With less than a month left until the New York Red Bulls are back in competitive action, the team has added two midfielders to the team.
Marc Rzatkowski has rejoined the team on a permanent basis after technically returning to RB Salzburg following the conclusion of his loan. News had come out earlier in the month that RZA was training with the team during the off-season which promptly had Red Bulls fans excited he would return.
Rzatkowski was a huge piece of the midfield puzzle for the team during their run to the Supporters’ Shield. With Tyler Adams now at RB Leipzig, RZA could see a big increase in minutes this season.
Sean Davis and Rzatkowski will likely run the midfield for the Red Bulls for a majority of their matches. The duo will have a similar role to last season, cutting out passes and connecting the counter attack from defense to the forwards.
The Red Bulls also signed Philadelphia Union midfielder Marcus Epps. The 2017 Union Super Draft pick made 32 appearances for the Union as well as 25 for their USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel.
A single goal against Real Salt Lake was all Epps could muster last season. Playing primarily as a right sided midfielder in a 4231, Epps will give Chris Armas another option out wide.
Armas had a rotation of Muyl, Rzatkowski, Kaku, and Derrick Etienne Jr. on the right throughout the season. With Rzatkowski now primarily playing through the middle, signing Epps was a depth addition more than anything.
Rzatkowski is the bigger of the two additions mainly due to his familiarity to the system and importance to the team. Epps will hopefully get to show his worth, but he may be limited to substitute and US Open Cup appearances for a while.
The Red Bulls will return to competitive action on February 20th when they face Dominican Republic side Pantoja in CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 action. Rzatkowski will certainly be one of the starters, while Epps may have to wait a bit to make the 18.