With Vanzeir yet to start as he increases his fitness and comfort level with the team, it remains unclear how the Red Bulls’ tactics will adjust once he becomes a regular in the lineup. That decision falls on head coach Gerhard Struber, who must align his new 5-foot-9 centerpiece with those like Luquinhas and Lewis Morgan. This winter, the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs regular also brought in strikers Cory Burke and Elias Manoel.
“I prefer to have a partner. Like I said, I’m not the biggest one, not the tallest one. So I love when I have a striker next to me who can maybe attract the defenders, keep the ball, and help the team in that way,” said Vanzeir. “And I would love then to use his space, to use the space in the back of the defense that he’s creating for me as well.”
Whatever New York’s ideal attacking balance looks like, Vanzeir feels his versatility will be a strength.
“In the youth and in my last years, I played on the wing, I played alone as a striker, so I can play multiple positions,” he noted.
Though Vanzeir can’t say for sure when starting minutes will come, he remains dialed in for the club’s upcoming match at Charlotte.
“I think with the hunger and maybe the confidence that we have right now after the last game, we have to be able to beat them even at their home. That’s our ambition,” said Vanzeir. “But we also know their qualities, and it will be for sure a tough match. But I think if everybody’s on this level and can perform, then we have a good chance.”