The 2019 MLS season gets underway at the beginning of March, with 24 teams aiming to qualify for the post-season playoffs. The New York Red Bulls are +400 favorites for the 2019 MLS Cup, and Chris Armas has already strengthened his side ahead of their opening game against Columbus Crew on March 2.
Last season, the Harrison club were eliminated from the playoffs in the 2018 Eastern Conference final by eventual MLS Cup winners Atlanta United. The Five Stripes are +500 second-favorites to retain their title this year, but without Miguel Almiron, they are unlikely to be quite as strong.
Rzatkowski and Epps Already On Board
The Red Bulls have already added Marc Rzatkowski to their roster, with the club using their targeted allocation money to secure the services of the German midfielder. He scored twice last season and also claimed six assists, but he should be given plenty more game time in 2019 following Tyler Adams' departure to RB Leipzig.
Marcus Epps also joined during the off-season, with the 32-year-old already having plenty of Major League Soccer experience under his belt from his time at Philadelphia Union. Academy graduate Omir Fernandez has also joined the preseason camp alongside Tim Parker, who has signed a multi-year MLS contract with the club.
Who Could Sign for the NY Red Bulls?
The New York franchise has been heavily linked with a move for Danish striker Mathias Jorgensen. The pacy 18-year-old looks set to arrive at the club prior to the 2019 season getting underway and should prove to be a very exciting addition to their forward line. He has reportedly been on the radar of the Red Bulls for the last 12 months and despite only playing 17 times for Odense Boldklub, he is the kind of player that will get fans on their feet.
Chris Armas has been setting his sights on Europe during the off-season, eyeing up a possible swoop for Hannes Van Der Bruggen, who is currently playing for Belgian club Kortrijk. He is viewed as a possible replacement for Tyler Adams, although having spent his entire career in his home country, he may be reluctant to move to the US.
After failing with a reported $1.5million bid a year ago, the Red Bulls may also be considering a renewed offer for Romanian winger Alexandru Ionita, who is currently playing for CFR Cluj. He was formerly a teammate of Anatole Abang at Astra Giurgiu.
Meanwhile, Orlando City's all-time leading appearance maker Cristian Huigita is reportedly eyeing a move away from the club and New York may be a potential destination for the 24-year-old. The Colombian scored four times last season for the struggling club, who begin the 2019 campaign as +10000 outsiders for the MLS Cup. He could be on the lookout for opportunities elsewhere as he has reportedly been told that he is not necessarily part of James O'Connor's plans going forward, although he's stressed his desire to remain in Major League Soccer.
Armas has talked extensively about the strength in depth that his roster possesses and that bodes well for the 2019 season. Despite this, the coach has also suggested that there may still be room for further additions.