The New York Red Bulls up and down season continued north of the border in a tough loss against Toronto FC.
Following up their comeback win against New York City FC, the Red Bulls came out flat against TFC and paid the price. Despite winning the statistical battle for shots, and possession, they wasted their chances, and fell 3-1.
Chris Armas rotated the front line following the weekend match. Tom Barlow started up top with Alex Muyl and Vincent Bezecourt manning the wings. Notably, the first choice backline started the match, the first time since all parties returned from injury and international duty.
TFC pushed the pace through the opening minutes, finding a goal early. In the 6th minute, Tsubasa Endoh sent in a cross to Jozy Altidore. The former Red Bull striker deftly backheeled the ball off the far post and into the net. It was the fourth straight game the Red Bulls gave up the first goal.
Alejandro Pozuelo extended the lead in the 26th minute. Kemar Lawrence fouled Richie Laryea in the box, giving TFC a penalty kick. Pozuelo struck his penalty low into the left corner giving the home side a 2-0 advantage. Despite creating good scoring chances throughout the first 30 minutes, the Red Bulls defense struggled to play in transition.
Notably, the Red Bulls missed a number of clear chances in the first half. The most egregious was a chance from Kaku. The midfielder stripped the ball from Michael Bradley at the top of the box. He dribbled in alone against TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg. Kaku elected to shoot near post, and Westberg made a kick save, denying the Red Bulls. Kaku had a chance to play Tom Barlow in on goal during the sequence, but elected to shoot instead.
In the second half, the Red Bulls pulled a goal back. Tom Barlow notched his second goal of the season, tapping in a goal from the six yard box in the 63rd minute. Derrick Etienne Jr. and Barlow combined in the buildup, with Barlow playing the ball back to the dynamic winger. Etienne dribbled into the box, lulled Laurent Ciman to sleep with his footwork, then sent a low cross to Barlow. No defenders followed Barlow into the box, allowing the big striker an easy chance to finish.
TFC responded well to the goal, scoring another of their own in the 73rd minute. Michael Murillo tried to shield the ball for Luis Robles. Ashtone Morgan closed the space, stole the ball, and finished his chance into an open goal.
The Red Bulls fall to 9-8-4 following the loss. Next up, they return to action this weekend against Orlando City SC.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography