It is no doubt that Gonzalo Veron’s time with the New York Red Bulls has been mediocre at best. Since arriving in 2015, the highly sought Designated Player has struggled to find consistent form. However, injuries and lack of playing time has prevented Veron from ever reaching peak form. In his two seasons so far with the Red Bulls, Veron has only started a total of eight MLS matches. In 2017, several factors could finally give Veron the chances he needs to show how good he really can be.
2017: Three Reasons it Will be the Year of Gonzalo Veron
From 4-2-3-1 to 4-2-2-2
It is no doubt that in the past two seasons Jesse Marsch has struggled to find time for Veron. Marsch often favored the likes of Alex Muyl and Mike Grella on the wings. With the Red Bulls more likely then not switching to a 4-2-2-2 formation this season, on top of a decent pre-season, Veron seems to be the most likely choice to join Bradley Wright-Phillips as the striking tandem. Last season, Veron scored three goals in 631 minutes of MLS play. That calculates to three scores in just over seven full matches.
Veron could very well be seeing time right from the get-go for the Red Bulls. Between the CONCACAF Champions’ League Quarterfinals and MLS play, the Red Bulls will play four games in a 17 day span. Should the Red Bulls advance to the Semifinals, they would play the first leg of that series between March 14th-March 16th. Which could make it five matches in a 20 day span. The first few weeks of the season should give Veron plenty of opportunity to showcase how 2017 could look for him.
It is no doubt that the Red Bulls struggled with their play out wide in 2016. More often then not the Red Bulls found themselves becoming very narrow in their attack. This at times really hurt the Red Bulls in the final third. This was clearly visible in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Montreal Impact. Once the middle was taken away, the Red Bulls were forced to go out wide and struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. If the Red Bulls want to be more successful in 2017 they have to utilize Veron pushing out wide more. Veron was one of the few players last year that was able to use his pace and skill to stretch the back line. Utilizing his width play, along with the strong width play of Daniel Royer will do wonders for the Red Bulls attack. It will easily open up channels in the middle, which will help lead to more success for both Sacha Kljestan and BWP.