Sean Davis Looking to be a Red Bull Leader

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

New York Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis has been thrust into the spotlight with the departure of veteran captain Dax McCarty.

Despite that unexpected opening, Davis appears to be relishing the opportunity to become a leader.

“I think that I could be more of a leader on the field,” said Davis when asked by the media about where he could improve. “I feel a lot more comfortable with the group now. Especially after my experiences the last two years. So now I’m starting to feel less like a rookie and a little bit more like a veteran.”

The 23-year old Red Bull product has turned heads with his play both in the USL and MLS. In total he has appeared in 35 games but the most impressive spell was in the middle of the 2016 season when he filled in for the injured Dax McCarty. Working alongside Felipe, Davis showed the ability to be an MLS starter and even tallied his first two MLS goals in Marsch’s system.

“It was nice, for the first time in my career, to really get a string of games and gain chemistry with the guys,” said Davis about his 2016 season with the senior team. “I’m able to look back and look at my strengths, look at my weaknesses. I have a good body of work that I can build on now.”

Davis’ push represents the continuing trend towards younger players on the New York Red Bulls. After trips to Europe where Marsch met with the coaching staffs of Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, there appears to be a global effort to rely on the homegrown produced talent. Glimpses of it have been appearing ever since Marsch took control of the team but 2017 may be the first attempt at a full implementation.

“He clearly, once again, has put in a lot of work in the offseason and he’s come in flying,” said Red Bulls assistant coach Chris Armas on Davis’ progression. “He’s a guy that plays the way we want to play. He just has good energy, high energy and an optimism that I think is important.”