2018 Key Transfers: New York Red Bulls

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at New York Red Bulls and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

The New York Red Bulls came close to shocking Toronto in the Eastern Conference Championship game last season but ultimately fell just short. It was a trend of their season. They were good, but saw several close games slip away from them. Jesse Marsch has responded by adding to his already talented squad this offseason. A couple of key faces have gone but the Red Bulls look younger and more dynamic heading into the new season. Their high pressing and intense style of play should ensure they continue to fight at the very top of the East.

Key Signings

Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra: Undoubtedly the signing of the offseason for the Red Bulls, Gamarra arrives after a long and drawn out transfer saga. But the key is, the Red Bulls have got their man. He signs as a Young Designated Player from Argentine side Huracan and will be tasked with replacing the creativity of Sacha Kljestan. At 23, the winger nicknamed “Kaku” is an exciting arrival for the league as a whole and Marsch will hope his new No. 10 can instantly adapt to his new surroundings.

Carlos Rivas: Rivas is yet to really feel settled in MLS after three frustrating years at Orlando City. He played 78 games and scored eight goals but now Rivas has the tough task of making a new-look Red Bulls team successful. After heavy losses this offseason, Rivas is an exciting spark of pace which could help add sharpness to  RBNY.

Tommy Redding: Academy product Redding has been heavily sought out since his debut for Orlando as an 18 year-old. In his three seasons for the Lions he amassed 38 matches. At the age of 21 now, Redding has the chance to move his career up a step as he should be pushing to start for the Red Bulls. He will suit the system and is another young addition to what should be a competitive squad in 2018.

Cristian Casseres Jr: To anyone but a professional scout, Casseres will be a completely unknown entity. A Venezuelan youth international, he is only 18 years old, and has only 15 professional club matches to his name. Casseres was signed as a discovery signing by the Red Bulls and could well be the next big MLS talent. One to keep an eye on…

Notable Departures

Sal Zizzo: Winger turned fullback Zizzo has joined Atlanta United after his option was declined by the Red Bulls. In his three seasons in The Big Apple he managed 72 appearances and became their starting right back. Having been in MLS since 2010, his stint in the league continues and he’s still only 30 years old.

Gideon Baah: A very disappointing end for a promising defender; Baah has been left without a club after the Red Bulls declined his option at the end of 2017. It’s upsetting for Baah as injuries have not been kind to the Ghanaian. He leaves New York with a meager nine appearances to his name and will hope to find a new challenge soon, if he can stay healthy.

Mike Grella: Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league. Grella has left the Red Bulls for the Columbus Crew. He enjoyed three very good years for the Red Bulls in which he scored 16 times in 73 games. Injuries halted his progression last summer and the franchise have decided now is the right time to move him on. Some fans may remember him being selected by Toronto FC in the 2009 SuperDraft before rejecting them to join Leeds United in England.

Sacha Kljestan: One of the biggest shock transfers this offseason so far. For a big name and talent like Kljestan to be moved on takes some doing. The playmaker moves south to Orlando, with Rivas and Redding moving the other way (as mentioned above). At 32 years old, New York Red Bulls have definitely replaced him with fresher legs. But his quality is unquestioned and he will be a huge loss. The fact he registered 51 assists over three seasons highlights just how effective a creator he is.

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Watch: Bradley Wright-Phillps and Sean Johnson reveal all ahead of Friday’s New York Derby

It’s MLS Rivalry Week. There are mouth-watering games everywhere you look this weekend. But there’s no doubt all eyes will be on New York as the latest Hudson River Derby takes place on Friday night.

The New York Red Bulls welcome New York City FC to Red Bull Arena for the final derby clash between the pair of the 2017 regular season. The series has already been decided. New York City FC has won both of the previous two MLS meetings this season. But don’t expect Friday’s game to be played with any less ferocity as a result.

The teams met less than three weeks ago at Yankee Stadium, with NYCFC running out 3-2 winners as David Villa scored the second hat-trick in New York City FC history. That result followed on from NYCFC’s first-ever win at Red Bull Arena back in June. The hosts will be desperate to avoid a second home loss to their cross-town rivals here.

