One theme was paramount as the New York Red Bulls head into the offseason: They are turning to a new chapter of the organization’s history.
Head of Sport Jochen Schneider spoke on Wednesday as the 2023 season wrapped up for RBNY and they begin a search for a Sporting Director and Head Coach. While making the postseason for a record 14th season in a row would be considered a success for many clubs, just making it in is not good enough for the Red Bulls.
“We are proud of the run that we made,” Schneider said. “We have made it -- 14 times in a row -- to the playoffs. But, please let me say this clearly: This is not good enough. We need to take the next step. That's why we made these key decisions. That's why we agreed, with Red Bull Soccer, to invest in our team. We want to reach the next level with our club.”
To take that next step, the club will embark on defining the next era of the team with a new Sporting Director, Head Coach and staff, as well as a documented promise to invest monetarily in the club.
“We are resetting on the sporting side and we felt it was the right decision,” Schneider said. “We are now starting the process to hire a new Head Coach and a new Sporting Director -- and hopefully, we'll bring both jobs over the line by Christmas.”
New York finished the year 11-13-10, with 36 goals scored. After a rousing victory in the Wild Card round, New York was eliminated in Round 1 of the postseason.
“We all agree that we have to improve the product on the pitch,” Schneider said. “We need to get better.”
Schneider’s sentiment is shared throughout the club -- from the front office to the players.
“Making it to the playoffs is not enough,” Andrés Reyes said. “We need to push harder -- the newcomers and the veterans. We're going to try and push everyone to do better and work harder next season.”
The Head of Sport knows the product on the pitch must improve, both from the players that have worn the shirt in the past, and those that will wear it for the first time in the coming months and years.
“We need to get better. We need to raise our standards. We need to ask for more,” Schneider said. “That's what I expect from our players.”
In searching for the newly opened positions, Schneider said the Red Bull DNA will not change.
“We have Red Bull on the shirt, and it should always look like Red Bull,” Schneider said. “It should never be boring, it should never be sitting back and waiting. We always want to be on the front foot, being aggressive on the pitch.”
Schneider said the process is already underway.
“We’re learning every day what kinds of players you need to perform in this league, to win games in this league, which kind of players are making the difference,” Schneider said. “That is very important in this league, to have these kinds of difference makers. We need to do our work, and identify and recruit these kinds of players who are going to make a difference.”
Whatever the staff that takes up residence along the sidelines looks like, the expectations will continue to grow as New York makes another step forward.
“I'm looking to adapt to whatever the coaches ask me to do,” Frankie Amaya said. “I think that's really the important thing: I'm more of a team player. I'm looking for what the team needs and what the coach wants. I'm willing to do that. Whomever the coach is, I'm here to work with them and work for the team.”
Ultimately, the goal is simple: Compete for trophies.
“We want to win some trophies,” Sean Nealis said. “That’s the main goal as a competitor and as a player. Your career is only so long, and you’re judged with how many trophies you win. That's a big point. That's why we play the game.”
Schneider’s goal is to find the right staff and right players who feel the same way.