Despite having a number of scoring chances throughout the match, the New York Red Bulls dropped its preseason finale, 2-0, to the New England Revolution in the third place game of the Desert Diamond Cup at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, AZ. With that result, New York finished 2013 preseason play with a 2-3-1 record.
"Our goal was to end this preseason on a positive note and this might be maybe the only time you’ll ever hear me say this after a loss but we ended on a positive note. I can’t wait to see the stats; we were all over them," said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke after the match. "They had two goals, but three chances maybe? We were all over them and it was just one of those ‘Life is cruel sometimes' moments. Listen, there was some very good stuff done. Again, we had the thing about giving up early goals but I think we ended on a positive note."
"Next week’s where it really counts but overall in the game, we dominated after two silly mistakes," midfielder Tim Cahill said. "We pressed well, we created so many chances, we played some great football. The thing we’re creating – that’s the most positive thing – we’re playing attacking football."
The Red Bulls begin their MLS season on Sunday, March 3 when they visit the Portland Timbers at 7:30 PM ET live on ESPN2. New York’s home opener is two weeks later, on Saturday, March 16 at 12:30 PM ET against Eastern Conference rival, D.C. United. Tickets are available and can be purchased at www.newyorkredbulls.com.
The Red Bulls went down in the fourth minute after Jamison Olave was called for a foul on Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen in the box. Nguyen stepped up and tucked his attempt in the lower left corner of the net.
New York tried to make up the deficit quickly and in the eighth minute, Red Bull Roy Miller forced goalkeeper Matt Reis to make his first save of the match after the Costa Rican defender got a 15-yard shot off. Three minutes later, Juninho took a quick set piece, lobbing it to an on-rushing Thierry Henry. Henry fired it past Reis and off the right post. Reis again was called upon soon after, diving to save a Fabian Espindola volley.
"That’s the real positive side, is how much we created and how much those guys were influencing the other team. Going down 2-0, not hanging heads, pushing everyone on and to us, that was a big turning point in preseason today," Petke said.
Cahill had his header cleared off the line by Nguyen in the 28th minute and Henry went just wide right two minutes after. New England took advantage of New York’s missed opportunities and doubled its advantage in the 36th minute when Jerry Bengtson got the rebound to his own blocked shot and knocked it in off the near post from close range.
New York continued to exert pressure after halftime and Olave came close, volleying a loose ball from 15 yards out over the crossbar in the 60th minute. Later, Cahill connected on a Henry corner kick and his attempt rolled left. Reis helped preserve the shutout for New England, tipping over an Espindola lobbed shot with two minutes remaining in the match.
New York Red Bulls 0, New England Revolution 2
Feb. 23, 2013 – Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, AZ
2013 Desert Diamond Cup
NE: Lee Nguyen 1 (penalty kick) 4’
NE: Jerry Bengtson 1 (unassisted) 36’
NY: Fabian Espindola (caution) 17’
NY: Roy Miller (caution) 45’+
NE: Juan Toja (caution) 45’
NY: Tim Cahill (caution) 65’
New York Red Bulls – Luis Robles, Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Digao, Roy Miller, Eric Alexander (Dax McCarty 74’), Tim Cahill, Ruben Izquierdo (Jonny Steele 83’), Juninho, Fabian Espindola, Thierry Henry
New England Revolution – Matt Reis, Tyler Polak, Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy (Bilal Duckett 46’), A.J. Soares, Lee Nguyen, Kalifa Cisse (Clyde Simms 69’), Juan Toja (Donnie Smith* 57’), Kelyn Rowe (Andy Dorman 75’), Diego Fagundez (Diego Fagundez 83’), Jerry Bengtson (Ryan Guy 83’)
* - Guest/Un-Signed Player