Red Bull Update/ Denis Hamlett Conference Call
During RBNY Preseason Camp in Tucson, Arizona
Special day for us today, you know, obviously, with the announcement of young attacking player, Mathias Jørgensen. We're really excited we’re able to get this across the line and looking forward to having him as soon as we get clearance with the ITC. You know he's a talented young player and as I mention in my quote, I think it speaks volumes that a young player coming from Europe wants to be part of the New York Red Bulls and Major League Soccer. I think that speaks volumes. We're excited because obviously with us, in terms of our playing style and our philosophy with younger players, this is a very good fit for us. So, we're looking forward to have him join our camp.
On how long the team tracked Jørgensen:
We've been following him for a while, you know, we have a scouting network setup and he’s someone that we've been keeping an eye on. The important thing is, you know, when you're tracking players, it’s about the timing. When the right opportunity comes for a player to make that move to come across, because it's never easy. And so, for us, we’ve kept track of him and we're always looking for the right fit to come into our system. So, you know, once it became clear that he wanted to come for a visit, we felt pretty good that we have a good chance of getting this thing across the line. So again, we're excited that he's going to be part of us.
On making more additions to the roster:
We're always looking to add players in that we feel that can help us get to our ultimate goal, which is to win a championship. We have a roster that we feel can compete, starting with next week in CCL and into our season. We set ourselves up to have a good start, and as with anything we’ll always have an eye out to figure out internally and externally in terms of what players we can get to come in and try to help us. We always have roster flexibility to make those types of moves. We’re always looking.
On if Jørgensen will spend time with NYRB II:
I think that remains to be seen but the key part is, like, I think with any young person coming into our team, we feel like part of it is that adaptation process of playing in our league, our culture, but I think that that takes time. We feel like he, as a striker, has some dynamic tools that we feel will help us right off the bat. We think his ability to stretch the defense, he’s got some incredible movements up front. Again, he's someone that is a team player and his willingness to play for the team and I think it's going to be a good fit for us. So, I think as he gets here, how fast can you adapt to the coaching staff, to his teammates, I think will speak volumes. But look, we expect him to have an impact from the get go.
For the first team?
Yes, for the first team.
On if Jørgensen was scouted in person, or just via video:
I did not see him but our scouting team, Ben, had seen him live and we've seen enough videos of him and again, from our scouting network, we have an extensive report in terms of the quality that he has, we thought that it was going to be a good fit for us. Like I mentioned, in terms of his willingness to play in the system that we want to play, his speed, his movement, his ability spread defenses. These are all things that we felt like were important pieces for an attacking player that can come in and fit into our system. When you kind of look at a guy like Kaku, he’s along the same lines in terms of having those types of characteristics and we feel like that's a good starting point and to get them into our team, integrate him, and then we'll see how it goes from there. So, we felt very confident. But the most important part was it was more about him coming here and seeing our environment. Seeing where he's going to spend the next few years here and get a real good feel for that because you know it's a big move for young players coming from Europe over here. Usually you don't see those young players making that type of move. I think for us that was the most important part, that he felt there was a comfort level, a sense of, he thought he could do well in our system and so for us was the key part.
On his impressions or Jørgensen meeting in person last week:
He came and saw RBA, saw the training facility, saw some training. He basically met with the entire First Team staff and met the players. We even took him to a Nets game, actually got to see a good game against the Nuggets, which the Nets won. He really got a good feeling on and off the soccer field because I think that's important for him to get a really good feel. What I would say for an 18-year-old young man you know he is pretty clear in terms of his thoughts, his ideas. You know he's very humble, he’s got a good attitude. His willingness to be a team player, you know, in the end, when I sort of look and think like this is the character part. We all know that when you look at the players, you know, the tactical and physical parts of it. Those are all components that we look at. But for us, character is a big, a big piece for us because in terms of the culture that we're trying to create and bringing the right people that are team players. And I think when we met him. I think that was one of the things that really stood out in terms of his humbleness and his team-first mentality, which speaks volumes for young player.
On adding another Designated Player:
I think we feel very confident with the roster we have right now. I think we have the flexibility that if we want to add a bigger piece or another player, we have those resources that we can do that. For us right now, I think our main focus is just getting ready for CCL. We have a good group that's been working really hard and they're ready to go. We’re excited for the moment. I think the key part is just making sure that we have some flexibility that we can bring in players if we think it's the right fit for us moving forward.