By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench
Sunday, March 1, New York Red Bulls v FC Cincinnati: 3-2 (Win)
March. It doesn’t come in like a lion the way I remember in elementary school. Even still, a home opener in northern New Jersey is just the right amount of uncomfortable. In case you weren’t there physically: it was certainly cold. But that’s not the most important thing. MLS is back, and that’s the way we like it. The Red Bulls welcomed FC Cincinnati for their season opener.
Yes, I’m let loose
Goalkeeper and local guy Ryan Meara has yet to shake his most recent injury. Manager Chris Armas reported both Meara and Aaron Long are day-to-day. Danish international David Jensen made his debut between the sticks. Credited with three saves on the day, he impressed with some sliding grabs and overall command of the box.
Patrick Seagrist also made his first start, proving himself when it really counted. He has a swagger about him that we don’t often see in a rookie. But Seagrist doesn’t have an overinflated sense of himself. I asked him after the game what surprised him most: his answer was how much support he felt from the crowd and the team.
Captain Sean Davis offered the first real shot of the game, a low ball that was blocked in the fourth minute. His corner kick later in the first half was headed toward goal by Amro Tarek. But a defender scoring a goal? That’s crazy talk!
I’m just makin’ my play
Just kidding: defender Kyle Duncan scored the first goal of the season, just 16 minutes in. Florian Valot handed off the ball, seeing GK Spencer Richey was ready for him. At the 27th minute, Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra opened his account, redirecting the ball away from Richey, who had to shift his weight quickly.
While Duncan was named Man of the Match, and deservedly so, Valot did plenty to make his case. Two assists on the day, and the pacekeeper in the midfield. He has missed out on too much because of injury and deserves the spotlight.
Don’t try to push your luck
Before I even got back to my seat for the second half, FC Cincinnati pulled back a goal. Allan Cruz caught the team off guard. There is never a good time for mental errors. At least Danny Royer restored the two-goal lead in the 70th minute. While he was a contributor to the initial goal, Royer seemed to be a step off for the rest of the half. So it was nice to see him hit the right stride.
Cincinnati striker Jurgen Locadia came off the bench for FCC and outran Tim Parker. Jansen saved his first shot, but he was able to recover the ball and still score. The Red Bulls held on for the remainder of the match to take all three points.
I’m glad to be back
It was cold, it was windy. There were more goals from the visitors than I would have liked. And while the team operated as one unit and got the job done, they’re not quite ready for prime time. Armas insists that will come. Fans certainly hope so. RBNY goes to Utah this week to face Real Salt Lake, who were frustrated by Orlando in their opening match. We’ll see if the team is beatin’ the flack in the weeks to come.
Featured image: @NewYorkRedBulls
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