Don’t miss: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC Preview and Prediction

The New York Derby has quickly become one of the fiercest in MLS. There are more established rivalries across the league, but this one feels personal. Fans and players put it all on the line whenever they meet. That usually leads to incredible games, and expect nothing else this week.

In the build-up to Friday’s game, our friends over at Copa90 US have been speaking to NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson as well as New York Red Bulls star Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Watch the video below to find out everything from both sides of the rivalry, including locker room superstitions and what colour New York will be come this weekend…

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

Red Bull Arena – Friday, August 25 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – NYCFC 13/5

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Preview

The New York Red Bulls face New York City FC on Friday night in their third and final New York Derby clash of the 2017 regular season. NYCFC have already claimed the series but don’t expect that to lead to any less drama in Friday’s battle.

The New York Red Bulls won the first four New York derbies – including that famous 7-0 thrashing at Yankee Stadium in 2016 – but have lost three of their last four in MLS since. They have lost both games this season and must avoid a third-straight defeat here.

Last Friday’s 2-0 defeat in Portland saw them lose just their second MLS game in seven. However, they had played 120 minutes in the US Open Cup semifinal win at FC Cincinnati three days earlier.

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The Red Bulls come into Friday’s game in good form. They know the pressure is on them to get revenge over NYCFC. Apart from securing bragging rights, they can move up to joint-third with Chicago Fire with a win, at least until the Fire play on Saturday night.

New York City FC know that they must complete a treble over their neighbours to keep pace with Toronto FC at the top of the East. The visitors are seven points behind Toronto but have a game in hand over the league leaders.

NYCFC have proven a more resilient side this season. They have developed a clinical edge and have perhaps surprised the Red Bulls by winning the past two derby clashes.

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The series is already tied up for the season. NYCFC have claimed their first series win over the Red Bulls. But don’t think that will stop them going for victory on Friday night. Their fans and their players will be desperate to complete a hat-trick of league wins over their rivals, especially with the game being played at Red Bull Arena.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Team News

The Red Bulls are likely to be without Daniel Royer once again. The winger hyperextended his knee in the latest New York Derby three weeks ago and has yet to return. Aurelian Collin is a doubt but could yet make the starting lineup. Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season. Summer signing Muhamed Keita could be ready to make an impact off the bench, according to Jesse Marsch.

New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira will have to cope without Yangel Herrera. He is suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation. Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo and Maxime Chanot are all sidelined through injury. Alexander Ring and Ethan White will return after serving suspensions against the Revs last weekend.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/L/W/L

NYCFC’s last five: W/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have scored 12 goals in their last three home games since being shutout and losing to NYCFC in June, winning all three games.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – To score two goals in a derby game and not be the best player on the pitch is rare. But that’s exactly what happened to BWP in the 3-2 loss at NYCFC three weeks ago, as David Villa fired in a match-winning hat-trick. However, Wright-Phillips now has ten goals in eight MLS games against NYCFC. If anyone is likely to grab this game by the scruff of the neck, it’s the Englishman.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-2 New York City FC – Goals are expected in Friday’s game. The New York Derby has quickly established itself as one of the most ferocious and exciting rivalries in MLS. Expect that trend to continue here, even with the series already wrapped up. Both sides are in good form and are looking to stay at the top end of the East. However, they look set to cancel each other out here. The Red Bulls can’t afford to drop a third-straight game to their rivals. But NYCFC have proven they are a tough unit to break down this season. Score draw.

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Orlando City: Exclusive photos as Red Bulls down Lions

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Orlando City – The Red Bulls bounced back from last weekend’s Hudson River Derby loss with a strong comeback win at Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. Bradley Wright-Phillips was among the goals again as Orlando saw their winless run extended to five.

Jesse Marsch’s men have now won five of their last six MLS games. They are fourth in the East and well on course for a playoff place.

By stark contrast, Orlando City are facing an uphill battle if they are going to make the postseason for the first time. Jason Kreis has watched his team lose four of their last five. They are five points behind sixth-placed Atlanta, but have played two games more than the expansion side. They need to produce something special to reach the playoffs for the first time.

