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New York Red Bulls sign Emil Forsberg as Designated Player from RB Leipzig

New York Red Bulls have completed the transfer of veteran attacking midfielder Emil Forsberg from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a three-year deal through the 2026 Major League Soccer season.

The 32-year-old makes the move from the German first division but remains in the Red Bull system on a Designated Player contract, as the deal also contains an option for the 2027 campaign.

Forsberg brings loads of European experience to a Red Bulls side crying out for a creative outlet as the Eastern Conference team scored just 36 goals (tied for third-least in MLS) in 34 regular season contests in 2023.

“We are very excited to add a player of Emil’s caliber to our club, the amount of experience he has in Europe will be a great addition to our roster,” Red Bulls head of sport Jochen Schneider said in a release.

“We are grateful for the support from Red Bull Soccer. This transfer showcases the Red Bull philosophy of high-intensity and attacking soccer and the power of our multi-club eco system which will benefit our club. Emil is an amazing talent with a skillset that will particularly help develop young players and we cannot wait to see him take the pitch at Red Bull Arena in 2024.”

Forsberg joined RB Leipzig in January 2015 after making over 80 appearances for Malmo FF in his native Sweden. Leipzig were in the 2. Bundesliga, the German second division, upon Forsberg’s arrival. Since then, Forsberg has helped Leipzig explode into one of the best sides in the Bundesliga as he leaves with the team currently in third place.

Emil Forsberg

Forsberg is a new MLS player / Luciano Lima/GettyImages

He helped RB Leipzig gain promotion to the Bundesliga at the end of the 2015/16 season and went on to make 323 appearances across all competitions, scoring 70 goals and dishing out 68 assists.

Included in those hundreds of appearances for Leipzig are 41 showings in the UEFA Champions League, where Forsberg added 11 goals and four assists with his side reaching the semi-finals in the 2019/20 season before falling to Paris Saint-Germain.

While he has over 500 appearances at the club level, Forsberg has also led Sweden on the international stage. He was part of the team’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, their first since 2006. With Sweden, Forsberg has totaled 21 goals and nine assists in 86 appearances.

“Emil’s experience in Europe will be very valuable to the locker room and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the club,” New York head coach Sandro Schwarz, who also hails from the Bundesliga, said. “He is a great attacking midfielder that will provide much value to our midfield this season.”

Forsberg isn’t just bringing goals and assists to Red Bull Arena, though. He also brings the winning mentality and know-how that Red Bulls are lacking. While in Germany, Forsberg racked up two German Cup wins in 2021/22 and 2022/23, while also adding a German Super Cup just before the start of the 2023/24 campaign.

Red Bulls are now looking ahead to what they hope will be a much-brighter 2024 season after snatching up Schwarz and Forsberg from the Bundesliga.


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