There’s been a shot across the boss of Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT — let alone the New York Red Bulls — as fiery leader Aaron Long is set for a lengthy absence after tearing an Achilles tendon against Philadelphia on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Long, oft-linked with a move abroad, has played 140 times for the Red Bulls and has 21 caps for the United States men’s national team.
Long had captained the USMNT in three of his last five caps and his loss to the Yanks for the Gold Cup is similar to that of the Red Bulls.
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Are there replacement-level players who can fill his role in terms of tackles? Yup. Are there those who can orchestrate a back line as efficiently as Long? For sure. In fact, there will be a number of players who can upgrade the team in terms of ball movement.
But Long has that fire, pride, and — for lack of a better term — competitive gumption can be terribly difficult to find in a team or program. And that stings quite a bit.
Also, that mullet was pretty remarkable, wasn’t it?
Long nearly went to West Ham in 2019 and revealed last year that he had hoped to go on loan to Red Bull Salzburg or RB Leipzig but did not have his wish granted by RBNY. Whether this puts a wrench in his future or not, we’re wishing the best for the USMNT man.