The Red Bulls had another impressive season last year. The squad finished first in the Eastern Conference and made it a long way before losing to the Montreal Impact in the Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup. The Bulls are still chasing that elusive cup ever since losing out to the Columbus Crew in the 2008 finals, but this could be the year that New York turns the corner and finally hoists the trophy.
The Red Bulls have an impressive squad but that isn’t stopping them from doing everything they can to further bolster the team with a few important signings. There are rumors that the team might be in the market for a new forward and are looking at signing Fenerbahce’s Emmanuel Emenike to provide some additional firepower up front. The Nigerian forward has proven that he’s still good at what he does (scoring goals) while in the Turkish Süper Lig. And at 29, he has a few years of quality play left in him. He could be a welcome presence as a veteran and provide some support for Bradley Wright-Phillips.
New York has also called up goalkeeper Rafael Diaz from reserve squad Red Bulls II of the United Soccer League. The signing makes the keeper the first Dominican to play in the MLS. The 25-year-old has proven to be a wall between the sticks in the USL and can hopefully bring the same unstoppable form to the major leagues.
Along with a fresh goalie and a new potential forward, the Red Bulls are seeking to strengthen their defense through the addition of center back Hassan Ndam. Center back has long been a problematic position for the Red Bulls and hopefuly Ndam will have the skill to improve the back line for the squad.
While not usually taken as seriously as the larger European leagues, the MLS is quickly becoming included in the conversation of the world’s best. The league was once seen as a home for older stars no longer fit for the Premier League, but the MLS has upped its game through the addition of young talent from around the world to make it one of the most exciting professional leagues around. One of the reasons for this level of excitement is the continued parity within the MLS.
With the exception of the LA Galaxy, it’s a remarkably level playing field and there’s never any telling who might be champions from one year to the next. Fans trying to understand which team will have the best chances of winning the cup can find plenty of tips from experts online for leagues all around the world, including the MLS. Lately the aforementioned Galaxy, and the Red Bulls, have been fashionable picks. But anything can happen, as proven by the Seattle Sounders’ first MLS Cup championship last year.
This could finally be the year that the New York Red Bulls are officially crowned the champions of the MLS. They’ve been knocking at the door for a while and with a few key signings, the squad could finally break through and raise the MLS Cup.