If there’s one thing that head coach Sandro Schwarz wants to see from his New York Red Bulls across the first two days of training camp down in Florida, it’s intensity.
“We had two high-intensity training sessions,” Schwarz said. “The mentality was good of the team. We are satisfied with the first days.”
The 45-year-old German took over the club in December following a successful career in Europe managing the likes of German Bundesliga sides Mainz and Hertha Berlin, along with Russian giants Dynamo Moscow.
Moving to the United States, he’s tasked with guiding the Red Bulls toward their next step, which is a legitimate, deep run in the MLS playoffs. New York has made the playoffs in each of the last 14 seasons, but it’s never won an MLS Cup and has been bounced from the first round in each of the last five years.
It prompted head of sports Jochen Schneider to part ways with head coach Troy Lesesne and bring in more established, high-profile European talent. Along with Schwarz’s introduction, the Red Bulls have also signed Swedish star midfielder Emil Forsberg to help bolster the side’s talent pool.
But a team that has no problem making the playoffs needs mental tweaking — and Schwarz is going to ensure that an intense program has his side ready for all situations. That intensity showed in a 6-0 drubbing of Florida Gulf Coast University during a Saturday scrimmage.
“It’s not the most important thing to be game ready [early in the preseason],” Schwarz said. “It’s more important that we have high-intensity training sessions. Our main goal is to be ready for the [season opener] in Nashville. This is the main reason we’re out here…
“We saw the principles we train in our sessions and that is very important to us. We have to improve and to continue how we want to play.”
For more on Sandro Schwarz and the Red Bulls, visit AMNY.com