One week since the New York Red Bulls signed goalkeeper Carlos Coronel to a three-year contract, the club has made another big move. On Dec. 12, the Red Bulls acquired Scottish winger Lewis Morgan from Inter Miami in exchange for $1,200,000 in general allocation money over the next two seasons.
The 25-year-old brings a healthy track record in Major League Soccer with him to Red Bull Arena. For one, Morgan has played the last two seasons with Inter Miami FC. During 2020, he was named the club's MVP, after scoring five goals and eight assists in just 23 games. His performance dipped in 2021, but he still managed to score two goals and four assists while starting all 37 of his team's games.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) December 12, 2021
What Morgan will Bring to Red Bulls
Red Bulls Head of Sport, Kevin Thelwell's first major splash of the Red Bulls offseason came swiftly in his second offseason with the signing of Morgan. He is a player that has played both left-back and as a left winger for Miami and he may be asked to play both depending on what happens next season.
Kyle Duncan has left the Red Bulls on a free transfer to KV Oostende in Belgium, which leaves a hole in the midfield. With the Red Bulls, Morgan will likely play as a left winger, which Caden Clark and Wikelman Carmona occupied last season. Carmona should remain with Red Bull next year, while Clark is supposedly leaving for Red Bull Leipzig this winter, but there has been no reporting on whether he is doing that. If Clark does end up leaving the Red Bulls, Morgan should be able to replace his offensive production, which makes the deal a smart one.
In terms of Morgan he is a 25-year-old who was named Inter Miami's MVP during the 2020 season. Thelwell described why he made the decision to make Morgan a Red Bull.
“We are delighted to add Lewis as an attacking option. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience from Europe, but he has found success in MLS the last two seasons. We hope that his experience within the league will provide an immediate impact to our group.”
Morgan's production dipped last year from five goals and eight assists to two and four in 2021. While this would be concerning for some, it is not concerning for those truly in the know, like manager Gerhard Struber, who offered these thoughts on why Morgan can have a positive impact in 2022.
“He possesses the instinct and intelligence to recognize to get in behind, to open up passing lanes and create space. His ability against the ball to press and counter-press will also [be] useful to our team.”
It is not clear what the Red Bulls roster will look like in 2022 yet, but it is clear that Morgan can be a big part of it. Morgan's track record speaks for itself. He has played in every game for Inter Miami during the last two seasons and played at the highest level of European club soccer. The first big move the Red Bulls have made this offseason looks like a good one right now.
Anthony graduated from Montclair State University, where he covered a variety of sports for three years. He co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on campus radio station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.