Jun 13, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Royer (77) scores a goal against Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei (24) during first half at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Youth is served again
It’s been arguably the theme of the first half of the season for the Red Bulls — the emergence of players on the first team who have come up through the Red Bull system.
That was certainly true when eight players who have featured for the club’s USL side were in the starting XI in a 4-0 win over New York City FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup a week ago and was again a key storyline Wednesday night.
With Michael Murillo in Russia with Panama, an opportunity at right back opened up for Ethan Kutler, who was signed from Red Bulls II on May 1. He took his chance with both hands on Wednesday night, registering his first two league assists in his first MLS start.
“He’s a very gifted player, passer, on the ball and we’re continuing to try to build in more defensive sophistication and more of a defensive edge with him,” Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch said. “But he does provide us with that ease to be able to pass, put plays together, see the next play and on certain days, that’s really valuable.”
Particularly impressive was the ball he served to Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose flicked headed goal gave the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead.
“Most people say I try to play it exactly where i tried to play it,” Kutler said. “But a lot of times you just put it into the danger zone and hopefully the guys are working.”
Marsch isn’t going anywhere — yet
In the post-match press conference, Marsch was asked about Patrick Vieira, his now-former rival coach at NYCFC who left to accept the same position with OGC Nice on Monday.
He talked about a rocky start between two which became a mutual respect. But will Marsch also follow Vieira to Europe in the near future? That’s been the rumor with a report out of Germany suggesting Marsch will leave during the MLS World Cup break to become the next coach at Red Bull Leipzig.
A week ago, Marsch declined comment on that report and previously shot down the rumors. On Wednesday he was asked if this was his last game in charge of the Red Bulls.
‘ll be here Saturday. This is not the last game I’m coaching,” he said. “I’ll be here. That’s an easy one.”
In the same press conference, Marsch said he’s giving his team three days off after the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match against the Philadelphia Union. Could that be the perfect window for such a departure?
World Cup bid reaction
The youngest and oldest Red Bulls players are excited about the World Cup coming to North America in 2026.
Because his body is still adjusting to different time zones after playing for the United States in friendlies against Ireland and France, Tyler Adams had no trouble being awake for the winning FIFA vote before 7 am ET.
The 19-year-old midfielder is quickly emerging as a rising star with the USMNT and could be a veteran leader for that World Cup if he continues his trajectory.
“It’s really exciting to have the World Cup come to your home country because you have friends and family wherever the event may be and hoping to be a core guy for that World Cup,” Adams said.
At 34 years old, Luis Robles is one of the Red Bulls elder statesmen. As such, the captain is old enough to have fond memories of the last World Cup on American soil in 1994. He’s excited that his young son, who will be 13 in 2026, will likely have a similar experience.
“He’ll at least get to see what I saw when I was young in ’94 with Tony Meola and his long hair and Alexi Lalas and his fiery hair and all those characters that made up the 1994 team,” Robles said.