Before the New York Red Bulls saw their 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League campaign fizzle out in Vancouver, the club got new Sporting Director Denis Hamlett to say a few words. He essentially repeated many of the comments made in an earlier conference call with local and national media: he is excited about the new role; he and Jesse Marsch have a strong, long-term, personal and professional relationship; decision-making and planning is a collective function for the leadership team at the club.
1-on-1 with Sporting Director Denis Hamlett#RBNY pic.twitter.com/LwjqjHTpG4— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) March 2, 2017
Also repeated: Hamlett feels he is in part qualified for the job because he has spent two years embedded in RBNY, and that means he's spent two years up close with the Red Bull Global Soccer system:
I've gotten to see their philosophy, everything that's involved with their style of play, spending time over in Austria and Germany, I really got to see things that are important with their philosophy. The way they invest in younger players and they want to bring the players through their system.
Asked how he would make RBNY "Denis Hamlett's team", the SD was quick to prevent the club's narrative from wandering down another 300-page-plan blind alley:
It's the Red Bull team. It's not my team. I think I'm just part of the big process in terms of what we want to do as an organization.
In the past, explanations of RBNY's close integration with Red Bull Global Soccer from both Ali Curtis and Jesse Marsch have largely been swamped by a media preference for the narrative that the changes introduced to the club were straight out of Curtis' binder.
Perhaps there is greater willingness to listen to Hamlett than there was to Curtis. Or not. It doesn't really matter: RBNY seems like it is going to carry on RalfBalling, whether anyone cares to notice or not.