The Lions got off to the perfect start, with Carlos Rivas putting them 1-0 up in the 18th minute. However, Leo Pereira scored an own goal after a good cross from Tyler Adams on the half-hour mark to level it up.

Wright-Phillips then put the hosts in front. He turned in a cross from Alex Muyl and the Red Bulls then looked comfortable. The result was made certain when Sean Davis curled in a fine effort nine minutes from time.

The game did end on a sour note though. Referee Jorge Gonzalez handed out four yellow cards in stoppage time. While he issued Kaka with a contentious red card after a Video Review. The Brazilian put his hands on the face of Aurelien Collin, seemingly joking with a friend. But Gonzalez chose to send Kaka off after watching the incident back.

Check out exclusive photos from Saturday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Ashley Marshall.

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Orlando City: Exclusive Photos

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls

Yankee Stadium – Sunday, August 6 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 1/1 – Draw 13/5 – NY Red Bulls 23/10

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Preview

New York City FC host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday evening as the fierce rivals go head-to-head in a pivotal Eastern Conference clash. There are just two points between the pair coming into the weekend.

The New York Derby has quickly become one of Major League Soccer’s most action-packed games. That should be no different this weekend, with the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VARs) to the league this week sure to add to the drama.

New York City FC stunned the Red Bulls when they picked up a first ever win at Red Bull Arena just over a month ago. That 2-0 win suggested a power shift in New York. But results since mean this is perfectly poised.

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NYCFC fell 4-0 to league leaders Toronto FC last time out. That heavy defeat reaffirmed Toronto’s status as the team to beat. But it also once again highlighted that New York City FC are not yet the full package.

They know they must respond with a strong performance in a huge game here. They are a real force at Yankee Stadium and have only lost once at home this year.

For the New York Red Bulls, Sunday is all about revenge. That 2-0 home loss to NYCFC at the end of June was a real statement. The hosts didn’t deserve anything on the day but they have rallied well since.

Photo: @NewYorkRedBulls

Jesse Marsch’s men have won four-straight games since that loss. Last weekend’s 4-0 win over Montreal was probably their best game of the campaign. So they couldn’t be coming into the Hudson River Derby in better form.

The Red Bulls are in great form. They know they can leapfrog their rivals into third with a win on Sunday. So this one could turn out to be a classic.

This will be the second of three regular season battles between the pair in 2017. NYCFC hold the advantage after their win back in June. But the two sides will clash again on August 25 at Red Bull Arena.

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New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Team News

Patrick Vieira will be without a few key men for Sunday’s derby. Khiry Shelton, Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo, James Sands, Rodney Wallace and Maxime Chanot are all out.

Jesse Marsch will defintely be without Gideon Baah and Mike Grella. Aurelien Collin is listed as questionable with a hamstring problem. Connor Lade is expected to be passed fit in time for the game.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Key Points

NYCFC’s last five: W/L/D/W/L

NY Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Entertainment – This will be the eighth MLS clash between the New York rivals. In the seven previous clashes, there have been 25 goals. That’s an average of 3.6 per game.

Key Player: Daniel Royer – The Red Bulls’ Austrian star comes into Sunday’s game off the back of being named MLS Player of the Month for July. He scored six goals and picked up one assist in the four games last month. He looks sharp as ever and is in lethal form in and around goal. If NYCFC fail to deal with him, he could run riot.

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls: Prediction

New York City FC 1-3 New York Red Bulls – The game is perfectly poised ahead of kickoff. It’s tough to split the two sides. But the Red Bulls are in the best form of their season. Their current run was sparked from the defeat to NYCFC at Red Bull Arena, so expect them to be on the hunt for revenge here. New York City’s 4-0 defeat to Toronto last weekend was their worst loss of the year. If they defend as they did a week ago, they won’t be able to cope with the Red Bulls’ attack.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, July 29th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Montreal Impact 9/2

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Preview

New York Red Bulls host Montreal Impact on Saturday night, looking to make it four successive MLS wins. The home side are in good form and will still have their eye on things at the top of the Eastern Conference. Even if there are four teams above them heading into the weekend.

Jesse Marsch’s side sit fifth coming into this one. They are eight points below league-leading Toronto FC, but have played one game less than the Canadian side.

