Red Bulls star Emil Forsberg gets minor minutes in promising return back from injury

Emil Forsberg Red Bulls
Jun 29, 2024; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Emil Forsberg (10) gestures to fans after the match against D.C. United during the second half at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A golden opportunity slipped through the New York Red Bulls’ grasp on Saturday night, settling for a 2-2 draw against DC United despite the visitors playing with 10 men for 70 minutes. But at least there was some promising news regarding star midfielder Emil Forsberg. 

The Swedish international, dealing with a foot injury, was subbed on in the 86th minute and proceeded to play the final four minutes of the second half and the nearly 10 minutes of stoppage time. 

It was the first time the 32-year-old had appeared in a match for the Red Bulls since June 1. He was called up to the Swedish national team for a pair of friendlies, suffering the injury during the June 8 match against Serbia. 

He had missed New York’s previous three matches upon his return from international duty, to which the Red Bulls settled two draws and one victory. 

Following Saturday night’s appearance at Red Bulls Arena, all signs point to building his way up to full match fitness. 

“We had some conversations with the medical staff, and this was my responsibility today to give him seven, eight, plus additional time, some minutes,” Red Bulls head coach Sandro Schwarz said. “And to be honest, he was not ready now to play more than these minutes. But my thoughts were that in these moments, maybe the opponents stay deep and give him six, or seven minutes and maybe he can play the last pass or shoot in many moments.”

Initial forecasts suggest that Forsberg will work with the team in training over the next week with the hope that he will be ready for the next match on July 6 in Philadelphia against the Union.

The final minutes of the match against DC United provided the first glimpse of a nearly-full-strength lineup in weeks for New York. Attacker Lewis Morgan was a halftime sub and made his first appearance with the team since returning from his duties with Scotland at Euro 2024. 

Both Morgan and Forsberg are the key reasons as to why the Red Bulls are near the top of the Eastern Conference standings more than halfway through the MLS season, sitting in third place with 35 points from 21 matches. 

When Forsberg plays, positive results are a formality. Out of the 15 matches he has appeared in this season for the Red Bulls, they have lost just twice. 

For more on Emil Forsberg and the Red Bulls, visit AMNY.com