Lewis Morgan hitting James Forrest Celtic numbers as Red Bulls no 9 is red hot after switch up

Lewis Morgan reckons he has had his own James Forrest moment that’s helped him become a goal machine for New York Red Bulls.

The Scotland international has been one of the standout players in Major League Soccer this season, netting seven times and grabbing one assist in his first 10 games. The 27-year-old has now been switched more to a central striker role and likened it to when Brendan Rodgers first came in at Celtic and transformed Forrest into a natural-born finisher.

Morgan, who was signed for the Hoops by Rodgers in 2018, told Record Sport: “Goals is something I pride myself on. Last year, with the injury, things got taken away from me a bit. The year before I had started to make changes in my game. When I was younger and back in Scotland I was all about one v one and dribbling and I wasn’t so much about the end product.

“I have really turned things around and now I base my whole game around efficiency and goals. If I was to compare it to somebody it would be James Forrest when he took a massive jump in his efficiency and numbers at Celtic.

“He scored an incredible amount and also chipped in with a number of assists. I remember he took that step under Brendan Rodgers and it took his game to a new level.

“I’ve looked at that and I’ve tried to improve my numbers and my output. It is that mindset of going from a winger. Now the biggest part of my game is trying to find the back of the net. It is the biggest thing I have changed in my game.”

So much so that Morgan now wears the No. 9 at Red Bull and is their main man. He explained: “It just sort of happened. The coaches knew I could play up front.

“We also have Emil Forsberg who also likes playing off the left so it made sense to try me at centre forward and I have never looked back. I have always enjoyed scoring goals. When I was younger I was happy just to play well but as I have got older the biggest way to help your team is by scoring goals.


“My first year at Red Bull, my team really needed me to do that and I have taken on the responsibility and really enjoyed it. Most of my career I have played as a left winger or a No.10 but I have really enjoyed playing as a central striker. “It has worked for the team and long may that continue.”

The former Inter Miami player is just delighted to be back and firing after last season was wrecked by an on-going hip problem that eventually needed an operation. Morgan claimed: “It was the same injury. It just kept happening and needed surgery.

“I felt like I was rehabbing last year and kept breaking down. Hopefully, it is behind me. I managed to get back from the injury ahead of schedule.

“I probably didn’t perceive playing the amount I have so far. I feel I have managed to get back and bring a level of performance really quickly. I have managed to get in and impact the games, which is the most important thing as a forward player.”

New York Red Bulls sit third in the Eastern Conference just four points behind leaders Inter Miami and they also have a game in hand. Morgan hopes it can be a silver-lined season. The Scottish international stated: “It has been going well. As a team, first and foremost, we have been going really well.

“The team did well getting to the play-offs last season but I think we have started in a much better way this time. We shot ourselves in the foot last season.

“We have got ourselves off to a good start but that is all it is I guess. It is a tough schedule but we are battling through it. After last season, I have got a bit more perspective. It was the first season where I had to deal with a serious injury.

“So to achieve my goals, I know I need to stay fit and healthy. I know if I can keep myself on the pitch then the rest will take care of itself.

“We have a really good group and we’ve started the season well against the top teams in MLS apart from a couple who are going to be up there.”