Meara leaves match injured but Red Bulls win Sun Cup finale over SKC

Cristian Casseres

The New York Red Bulls played their final preseason game against Sporting Kansas City. With two draws against both Houston and Columbus, Red Bulls were looking for a win from the Visit Tucson Sun Cup.

Aaron Long and Daniel Royer sat out the match due to slight injury precaution. Cristian Casseres Jr., who signed a long term extension with the Red Bulls this week, provided a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory.

The first half started slow for the Red Bulls and saw some dangerous moments for SKC. SKC tried to test and overwhelm rookie Patrick Seagrist, but the young left back held his own with a bit of help from his teammates.

Fifteen minutes into the match, the Red Bulls started to string together attacking momoents. Seagrist harassed SKC’s right side. Florian Valot and Kaku also showed well in their new roles in the 4-2-2-2 formation. As Sean Davis and Cristian Casseres Jr. controlled the press successfully.

SKC created better chances in the first half overall, all coming off set pieces. Ryan Meara kept the danger at bay, commanding the box well.

Second Half Drama

The Red Bulls started the second half without any substitutions for the first time in their Tucson camp. However, Ryan Meara left the match injured after sliding into Alan Pulido to save a bad pass from Amro Tarek. The extent of the injury was not immediately clear. David Jensen took over for Meara in the 50th minute.

The Red Bulls broke through in the 60th minute with a beautiful bouncing volley from Valot. The goal came after a poor clearance off a corner taken by Kaku. It fell to Casseres who was able to pick out Valot on the back post. Valot sent a bouncing shot at Tim Melia, alluding the veteran goalkeeper and finding the back of the net.

A minute after the Red Bulls goal, SKC answered back. They marched down the field and Gadi Kinda scored after some clumsy defending by Red Bulls.

Substitute Tom Barlow, showed his skills at hold up play, and drew a penalty late in the match. Casseres took the penalty in the 86th minute, and smashed it into the back of the net to put Red Bulls back in the lead.

The drama was not done until the 92nd minute when a red card was shown to Daniel Salloi after sliding into the back of Kyle Duncan, who had played well all game.

The Red Bulls return home now to take on FC Cincinnati at Red Bull Arena to open the MLS Season next Sunday, March 1st at 1pm.

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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