HARRISON, N.J. — In need of an attacking boost, the New York Red Bulls have come away with their first big signing of the 2023-24 offseason, agreeing to a deal with Swedish attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg, according to multiple reports.
The 32-year-old makes the jump from the Red Bulls’ sister club in Leipzig, where he spent the last eight seasons playing in Germany’s top flight, the Bundesliga, and the UEFA Champions League. He recorded 47 goals in 238 matches with RB Leipzig while also competing for his country, Sweden, at the 2016 and 2020 European Championships as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He was awarded the Guldbollen in 2021, which is given to the player voted as Sweden’s best soccer player. He was also voted Sweden’s Midfielder of the Year four times (2016-2017, 2019, 2021). During that 2021 season, he scored seven goals in 14 appearances for the Swedish national team while potting 11 goals in 46 matches across all competitions with RB Leipzig.
“Bringing in a player of that caliber would increase everyone’s output,” RBNY captain Sean Nealis said of the rumors. “I think everyone’s excited to play with someone of that caliber. Everyone’s happy to see someone of that caliber being linked to coming over here.”
New York struggled mightily to generate goals consistently in 2023 after their leading scorer from the season before, Lewis Morgan, missed the majority of the campaign with a hip injury. They scored the third-fewest goals during the MLS regular season (36).
A partnership between Forsberg and the star Scotsman bodes well for the Red Bulls’ attack next season, but this is expected to be just the first of a few moves carried out by Schneider this winter.
On Tuesday, the club announced that they parted ways with interim head coach Troy Lesesne, assistant Zach Prince, and sporting director Dennis Hamlett.
The decision comes after Lesesne and Prince helped lead the Red Bulls to the playoffs after taking over for ex-manager Gerhard Struber in May.