Luquinhas on His Transition to MLS and Hot Start for the Red Bulls


Just before I began to write this, I had to double check and make sure that Luquinhas hadn’t just scored another one for the Red Bulls.

That’s how it’s been as of late for our Brazilian magician in the midfield. Not just scoring goals, but some of the “banger” variety, like this rocket against DC United. The best part is that sometimes, he just makes it look easy.

“There are situations in the game that are very difficult. It’s always nice when my skill makes it look easy, but it’s still not easy. Sometimes you also have to have luck. But scoring those types of goals, is exhilarating, especially at home,” said Luquinhas after training on Friday.

One of those goals --the beautiful, lofted shot over the Toronto FC goalkeeper -- was enough to win him Goal of the Week for Week 15, as he swept the awards by also being named MLS Player of the Week.

He’s scored 4 goals in the last 4 games in all competitions, to go along with 3 assists and several key passes per game. One can argue that New York hasn’t had a player quite like Luquinhas in some time. A true number 10, who can create for himself and others, and is a threat to score every game.

“I feel relaxed, in this number 10 position. I feel I can really use all my talent in this spot. If I have space, with my abilities, I really find ways to make plays and truly enjoy my game,” he said.

“I feel very confident right now. Very happy with the way things are playing out on the field. I thank God for helping everything fall into place and feel so much confidence from everyone on and off the pitch.”

I spoke to the designated player at length after his training session, and we went into his arrival from Poland’s Legia Warsaw, and how quickly his transition was thanks to his teammates.

“My teammates received me very well once I arrived. All the players that have been here for a long time made me feel so welcome. The club and the boys have my back. I feel at home,” he said.

“Little by little, I’m getting more confidence as a leader on this team. Of course, there are other players with a lot more experience than me, like our Captain (Aaron Long) or Carlos Coronel. They do a great job of leading us and we focus on the futbol.”

They’re going to need all the leaders and skill this Sunday in Southern California, as the Red Bulls travel to Western Conference leading LAFC, at 3pm ET on ABC. But the positive run of form as of late has Luquinhas brimming with confidence, and he’s made it clear what he expects for this match, and for the season as a whole.

“It’s going to be a tough game for sure. We are full of confidence winning the derby. Sunday we are going to come in with the same mentality and same confidence, and I expect us to win,” he said.

“We have to keep working hard this season. We have plenty of talent, and a style of play that suits us and is difficult to play against. If we keep working hard, we should be able to win trophies this year.”