The Red Bulls steamrolled Minnesota United 3-0 last weekend. They have now won five games in succession in all competitions and look to have hit their stride at the perfect time.

That will be a worry for a Montreal Impact team that have been inconsistent all season. The Impact fell 2-1 at home to FC Dallas last week and are down in 9th place in the East.

Montreal haven’t won back-to-back MLS games for two months and are really struggling to build momentum. They know a playoff spot is still in question. But they need to dramatically improve to secure a top six finish in a competitive East.

This will be the second meeting between the pair this season. The Impact sealed a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo in June to make it three-straight wins against the Red Bulls.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Team News

New York Red Bulls: Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season with a broken leg and knee injury, respectively. Aurelien Collin is a doubt with a hamstring problem. New loan signing Fidel Escobar might be in line to start at centre-back.

Montreal Impact: Ambroise Oyongo is ruled out with a knee problem, which is expected to have ended his season. Victor Cabrera is listed as questionable.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/W/W/W

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/W/L/W/L

Key Stat: Montreal have won the last three meetings between the pair, with each victory coming by a solitary goal.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – Wright-Phillips has scored six in his last eight games and is in a fine run of form. The Red Bulls will be hoping he can continue to lead the attack with goals on Saturday.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Montreal Impact – The Red Bulls are historically solid at home and have only lost twice at Red Bull Arena so far this season. Montreal’s lack of consistency makes the Red Bulls strong favourites and we can’t see any other outcome than a home win.

Join us for Heineken Rivalry Week’s MLS London Viewing Party – Featuring special guest Frank Lampard!

We’re excited to announce that Major League Soccer is hosting an official MLS Heineken Rivalry Week viewing party in London, featuring special guest Frank Lampard!

Join us and a host of MLS fans on June 24 to watch the New York Red Bulls take on New York City FC live on Sky Sports from 18:30pm.

To attend this special event, fans must RSVP using the link to the form at the bottom of this page.

MLS Heineken Rivalry Week London Viewing Party

Saturday, June 24

NY Red Bulls vs. NYCFC

5:00PM – 9:00PM

The Pilgrim, Kennington

247 Kennington Lane.

London, UK

The first 50 fans through the door will receive an official MLS product, while Heineken will be offering discounted beer and prizes throughout the evening.

Former New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard will be in attendance for a special Meet & Greet with fans and will no doubt be hoping to see NYCFC prevail in the second Hudson River Derby of the 2017 season.

To sign up for free admission, hit the link below and RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!

SIGN UP: http://bit.ly/MLSLondon2017

Andres Iniesta rejects £28m-a-year offer from China with NYCFC move still on the cards

New York City FC will not have given up hope on signing Barcelona Andres Iniesta just yet, with Spanish outlet Don Balon claiming the midfielder has rejected an offer from the Chinese Super League worth £28 million per season ($35 million).

Iniesta has just over a year remaining on his current Barca contract. The club’s sporting director Robert Fernandez has claimed the World Cup winner will renew with the club he has spent his entire career at but he has yet to put pen to paper.

“He will renew at the moment he chooses,” Fernandez said. “Andres deserves the best. He grew here as a player and he’s given everything for the club. I can’t imagine a Barcelona without him and he can’t either.”

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Fernandez is right. It is tough to imagine Barcelona without Iniesta and while it looks likely he will see out his illustrious career with the Blaugrana, there is still a chance that he could be tempted to finish his playing career in MLS alongside his former club and Spanish teammate David Villa.

Rejecting a big-money offer from China suggests the eight-time La Liga champion is not solely interested in securing a big pay packet before hanging up his boots. NYCFC have reportedly offered Iniesta a ‘blank cheque’ when it comes to any possible contract negotiations but they can offer more than just money, with David Villa likely to be the deal breaker if he does indeed make the move stateside.

The 2016 MLS MVP has previously encouraged his former teammate to “share the American experience” with him in New York City, although Villa will be 36 by the time Iniesta’s contract expires at Barcelona and surely in one of his final seasons himself.

