The New York Red Bulls dropped a rare game at home to struggling Orlando City SC. The Red Bulls faced an uphill battle missing numerous starters to international call-ups, and it showed.
OCSC stacked numbers behind the ball and waited for the Red Bulls to mistakes to attack. It took until the second half, but the strategy worked. Orlando found the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win.
Luis Robles stood out for the Red Bulls in the match. Robles snuffed out dangerous opportunities on 1-v-1 chances for OCSC keeping the match level as the Red Bulls struggled to create. Ultimately, his heroics could not make up for the make shift defense and poor attack.
The first half lacked definition for the Red Bulls. For the second straight match, the Red Bulls looked like a team without attacking ideas. Missing backline distributors like Aaron Long, Michael Murillo, and Kemar Lawrence, possession floundered when the Red Bulls tried to play the ball out of the back. That gave OCSC counter attack opportunities, but they wasted their chances.
Connor Lade left the match in the first half after a collision near midfield. Lade’s attempt to stop Ruan’s run left the defender reeling on the ground and needing an escort to the locker room. The Red Bulls backline, already short on staff, called on Alex Muyl to take the defenders position, and Omir Fernandez subbed into the match at right wing.
In the 74th minute, OCSC opened the scoring. Former captain Sacha Kljestan finished off a counter attack opportunity from João Moutinho. The goal move started thanks to second half substitute Dom Dwyer. Dwyer helped keep possession to start the move. His run drew the Red Bulls out of position, allowing Kljestan space to score.
The Red Bulls struggled to gain footing in the match, though they nearly leveled the score a minute after falling behind. Only a goal line clearance kept OCSC in the lead. The Red Bulls late game shift to 4-2-2-2 struggled to create additional chances. Now the Red Bulls must search for answers.
Next up, the Red Bulls travel to Chicago to face the Fire.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography