The Gerhard Struber era has gotten off to a tough start. Defensive lapses, no preseason games and many acquisitions getting familiar with each other have seen the Red Bulls lose back to back one-goal games.
The 0-2 start to the campaign is the first since 2016, but all is not doom and gloom as Andrew Gutman has shone brightly early on.
“We’re pleased to have Andrew join us,” RBNY Head of Sport Kevin Thelwell said in a club statement. “He has proven that he can play in MLS and has qualities that we think will fit well in our style of play. He is a solid defender, can contribute from wide areas going forward, and has the physical attributes to meet the demands of our system.”
“Andrew brings good experience in MLS,” added head coach Gerhard Struber. “He is strong on the ball and has good awareness and intelligence going forward, which will help us build our attack and bring good decision making in the final third.”
The Hinsdale, Illinois native arrived on a season-long loan from Atlanta United and has immediately nailed on a starting spot at left-back. Gutman is already off the mark scoring his first goal in the 3-2 defeat at LA Galaxy Sunday before eventually being substituted for newcomer Frankie Amaya. He took his goal well, carrying the ball up from midfield before leaving it at the edge of the box to Brian White. Gutman carried his run forward into the box, combining with White to then power his shot past Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond to level the score at 1-1.
“We know we’re a much better team than where we are in the table, and teams know that.” says Gutman after the defeat.
Andrew Gutman Shows Versatility
Whether playing as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation or as a traditional full-back in a 4-4-2, Gutman has displayed the sort of tactical flexibility and adaptation that Struber looks for. The 24-year-old is also doing his part with his defensive duties. According to SofaScore - Gutman leads the team with 3.5 tackles per game, ranks second grabbing 4.0 interceptions per game and is tied for third with 1.5 clearances per contest.
It's easy to look past Gutman's past ventures seeing as he previously played for FC Cincinnati, but the transfer to the Red Bulls has proved to be a case of what you can do for us instead of what you've done before. As part of the league's youngest team, Gutman is proving to be a key player moving forward as the Red Bulls look make waves in a tough Eastern Conference.
The Red Bulls aim to get their first win of the season as they open the month of May at home against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, May 1.