Romanian is one of the languages Google Translate appears to struggle with, so anyone in position to set Once A Metro straight is more than welcome to do so - but it would appear the Romanian press has got a little confused by which 1-0 home win won the New York Red Bulls a title this season.
Reports in ziare.com and sport.ro lead with the suggestion that Andreas Ivan won the MLS Championship in first season with RBNY thanks to a season-ending 1-0 win over Atlanta United. Perhaps Google Translate finds translating English to Romanian as difficult as it seems to find turning Romanian into English.
At any rate, it is a small distinction to anyone outside the USA: Andreas Ivan was part of the RBNY squad that won the closest thing MLS has to conventional league title, the Supporters’ Shield, thanks to a regular-season ending 1-0 win at home over Orlando at the end of October. The 1-0 win over Atlanta United at the end of November wasn’t enough to overturn a 3-0 loss in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final get RBNY to the MLS Cup Final on December 8. So RBNY’s season did end with a win over Atlanta and it did end with a league title, just those two things didn’t happen at the same time.
Congratulations are due regardless: Ivan was part of MLS’ Best Team Ever (playoff appearances do not count toward MLS records).
From his RBNY debut against Chicago on August 11 to the Red Bulls’ final game of 2018 on November 29 against Atlanta United, Ivan made a total of 11 appearances in all competitions, with one start. He didn’t get a lot of time on the field - just a total of 185 minutes - and neither scored nor assisted.
But if he is disappointed by his first few games for the Red Bulls, he shows no sign of it all in his interview with sport.ro.
Asked about the difference between the game in Germany and the USA, Ivan says he finds his current situation allows “more freedom in the game” and delivers a style of soccer he thinks is “more pleasant for the spectators”. Players usually talk up wherever they happen to playing, of course, but Ivan does not seem minded to indulge in mere flattery - asked what he thinks of the game in Romania, where he was born, he says he’s not too familiar with it but judging by results in European competitions, “I think it’s a low level”.
The interview covers quite a lot of ground. Perhaps most pertinent to RBNY fans will be those moments that suggests Ivan - lightly used to date by the Red Bulls despite pulling in a starter’s salary - expects to be around next season. The 23-year-old has had looks from both Germany (where he grew up) and Romania (where he was born) at the youth international level, but when asked if he has any ambition to play for the US, he gives the question short shrift and says his priority is to prove his worth to his club.
A club whose praises he repeatedly sings:
We have the most modern stadium in the States with the best grass turf.
They are well-trained coaches, physicians, doctors and many other specialists working for the club. With such a safe strategy, the results can also be seen.
When I was invited to New York and I saw the conditions and the way I was received, I just fell in love with this club and the people here.
And he’s enjoyed the opportunities he’s had to play against some of the bigger names in MLS, and looking forward to the next one (for which he’ll have to wait until next season):
I also played against Rooney and David Villa...I feel great joy when playing against them and I think I did not work in vain to get here. Soon, Zlatan follows. I can not wait for the moment.
Looking forward to seeing that too, Andreas. See you in 2019.