This week, the New York Red Bulls extended the lease for a striker who has yet to score in the MLS despite six starts. At first glance, this seems a little unorthodox. Forwards, after all, they have to score goals.
But a pair of Brazilian striker Fabio and the New York Red Bulls are the perfect match. One that should hit the MLS sooner rather than later. Even if Fabio hasn’t scored yet.
Not to confuse the player, but Fabio did not come to the MLS with an impressive resume: most recently, he played in the third division in Brazil and the second division in Japan. Also, as noted, he has not yet scored in MLS.
Oh, and he never played first division football.
So why is the New York Red Bulls wish to renew a player’s loan who hasn’t produced at MLS? And the one who does not have high-level work experience? And not only to extend the loan, but also to buy?
In the most typical Red Bulls responses: “Up and in the leg.”
The 24-year-old striker is perfect for a team where the system comes first. Despite being 6’4 ” tall, Fabio has tremendous mobility, which, combined with his speed, makes him an intriguing leader for the Red Bulls, which asks their strikers to press vigorously.
Fabio also plays well in space, which a team built to thrive in transition loves to see in a striker. When Red Bull’s center midfielders take deep runs into the last third, the ability to play one or two touches and then make space is great. IQ is great for a team that creates organized chaos when pressing.
His four passes testify to a player with a high IQ in the game and an ability to quickly analyze space and movement.
His grappling play is also great, which can help when a team has been playing for a long time to relieve the pressure.
This is the case of New York Red Bulls not caring about perception or outside noise. Their out-of-town rival New York City signed Talles Magno last month. Magno, 19, is a former Brazilian U17 national team player and is considered one of the best attacking players in the world.
And Fabio, a little more authoritative and devoid of excitement, has never played first division football. Don’t beat an already dead horse, but there is definitely a difference between the two players.
But Red Bull doesn’t care. This is a very interesting case for Red Bull’s global scouting network, which is considered one of the best in the world. Fabio has the belief that there is a diamond in the rough, a player with the potential that is best suited.
Luke Rogers is smiling somewhere.
While Magno is very interesting to the NYCFC, Red Bulls believe Fabio can do his part. And as their history in the MLS Cup playoffs shows, this franchise has struggled to spot the differences. But Fabio’s fit makes a system that is totally dedicated to the system really and really click.
Along with Patryk Klimala, the Polish U21 player recently transferred from Celtic, the New York Red Bulls may finally have a tandem striker who could break teams in the playoffs. If Fabio can do it, his resume just doesn’t matter.