In part two of this two part feature of the New York Red Bulls player grades for the 2016 MLS Regular Season, we take a look more on the attacking side of the ball.
New York Red Bulls 2016 Regular Season Grades: Part Two
Derrick Etienne Jr.: N/A
Etienne Jr. only made one appearance for the Red Bulls senior team on September 11th against D.C. United.
Dax McCarty: B
It has been yet another solid year for the Red Bulls skipper. Continuing to be a rock in the defensive midfield, McCarty remains the heart and soul of the team. He did suffer a slight tibia fracture which caused him to miss some time in the middle of the season. In the end, a solid defensive showing combined with a three goal and four assist season equals quite a 2016 campaign.
Mike Grella: C+
It was indeed a bizarre season for Grella. Coming off a great 2015 season, he picked up right where he left off in the beginning of 2016. After being the Red Bulls best player for the first few months of the season, Grella seemed to just stall. Up until his last goal against Columbus Crew SC two weeks ago, Grella was goalless for a good four months. However, ending with seven goals and six assists on the season isn’t too shabby.
Felipe Martins: B+
Probably one of the most underrated players for the Red Bulls this season, Felipe was very solid in the defensive midfield role. He was also very consistent both with his play on the field and being able to stay healthy. Felipe appeared in 33 of the Red Bulls 34 MLS regular eason matches this season. On top of being consistently healthy, Felipe added quite a few highlight reel goals this season. Finishing with a total of five goals and seven assists, Felipe deserves much more credit then he has been given.
Shaun Wright-Phillips: N/A
With the emergence of Alex Muyl, as well as the additions of Daniel Royer and Omer Damari, SWP has seen very little action this season. However, despite being on the bench SWP has still contributed to the Red Bulls. He has undertaken a mentor role for some of the younger players. SWP has only appeared in seven MLS matches this season.
Gonzalo Veron: B-
It has certainly been a weird year for the Argentine international. Coming into 2016, Veron had a very solid preseason. However, an injury sidelined him and it took Veron quite a while to recover his form. While looking shaky for many of his 23 MLS appearences, Veron has really improved his play over the last month or so. Finishing up the regular season with three goals, Veron has looked in really good form over this stretch. This comes as a surprise, as Veron is more often than not given very little time in matches with the Red Bulls deep midfield.
Daniel Royer: N/A
While Royer has not been around to earn a grade for the entire season, he has certainly made an impact in the short time he has been with the team. In just six MLS appearances he has tallied one goal and one assist. A recent hamstring injury has kept him sidelined the past few weeks. However, he is expected to be 100% for the start of the MLS Playoffs for the Red Bulls.
Omer Damari: N/A
Similar to Royer, Damari has looked quite impressive in the short time he has been with New York. However, nagging injuries has kept Damari very limited in his stay with the Red Bulls. Damari has only made four appearances with the Red Bulls coming over on loan from RB Lepzig.
Sean Davis: B
Davis certainly showed the potential he posses this season. In his second year with the club, Davis tallied two goals and three assists in 21 appearances. This season showed just how much poise Davis has, while only being age 23. Davis stepped up in a big role when the Red Bulls found themselves without Dax McCarty for a stretch of about a month. During that span Davis certainly held his own and helped keep the Red Bulls on a positive run.
Alex Muyl: B-
It was a very solid first year for 21 year old. Appearing in 27 MLS matches, Muyl tallied two goals and six assists. This season certainly showed that Muyl has all the potential to become a big time player. His work rate is through the roof and his intensity on the field is almost second to none. However, Muyl did struggle with consistency this season. He would follow up a strong match with a few that were certainly sub par. Right now, Muyl possess a lot of raw talent. However, after an off season on working on a thing here and there he has all the potential to have a stellar 2017 season.
Sacha Kljestan: A+
It is really not hard to see why Sacha Kljestan has earned this grade. In this season, he became just the second man in MLS history to record 20 assists in a single season. Taking on six goals and this has most certainly been a MVP caliber season for the Red Bulls maestro in the midfield. The success for club has rejuvenated Kljestan’s international career as he has now seen regular call-ups to the USMNT.
Bradley Wright-Phillips: A+
Simply awesome, that is the only way to describe BWP’s season for 2016. When you have the accolades including but not limited too:
- Second MLS Golden Boot in three seasons.
- Most goals scored over a three season span.
- Possible MLS MVP Candidate
- Becoming the Red Bulls all-time leading goal scorer in only four seasons at the club.
- Tying an MLS record with a goal in six consecutive matches.
- All of this happening, after not scoring in his first seven matches
- Scoring 24 goals in a 27 match span