After falling behind against the Columbus Crew SC early, the New York Red Bulls second half surge saw the team earn a draw in the second match of the 2020 Visit Tucson Sun Cup.
Kaku and Jared Stroud’s second half performance brought the Red Bulls back into the match, showing a stronger, more dangerous press. Despite not finding a winner while up a man, the performance was an encouraging sign from a team filled with question marks.
Stroud’s performance was particularly eye catching. Th USL starlet looks ready to make noise at thee MLS level, though with room still to grow. Stroud’s play gave the Red Bulls much needed width and more bite in the press.
The first half belonged to the Crew, though.
It took Derrick Etienne Jr. less than a minute to make his former team pay. The Crew marched down the field led by Etienne in the attack. Etienne played a give and go out wide, receiving the ball at the top of the box. He fired a low shot through traffic in the box, finding the net past David Jensen in his first start in net.
Following the goal, it took several minutes for the Red Bulls to settle into the match. The young lineup did regain their footing, but struggled to create meaningful chances in the final third. The defensive press seemed to react to the Crew’s build up by waiting for the lines to set, then moving as one to overwhelm the ball.
The positives of the approach saw the Red Bulls force turnovers in dangerous situations, despite missing the final ball. The negatives, however, were also plainly visible. When beating the first line of confrontation, the Crew were able to easily move the ball in the middle of the field, though the Red Bulls did manage to keep them at bay in the first half.
Second half surge
The Red Bulls started strong in the second half following the additions of Kaku, Jared Stroud, and Alex Muyl. The press became more effective, and the Red Bulls started to create more chances in dangerous spots. Their momentum was cut short a bit in the 58th minute when Omir Fernandez took a studs up tackle to back of his leg. Sebastian Berhalter came in late on a challenge, sending Fernandez down into a heap. Berhalter received a straight red card following a VAR review.
Brian White entered the match for Fernandez with Kyle Duncan around the hour mark. White scored minutes later.
In the 68th minute, Jared Stroud served in a cross down the left wing. Jiminez’s failed clearance fell straight to White. White tapped the ball calmly into the net. The goal felt well earned for a Red Bulls team that had grabbed the momentum.
The Red Bulls pushed for the winner, but fell victim to lack of a final ball.
The match featured the first appearance in goal for newcomer David Jensen. The recent transfer suffered an early goal, but commanded the box well and cutoff numerous opportunities by leaving his line early.
For the second straight match, the Red Bulls played an uneven match, but left with a share of the spoils. More questions appear to be finding answers, and Red Bull fans should breath out a tiny bit. Still plenty for the 2020 Red Bulls to prove ahead of the quickly approaching first kick in Harrison.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography