March 24, 2023

New York Red Bulls 2023 MLS season preview: Tactics, predicted XI, predictions

The New York Red Bulls enter the 2023 season looking to maintain their incredible MLS Cup Playoffs record.

Mastering the regular season like no other, RBNY have reached the Playoffs in each of their last 13 attempts, winning three Supporters’ Shield titles during that time – though they’ve never progressed further than the Conference Final.

So, will the Red Bulls continue their unmatched record, or will it be one season too many for Gerhard Struber’s men?

Here’s everything you need to know about the New York Red Bulls ahead of the new MLS season, including tactics, key players, and predictions.

Transfers in


Former Club


Dante Vanzeir

Union SG


Cory Burke

Philadelphia Union

Free transfer

Jayden Reid

Uconn Huskies

Free transfer

Peter Stroud

Blue Devils

Free transfer

Elian Haddock

Yale Bulldogs


Elias Manoel



Kyle Duncan

KV Oostende


Transfers out


Club Joined


Aaron Long


Free transfer

Zach Ryan

Loudoun United

Free transfer

Jesus Castellano

FC Cincinnati 2

Free transfer

Omar Sowe


Free transfer

Jake LaCava

St. Louis CITY SC


Partyk Klimala

Hapoel Beer Sheva


Caden Clark

RB Leipzig

End of loan

This is the New York Red Bulls, so you should know by now what sort of soccer is on display. It’s high pressing, high energy, and high excitement. They don’t stop, they don’t waver, and they seemingly don’t get tired. 110% all the time, or the bottom completely falls out.

That’s exactly how it was in 2022, with Gerhard Struber managing to take the Red Bulls to fourth in the East despite a misfiring forward line. They simply overwhelmed their opponents with a flood of players hunting the ball in the final third.

This time around, with the big signing of Belgian striker Dante Vanzeir, you can expect them to switch back to a more familiar 4-4-2 shape, but that should only serve to make the press more effective with three of the more midfielders joining in and the defensive line backing right up behind them.

New York Red Bulls predicted XI (4-4-2): Coronel; Duncan, Reyes, Nealis, Tolkin; Morgan, Edelman, Casseres Jr, Luquinhas; Vanzeir, Manoel.

Morgan was RBNY's 2022 MVP.

Morgan was RBNY’s 2022 MVP. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Lewis Morgan

There has been great interest in Lewis Morgan from back in the UK, specifically across the top two levels of the English game. Despite that, the Scotsman recently signed a new deal with the Red Bulls.

It’s not hard to see why the interest is there, or why the Red Bulls felt compelled to up his deal.

Morgan was by far and away RBNY’s best player after joining from Inter Miami last season, hitting 18 goals and three assists in 37 appearances across all competitions – a return made all the more impressive by the fact he lined up in central midfield, on the wings, as a No.10, and a striker at various points.

And it’s not just his ability with the ball. Morgan is equipped with one of the most enduring engines in Major League Soccer, perfectly suited to ‘Energy Drink Soccer’. He is the Red Bulls’ wings, if you will.

At the back, RBNY are arguably weaker with Aaron Long leaving for LAFC and no viable replacement brought in yet. However, the signing of Vanzeir massively levels up their attack, while keeping hold of Morgan may prove to be their best bit of business in recent years.

You can probably expect RBNY to slip down the standings a little this season with teams around them getting stronger. However, their style of play is one so many teams in MLS struggle to live with, and Struber now has his team functioning like a well-oiled machine. They’ll make the Playoffs, as usual.

Will New York Red Bulls qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs? Yes