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The catch here is that the only way it seems Iniesta joins NYCFC is if Andrea Pirlo hangs his own boots up at the end of the year. The Italian maestro will turn 38 in May and only has nine months remaining on his current MLS deal – while the same applies for Villa.

It’s quite feasible to assume Pirlo will retire at the end of the year, leaving NYCFC with a free Designated Player slot as well as a healthy amount of money to spend on wages for a direct replacement. That replacement could then be Iniesta.

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Nothing is set in stone at this stage, but the Barca star will have to adapt to life under a new head coach once Luis Enrique departs this summer. He’s also only played 791 minutes in La Liga this season and is on track to play fewer league games than in any of the previous 12 seasons, proving that his role is shifting as his age becomes a factor.

The NYCFC door appears to be open, it’s just a question of if that door is more appealing than a new Barca contract for Iniesta.

Do you think we’ll ever see Iniesta playing in MLS? Or will he remain with Barcelona for the rest of his career?

Gallery: Exclusive photos from the Sounders’ 3-1 win over the Red Bulls

The Seattle Sounders are officially up and running after picking up their first win of the new season in their home opener against a New York Red Bulls side who suffered defeat in an MLS regular season game for the first time in 19 matches.

Clint Dempsey’s penalty put the Sounders up 1-0 at halftime before Bradley Wright-Phillips headed the visitors back into the game just 12 minutes into the second half. But the hosts showed great resilience and their positive approach to the game was rewarded when Jordan Morris headed them back in front on 66 minutes.

The points were wrapped up on 79 minutes as Joevin Jones’ shot was deflected in off the inside of Harry Shipp’s right foot, given Seattle a much-needed victory and ending the Red Bulls’ 18-game unbeaten streak in regular season play.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s match below, courtesy of MLS photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, March 19 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports) 
Match Odds: Seattle 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 21/10

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders welcome New York Red Bulls to CenturyLink Field for the 2016 MLS Cup champions’ home opener in Sunday’s only MLS fixture.

The Sounders will be relieved to be coming home after taking just one point from their first two games of the new season. They fell 2-1 at Houston before a dramatic last-minute Will Bruin goal earned them a 2-2 draw at Montreal last Saturday.

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Their attacking play of Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris, which destroyed defences on their way to MLS Cup last season, has yet to really get going in 2017. We’re only two games in but they must start to click again if Seattle are to challenge at the right end of the Western Conference this term.

Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer will also be concerned with the fact his defence have conceded four goals in two matches. They will be without Roman Torres on Sunday as the defender has been hit with a suspension and so they may be vulnerable once again.

The Red Bulls are the only Eastern Conference side to have won both of their opening games this season and they’ve done so without getting out of first gear.

Jesse Marsch’s side are still adapting to life without Dax McCarty in midfield but they have managed to beat Atlanta and Colorado and are already in a strong position at this early stage.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Rapids wasn’t pretty and won’t live long in the memories of the Red Bulls’ fans but they got the result they needed. They now know they are in for a real test if they are to make it three from three this weekend.

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These two couldn’t be more closely matched in terms of previous meetings. The series stands at 4-3-4 with 15 goals each. However, the Red Bulls have only won one of their five trips to CenturyLink Field and that came back in 2010.

Team News

Seattle will have to cope without central defender Roman Torres, who has been handed a one-game suspension for violent conduct in last weekend’s draw in Montreal. Brad Evans is the Sounders’ only injury absentee and will miss out again.

The New York Red Bulls have two played sidelined as Connor Lade remains out with a torn ACL, while Gonzalo Veron is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ form: L/D

New York Red Bulls’ form: W/W

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last eight MLS away games (3W 5D). This is their longest away unbeaten run in their MLS regular season history.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders star scored on his return to action on opening weekend and will be relishing the chance to walkout at CenturyLink Field in front of the Seattle fans on Sunday. He has always thrived on home turf and will look to cause the Red Bulls problems from start to finish.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-2 NY Red Bulls – Both sides will expect to score in what should be an exciting battle on Sunday night. The Sounders will be relishing the chance to come out in front of the home crowd for the first time in 2017 and know they are expected to get their first three points of the season. But they have looked vulnerable at the back and the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan will look to keep the visitors 100% record intact if they can. Score draw.