The New York Red Bulls may be in the midst of a youth movement, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the veterans.
At End-of-Year Media Day, head coach Jesse Marsch elaborated on how the team’s most experienced players impacted the growth of the young players in addition to their season’s overall.
“I challenged all the veteran players to understand that we were going to be about developing young players,” Marsch said. “Guys like Sacha Kljestan, Luis Robles, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Damien Perrinelle, the way that they’re committed to their leadership and to their selflessness, it’s a big part of what’s made us good and so I can’t thank those guys enough.”
According to Marsch, Mike Grella and Aurelien Collin’s season was “unfortunate,” but the Red Bulls’ strong season regardless proved to be a “testament to our overall group.”
“We’re seeing a positive recovery from [Grella’s] surgery, so we’re hopeful that we can get him back,” Marsch said. “Aurelien’s story this year was very strange and took many twists and turns. He’s going over to France full time to go through the recovery and rehab there.
“For those guys, that’s the focus, is just getting them physically back…two quality players that we think can help us.”
As for Gonzalo Veron, Marsch described his 2017 season as his “best year.”
“He stayed healthy, he committed to his role within the team, he committed to trying to continue to adapt,” Marsch said. “Moving forward, we have to think about what the possibilities are. We’ve got to tilt everything to the individual and figure out their personal desires and the club desires and see how they meet and come together.”