The New York Red Bulls fell on the first matchday of 2023, 1-0, to Orlando City SC on Saturday night.

Orlando scored on a penalty kick in the 56th minute, following a controversial handball from Sean Nealis. Facundo Torres converted from the spot.

"This is very, very painful that the season opener starts on a referee decision," Head Coach Gerhard Struber said.

New York had 14 shots, with four on target, but could not find the back of the net.

"We were not clinical enough to score," Struber said. "We went in many directions in the right way, which makes the loss so painful. We invested on a very high level but we did not come away with a point."

The match marked Cristian Cásseres Jr.’s 100th appearance in MLS, while Cory Burke made his New York Red Bulls debut after being subbed on in the 68th minute.

"The ball didn't land on our side," Lewis Morgan said. "We have a massive game next week and we'll want to finish in front of our fans."

Carlos Coronel did not make a save on the night, as the only shot on goal was the penalty.

HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando City SC vs. New York Red Bulls

Struber made note of Cameron Harper's play on the pitch and was "very, very happy" with the way he played. Struber also called out an early foul on Harper in the box that was not called.

Peter Stroud also made his first appearance for the club when he was subbed on in the 79th minute of the match.

"The effort was on a very good level,” Struber said. “In moments when we work so hard to create our chances, we have to be cleaner.

"Looking forward, we have our home opener against Nashville, and I’m hoping for a great atmosphere in our stadium. We need our fans and we need the right push in the back."

New York moves on to its home opener against Nashville SC at Red Bull Arena on March 4th with a kickoff time set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be on Apple TV+, and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish via TuneIn, the New York Red Bulls app and

"We have 33 more chances to make things right," Morgan said. "I'm excited for next week."

Reversible Beanie Giveaway

Reversible Beanie Giveaway

First 7,500 fans into Red Bull Arena receive free reversible beanie!