Was 2017 a Success for New York Red Bulls?
The Red Bulls fell short of trophies again, but many new players gained valuable experience in 2017.
There was one consistent message from every member of the Red Bulls organization who met the media at Red Bull Arena Wednesday, 2017 was a success.
“I think for me this season was probably the most challenging, we had less established players and more new guys in the system”, Jesse Marsch said when asked about the season.
“New guys in the system” was a theme this year as it was clear that the goal of the New York Red Bulls was to integrate new players, a goal put in motion when captain and fan favorite was dealt to Chicago Fire just before the start of the year.
Luis Robles when asked about the season said, “[A]t the beginning of the season Jesse made it very clear that he was going to use younger players. Some of the early season struggles could be attributed to the learning curve and the growing pains that come with that. But then to sort of see it come to a head at the end of the season in that last game against Toronto and to see the guys go for it in a way and it didn’t matter who was going to come onto the field, it didn’t matter how much playoff experience they had going into it. You just felt like we were going to do this”.
So it was clear that 2017 was going to be a bit of a transition year for RBNY.
Marsch went on to say, “For me, that means that we’ve learned a lot, we’ve grown a lot, and we have a lot to build upon to move forward. From a points perspective and everything else it may not look as successful but for me, this is our most successful season.”
It is a tough pill to swallow for a Red Bulls supporter the organization calling the season a success when in the end, the team took home no silverware.
Sacha Kljestian echoed his coach’s sentiments, “I would agree that the team grew over the course of the year and that we’ve set in motion some good building blocks for the future, especially for next season if we can keep the core group together and a lot of the young guys that got a lot of major minutes this year.”
Although he did admit that “when the goal is to be a champion” it is unsuccessful if you don’t win.
However, the truth is the success of this season will be measured over the next few seasons and the strides young players like Tyler Adams, Amir Murillo and Aaron Long this season were not only fun to watch, but inspired hope for the future.
Robles stated that he “couldn’t help [hide] his sense of pride” in the young players and feel that “better days are ahead” for the squad.
So, is 2017 a success?
From a pure trophy perspective as Sacha Kljestan stated, it obviously was unsuccessful.
But, if the pieces are now laid in the foundation where Red Bull can finally end its championship drought then we would look back at 2017 as the turning point for the squad.