Sporting Director Denis Hamlett went out of his way to thank and honor what Luis Robles and Bradley Wright-Phillips gave to the club as players in his year-end conference call with media.
“On behalf of the entire organization I want to recognize Brad and Luis for everything they’ve given to this club,” Hamlett said. “Both players have played major roles in three supporters shield and a lot of successful seasons. Both players had a lot of individual accomplishments but they both always cared more about team success. These guys were wonderful teammates and helped establish a culture of winning.”
The two players were part of the roster decisions due to MLS as the league moves into planning for 2020, which also included parting ways with Academy products Derrick Etienne Jr. and Evan Louro.
“We’ve thought long and hard, had many discussions, and have made decisions that are in the best interest of moving our team forward,” Hamlett said. “We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we know we have some big shoes to fill. Our scouting team is at work and we have already made visits and scouted players in person.”
The club is also looking into bringing Josh Sims back, who joined the team on loan from Southampton at the end of the 2019 season.
“We’ve had some positive discussions with Southampton in trying to bring him back,” Hamlett said. “We’ll make sure we continue to have those discussions moving forward.”
Hamlett knows that the decisions are tough, but it’s the business of sports and all in the goal of looking to bring silverware to the team.
“How do you construct a team that we feel, now, can help us win championships? I can’t make emotional decisions,” Hamlett said. “What is the best for the New York Red Bulls? What’s going to give us the best chance to try and bring trophies here? I look through those lenses and that’s what I think about.”