ESPN MLS analyst Taylor Twellman was clearly agitated on “Extratime” because the New York Red Bulls haven’t signed many key players this offseason.
It’s not just New York Red Bulls fans who are frustrated at the club’s inactivity; television analysts are also standing up and shouting.
On Thursday, ESPN MLS analyst Taylor Twellman lashed out at RBNY for not signing players, on an MLS podcast, Extratime.
“Aye, New York Red Bulls, you doing anything? Are you doing anything,” the 39-year-old said, raising his voice. “Is [head coach] Chris Armas even alive.”
Armas is alive. He was in a conference call that same Thursday.
Twellman continued: “I am stunned that this is where they [RBNY] are. I am stunned they haven’t signed anyone for Chris Armas to actually use.
“You can’t replace them [players who left] with USL II players, as good as John Wolyniec and that system and that club’s franchise and what they’ve done.”
Three out of the five players the Red Bulls signed this offseason were from their second team: John Tolkin, Chris Lema and Jared Stroud.
Twellman went on: “I’m sorry, New York Red Bulls, for me, the crickets that I’ve heard from you guys, that is as disheartening as anything that’s happened in this off-season.”
To be fair, the team did re-sign Southampton F.C. winger, Josh Sims, on loan until June 30 on Tuesday. Besides that, New York’s only other signing outside their second team was Portland Timbers’ backup keeper from last season, Kendall McIntosh.
It’s shocking because after finishing in sixth place in the Eastern Conference last year and losing in the first round of the playoffs, major reinforcement is needed.
There have been rumors of players the club were targeting. MLS reporter Charles Boehm reported that The Metros were interested in Hull City midfielder, Leonardo da Silva Lopes, but their offer was rejected in early January.
It was also reported that New York had their eyes on Toronto F.C. keeper, Alex Bono, R.S.C. Anderlecht goalkeeper, Thomas Didillon, Scottish Premiership’s fourth top scorer, Sam Cosgrove, Oldham Athletic A.F.C. loanee from Manchester United, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, etc.
This indicates that RBNY is putting some type of effort to acquire players. Armas confirmed that thought process.
“On the inside, we’re working really hard to add the right piece,” the American coach told former Once a Metro reporter James Justice. “If we find that in the next few weeks, it’s a plus.”
And shortly after last season ended, the team’s sporting director, Denis Hamlett, also expressed that the club had a strong desire to acquire players.
“We just want to make sure now that we do our homework and bring in the right types of players that can help us,” Hamlett said in a press conference on Oct. 23.
Three months into the off-season, as noted, Sims is New York’s only key signing. Armas admitted that it would’ve been better for him to have new major acquisitions to work with already.
“The longer time goes without players being here, it’s not ideal,” he said. “If we’re going to add, I want the guy here yesterday, to be honest. But I have to understand it’s part of it and that’s okay.”
The clock is ticking; the Red Bulls’ season starts on March 1.