• Friday Aug 01, 2014

    With added experience, New York’s Oyongo develops

    Ambroise Oyongo (pictured) is making a good impression in his first year with the New York Red Bulls. (Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls)

    HARRISON, New Jersey – Thanks to another impressive outing, this time at two positions in a 1-0 win over England’s Arsenal last week, New York Red Bulls rookie Ambroise Oyongo continues to turn heads.

    Just listen to what head coach Mike Petke said at a post-game press conference:

    "Like I said before, Oyongo is – if he continues to learn, continues to be willing to learn and keeps grounded I think in the next two years he is going to be a big name.”

    Actually, it's the opinion of some other members of the Red Bulls organization as Oyongo demonstrated his versatility in a sport where you can never have enough depth.

    Looking down the road, no one has to remind Petke that he will need as much depth as possible as the Red Bulls will start their run in the CONCACAF Champions League next month.  They host CD FAS in their first game on August 26.

    The Cameroon native started the game at left midfield and moved back to his familiar position at left back, when midfielder Eric Alexander replaced left back Costa Rica international Roy Miller at halftime.

    "He played well, he played really well," said Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal star whose corner kick set up the lone goal of the game.  "With Ambroise, he will give you what he has.  Whatever the position that he’s playing. He did extremely well playing left back but you can’t also say that Roy wasn’t playing well before he left to go to the World Cup."

    Miller returned from a groin injury suffered while training with Costa Rica in Brazil.

    "Ambroise, I guess, gave some problems to the boss to think about because he played well today," Henry said.

    After going the full game in a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Oyongo has logged 536 minutes in six MS appearances, all starts.

    "He’s a great player," midfielder Tim Cahill said, "We’ve been focusing a lot on him and having a complete performance, taking away the mistakes. The more he takes out of his game the better he can become even though he’s one of our shining players at the moment.”

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