The New York Red Bulls are banged up, so the new additions introduced by the club today were a welcome sight. Israel international Omer Damari and Austrian Daniel Royer have officially signed with RBNY and were introduced to media on a day when injury news slightly overshadowed the new players, but also served to highlight the necessity of fresh legs on the roster.
Jesse Marsch is well aware he needs to get these two players ready to go in double-quick time. The Red Bulls only have 13 games left this season, plus whatever the playoffs bring. And three of those 13 games will be played in a nine-day stretch between August 13 and 21. The time for the new signings to help is now.
"We want to get them fit, get them going, get them integrated as soon as possible," said Jesse Marsch "In terms of the soccer side of things we have two guys that can fit in seamlessly. They need to know about me as a coach and they have different personalities. But at the end of the day they are happy to be here and we are happy they are here."
It's always a difficult thing for new players coming over in the middle of the season to MLS. They are coming over to a new environment, they have to meet new teammates for the first time, as well as get accustomed to a new system.
But both players and club are optimistic they can settle in quickly. Red Bull's global soccer system should make the transition easier. Damari has experienced two versions of it - at Leipzig and Salzburg. And Royer is very familiar with the Red Bull style of play also.
He told reporters:
First of all, I know the Red Bull system because I played a lot of games against Red Bull Salzburg when I played in Austria. Like Omer and Jesse said, the whole Red Bull family in Salzburg, Leipzig and New York, I think they try to follow the same philosophy and the same style of soccer. I knew what I can expect when I came here, and of course, I've seen a lot of games, but when I came here, in the first trainings, I had noticed that of course there are some things that I need to improve, or things which are new for me, and different to what I learned in my former clubs.You know, it's nothing that you can't learn, I'm just looking forward to the next trainings, and the next weeks, to get used to it and to become a real part of the team.Red Bull is power soccer. It's pressing, it's a lot of running, it's action.
The hope is adding more attacking help can strengthen this squad in the short term, boosting the team through the playoffs.
For Damari, that might be all he gets to offer RBNY. We don't know if he will stay or go once his short-term loan from RB Leipzig expires.
"Omer is from our family of clubs, he knows how we want to play. There won't be much of an adjustment," said Sporting Director Ali Curtis, "We have a loan agreement for Omer through the end of the season; we will see what happens at the end of the year."
Damari's paperwork is settled, but Royer needs to head back to Austria to finish up his visa process. It is to be hoped he gets through that quickly enough to be able to help the team in the near future.
Neither player can help RBNY's continuing injury woes on the back line. But they both have the potential to be starters in the team's attacking set-up. If they can fulfill that potential, the Red Bulls can look forward to an entertaining final stretch of the season.