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Samuel Tetteh joins New York Red Bulls on loan from Salzburg

Ghana international forward joins for remainder of 2020 with option to buy

Ghana v Austria: Group B - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

As speculated last week, it was confirmed on Tuesday morning that forward Samuel Tetteh will be joining New York Red Bulls on loan from Austrian sister club Red Bull Salzburg for the remainder of the 2020 season. New York will have the option to purchase the 24-year-old permanently at the end of the loan.

New York Red Bulls head of sport Kevin Thelwell had particular points of praise for the Ghana international, who has spent most of his time in Austria on loan to LASK Linz due to crowding in the Salzburg first team.

“Samuel is an exciting attacking player that our scouts have been following...he is strong physically and technically, and plays with a lot of confidence. He’s got an intelligence in each phase of the game and we believe he’ll fit in well with our group.”

Tetteh’s signing comes in the wake of a Red Bulls performance in the MLS is Back Tournament that was particularly woeful from an attacking perspective. Over three group matches the team scored only one goal, a Florian Valot finish in the opening minutes of the tournament against Atlanta. Lining up mostly as a left sided winger in Austria, the 5’11” Tetteh’s skillset displays a direct dribbling capability and eye for goal missing from a Red Bulls attack that was mostly flat and passive in Orlando.

Tetteh seems destined to take over the left-sided striker position in the 4-2-2-2 formation favored by Chris Armas so far this year. While the most recent interpretation of this role by Armas saw Daniel Royer deployed as a back-to-goal false 9 in the team’s anemic elimination loss to Cincinnati, Tetteh’s tendencies lean much more toward picking the ball up in deep spaces and running at backpedaling defenders in the hopes of creating shots and through balls on his right foot. It is likely he will need to be paired with a more traditional line-leading center forward like Brian White or Tom Barlow to achieve his full effectiveness.

The signing for New York comes on the heels not only of the uneventful loan stint of Josh Sims from Southampton this past year, but in the shadow of several dubiously successful synergy signings from its sister clubs in the Red Bulls global soccer network. While some hand-me-downs such as former Salzburg defender and current New York scout and reserves coach Ibrahim Sekagya have worked out well, many Red Bull fans will paradoxically remember the quite-forgettable loans of misfit Red Bull assets like Omer Damari and Fredrik Gulbrandsen, and hope that Tetteh finds more success.

Tetteh is set to join the New York squad upon completion of his visa paperwork and could make his debut in the team’s first game at Red Bull Arena in almost six months against New York City FC next Thursday as MLS restarts in-stadium league play.