On the same day, the New York Red Bulls returned to full team training and found out their opponents in next month’s MLS is Back Tournament. Kaku, whose only goal so far in the 2020 season came in the home opener against FC Cincinnati on March 1, likes the group -- Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew -- because they’re familiar with all the teams.
“We already know them, we’ve played against them before, so we know how they play,” said Kaku. “But we have to think about ourselves, in playing the Red Bull philosophy and to try to qualify to the knockout rounds, which would be very important.”
Winning a place in next year’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League is an excellent source of motivation as the team prepares at Red Bulls Training Facility.
“For us, it’s something very important. We know that all participants want to win it. Red Bulls have to win it,” said Kaku. “So we have to get mentally ready to have a great tournament. We know that it gives you a place in Concacaf, and we have to take advantage of it.”
The Red Bulls’ no. 10 is happy to be back training at the facility with the rest of his teammates.
“It felt very exciting because we waited a long time,” he said. “We lived three tough months, where we followed bad news, but now we’re happy to be back together, even if we just have to greet each other by bumping our cleats, maintaining our distance. It’s something beautiful to be back with the group.”
Kaku appreciates all the support he’s felt from the fans in the last months and can’t wait to see them back at Red Bull Arena.
“First of all, I want to send greetings to all of them,” said the Paraguayan international. “They’re always making sure we get their messages on Instagram, Facebook. They’re always supporting us, they make their affection felt, and that’s very important for us when we get going again. But I want to tell them that we’ll soon be enjoying games together at Red Bull Arena, and we’re going to be happy as we have been these years.”
Center-back Aaron Long also shared his appreciation for the fans’ support.
“I mean, I know all the fans have been missing soccer. And we've been missing soccer as much, if not more, so we're super excited to play,” said Long. “We're super excited to play for you guys as fans, even if it's through the TV screen. We know that you're gonna be there passionately. We can't wait to see the videos of you guys in your living room celebrating goals. And yeah, we're just looking forward to it, and we can't wait to get back out there for you guys.”