finding a rhythm, and pieces started falling into place. Fabian Espindola, Peguy Luyindula, and Markus Holgersson all stepped up and made a name for themselves, helping the team become a cohesive unit rather than a group of eleven strangers, while cementing their places in the top eleven.
Another first round exit from the MLS Playoffs left a bad taste in the mouth of fans and rookie head coach Mike Petke. The nominee for Coach of the Year by DoubleGSports.com has already stated he knows there are improvements to make to the team, but only minor ones.
To me, it seems to be a matter of team experience. I for one agree with Petke’s sentiment of ‘why change something if it’s working?’ Though it’s not quite as satisfying as an MLS Cup, the Supporters Shield is still the clubs first piece of silverware, and a great accomplishment. As long as the changes Petke makes remain minor, the squad will have a chance to compete together again for another full campaign. We can expect Cahill and Henry to establish a stronger foothold in regards to leadership, and help carry this squad into a deep playoff run come 2014.
Here is the fun part now DoubleG readers. What do you think the Red Bulls should be focusing on for the 2013-14 offseason as they prepare for Vancouver on March 8th? I for one say bring in a third designated player than can link the ball between the midfield and the attack, and call it quits. Let the squad learn each other more. Soccer is the ultimate team game, the sport where chemistry and synergy meet to create something beautiful; and if at all possible, some more silverware for New York.
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