Denis Hamlett
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New York Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett shared his club’s championship plan by way of retention and depth. 

How does one enjoy a second-straight successful season? It’s not complicated. Just retain many of last year’s players.

New York Red Bulls was just one game away from reaching the MLS Cup final and the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League final last year.

Odds are, if the club kept the same core of players from last year, they will likely have another successful season or even surpass their previous campaign.

Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett expressed that the team’s plan to reach a final this season is to have as many starters from last year as possible.

“At the end of the season you’re trying to figure out what is it you can do to get one more win to get to that cup final,” Hamlett said in a press conference.

“So for us, it was to try to keep the group together. We thought that was important. When you think about our playing style and having more guys who understand the way we play and having success with that, we thought that was a key priority going to offseason, how many guys can we bring back?”

The only starter the reigning Supporters’ Shield Cup champions lost from last season is Tyler Adams who moved to the club’s sister team Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig.

Something else Hamlett noted that could help RBNY win a trophy this season revolves around depth, especially given the fact that the team will play in three tournaments again this season; the MLS, the Champions League and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Our mindset is we’re in this tournament [the Champions League], we want to win it. Get through that. And then we have the Open Cup and we have the league,” Hamlett said.

“Trying to balance all three of them is important and part of that is having a deep roster because you’re going to be called upon at different times. And you know the importance of making sure you do that because you don’t want to extend guys too early too much ‘cause then you risk injuries.”

The Red Bulls employ 28 players on their first team roster, 14 midfielders, three forwards, eight defenders and three goalkeepers.

If New York reaches the final of all the three competitions they will participate in, the club will play 52 games—50 if they enter the playoffs as the Eastern Conference first placed team.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.