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Red Bulls Should be in Win Now Mode

Luis Robles (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - DoubleGSports)

Luis Robles (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – DoubleGSports)

The Red Bulls are on the cusp of something great.

They’re first in the Eastern Conference and in first place overall in the MLS standings. This needs to result in something more than just the Supporters Shield and a painful playoff exit — they’ve had enough of those in the last few years.

When the season began, this team wasn’t supposed to be where they are now.

They lost big names on the field, made major changes in the front office and in the coaching staff, and looked positioned for a rebuilding season. Yet here they are, close to being named the best team in the entire league. These things don’t happen by accident and the Red Bulls need to take advantage.

With NYCFC a rapidly growing brand in New York City sports, and with the recent success of the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Islanders and Rangers, the Red Bulls have fallen behind. They’re successful in the regular season but no one seems to notice; they’ve played a terrific brand of soccer this year but don’t make the headlines.

Of course this isn’t all about headlines.

It’s about winning, but if the Red Bulls continue down the same path they’ve been on this good regular season will mean nothing. They have a history of falling short and thus inspire no confidence that they won’t repeat that history this year.

Also, you can only get very close so many times without capitalizing before it starts to get truly frustrating. This is a great opportunity for the Red Bulls to create their own identity in New York sports and in the New York soccer scene. Here’s the chance for them to get the monkey off of their collective back — the one that keeps them struggling and unable to win the big games.

The Red Bulls have got to make sure not to waste this season and to go for it all now, because you never know when you might get another chance like this. They already let one slip away; you can’t miss your second chance.

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