Last night’s 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City saw two fringe first teamers/starters make a critical impact. Cristian Casseres Jr. made his third start of the year, and likely his most important one with the Red Bulls to date. Brian White entered the game in the 70th minute after Bradley Wright-Phillips failed to register a single shot. Three weeks ago, the two started together for New York Red Bulls II vs Nashville SC, and last night made all the difference and nearly stole three points.
Casseres Jr. played Daniel Royer in for a 1v1 with Tim Melia in the 52nd minute. Royer rounded Melia to tie the game. White came on as a substitute and scored the go-ahead goal with his first touch in the 75th minute. Unfortunately, the late goal conceded to Gianluca Busio and the immature acts of Kaku overshadowed an otherwise special night for the Red Bulls and their young players.
Brian White scores his first of 2019
It can be said, Brian White more so than Cristian Casseres needed this moment the most. With the signing of Mathias Jørgensen, White needs to make the most out of his chances in order to receive first team minutes. White certainly took his chance while Jørgensen played with NYRBII in Charlotte on Saturday.
Building on his first goal of the year will be key for the second year player out of Duke. Post-game Chris Armas spoke highly of White’s work ethic, “Brian has been working hard for a few years now. Every so often you see a guy get rewarded with a goal like that…Brian came into to share some of that work and do some of that dirty running. We know that tactically he’s connected in the right way and, of course, it’s good service from Kaku and Brian does what he does. He scores goals regularly. I’m thrilled for him. It was a big goal for us”
Cristian Casseres Jr. continues to shine
Given his first start of the year with the Red Bulls regulars last week, Cristian Casseres Jr. played convincingly. In two straight performances, Casseres Jr. showed his passing ability and that he can play high up the field as a destroyer. It’s something the Red Bulls desperately need with the loss of Tyler Adams and Casseres Jr. is the only other player who can play a similar role.
For Casseres Jr., his competition for the starting spot is clear. Marc Rzatkowski started on the right side of a diamond midfield against Sporting Kansas City but it seems as though the two won’t usually be on the field at the same time. There may be more wiggle room for Casseres Jr. but he also needs to continue his form in order to solidify his spot in the XI. Casseres is off to a good start in 2019 and he has another chance to impress against the struggling Revolution.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography