Jesse Marsch said on Day 1 that New York Red Bulls preseason will be the hardest training the players will go through. So far, for Tommy Redding, that is holding up.
Redding reached out to a few people he knows on the team -- Tyler Adams, Evan Louro and Aurelien Collin -- and they briefed him on what to expect with the Red Bulls.
"They all said the same thing: 'Be ready for the hardest training you’ve ever had,' and I totally agree with them now," Redding said.
Over the past two MLS seasons, Redding has started 34 MLS regular season matches for OCSC at center back totaling 2572 minutes. He did feature and went the full 90 for Orlando in their 3-1 loss to the Red Bulls in August 2017 at Red Bull Arena.
"Everybody says it, everybody knows it," Redding said. "I know from experience playing against them that it’s a lot quicker and I think it’s been great so far. The pressure’s hard to deal with, but understanding how they practice every day, it makes total sense now."
Head Coach Jesse Marsch said the Red Bulls had been tracking Redding for a while before bringing him in.
"Anytime you see a young center back, for us that is exciting, so for us we tracked him a bit and watched him," Marsch said. "I think that in the end we’re really fortunate to get a young guy that has high potential and fits the way we play, and now it’s just about integrating him and teaching him our way of football."
At the 2017 U-20 World Cup, Redding started and played alongside Red Bulls Homegrown Adams in two matches, a 3-3 draw with Ecuador and a 6-0 win over New Zealand.
Redding said he likes the "family feeling" he's felt around camp so far, and every one has "been super helpful -- from coaches, assistant coaches and some of the senior guys helping me adapt quickly."
Fellow center backs Collin and Aaron Long have been -- and will be -- helpful for the 21-year-old Redding, according to Marsch.
"Aurelien is very good at being an incredible teammate and that’s on and off the field. He’s not an ego guy, he’s always trying to think about how to best serve the team, even when he was injured last year, he did so many little things to try and help the group. We’re lucky to have a guy like that," Marsch said. "I think Aaron is most useful in the terms of that they’re similar, they have similar qualities. I think Aaron is growing into a leadership role and I think that the opportunity to help engage a young guy, and help teach him our way and take on a big role in that manner shows a lot of growth and maturity for him."
"Tommy will have some really good role models in our group," the head coach said.