With the offseason now firmly in their rearview window and Leg 2 of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday night, both Sporting Director Denis Hamlett and Head Coach Jesse Marsch expressed the utmost confidence in their 2018 squad.
Hamlett worked this offseason to bring in Alejandro "Kaku" Romero Gamarra, Marc Rzatkowski, Cristian Casseres, Jr., Tommy Redding, Carlos Rivas, Amando Moreno, as well as signing players from Red Bulls II, such as Stefano Bonomo, Florian Valot and Vincent Bezecourt.
"We are bringing in the right players in who we feel are going to get us closer. Part of this is growing as a group," Hamlett said at Media Day on Tuesday. "Bringing in the right pieces that we feel can make us stronger and prepare us more for the next step."
New York also inked Homegrown players Kevin Politz and Ben Mines to contracts.
Marsch said these additions help build on an already strong foundation that the team had in place.
"We feel strongly that we have put together a good team, we’ve worked hard in the offseason," Marsch said. "Denis has worked really hard to try to iron out situations and to sort through players situations and we feel we’ve made some really good additions. We're all really excited for this year."
Hamlett said the additions were identified for their ability to play the type of soccer the New York Red Bulls implement and they will slot into the style of play.
"We are not going to change the way we play and so our jobs are to make sure that we get a good blend of players in," Hamlett said. "With our coaching staff, who I know work tremendously hard to make sure they prepare the team the right way so when they step on the field they have clarity."
Youth is certainly a key for New York, bringing in speed, skill and strength were important.
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"We feel confident -- 100 percent -- in the direction we're going," Hamlett said. "As far as I’m concerned, as a group, we're going in the right direction.”
Confidence is not something lacking around the Red Bulls, as Marsch has high hopes for the 2018 season.
"Every year we put together teams of players that we feel can win it all," Marsch said. "This year is no different."