Caden Clark is experiencing his first preseason with the New York Red Bulls and is excited to keep learning and adding skills to his game as he trains under Head Coach Gerhard Struber.
“Preseason is going well, it's great to be down here in Florida, with the beautiful weather and I think that we've made a lot of progress since Day 1. We know we're playing good soccer, we have a young team with experienced guys, so it's a very interesting team,” said Clark. “I think that we’ll shock a lot of people because we have a lot of young kids that have energy and see the game a bit differently, so I think it's a really good group to be a part of. Gerhard [Struber] is doing a great job, and it's my first preseason, of course, so I'm still going through it as well. Nothing to say but good things about the team.”
Clark emphasized how young the team is and how happy he is to be part of this team as it prepares for its MLS debut on April 17 against Sporting Kansas City.
“I think our average age is probably like 23-24 as a whole team, so it's such a fun environment to be a part of with the young guys,” said Clark. “We're always joking around, but we want to do well for the team. We’re just making progress in the preseason and to come out April 17 versus Sporting KC, it's a big game, they’re a top team in the league.”
The preseason is an opportunity for young players like Clark to learn from the most experienced players in the squad. Clark believes this aspect is an important part of preseason and has been able to learn a lot from Flo Valot.
“Flo's a top player in the team as well, so I’m just trying to pick his brain a little bit and ask questions that I can add to my game,” he said. “He has a really good skill-set, and I'm just trying to learn off of what he does. I watch him in training, he plays somewhat the same position, so I just try to mimic him a little bit and just pick up little things to add to my game. Having those talks and having the preseason when we're all together is really important.”
Struber is solidifying an identity in the team and Clark is already starting to see it.
“High-pressing is Red Bull, but it's about finding the right moments and he's been clear about that and playing good soccer when you have [the ball],” said Clark. “Go forward but go forward with intention, with an idea and not just go forward and lose it and win it back. It's going forward with the idea of making good plays, connecting with your teammates and scoring good goals.”