The New York Red Bull’s opened their 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup preseason tournament with a good test, the Houston Dynamo.
The Red Bulls came flying out of the gate. Daniel Royer, Florian Valot and Mathias Jørgensen combined well and created multiple opportunities in the opening half, but struggled to put meaningful shots on target. The Dynamo also struggled to put the ball in the net thanks to a combination of strong goalkeeping from Ryan Meara, poor finishing, and a mostly competent defensive performance from the Red Bulls.
Kaku forced the opening goal from a corner kick in the 12th minute. The creative midfielder played an in swinging corner from the right flag, keeping the cross near the end line. The ball pinged off of a Dynamo defender, and then goalkeeper Marko Maric, then into the goal.
The second half started great for the Red Bulls who made two changes. Josh Sims entered for Kaku and Sean Nealis for Amro Tarek. After Royer and Jørgensen missed chances to double the lead, the Dynamo leveled the match through Memo Rodrigues in the 59th minute. A poor clearance from Florian Valot fell to Memo, and he measured a hard shot, beating Ryan Meara.
The match ended level, but the Red Bulls will feel they deserved more. Finishing one on one opportunities will be something the team will have to figure out, but the 4-2-2-2 formation seemed to help in creating chances, which were coming from everywhere. Aaron Long did not play today, which seems to emphasize the lack of experience and depth in the defense, a troubling sign.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography