CANCUN, MEXICO (Feb. 11, 2012) – New York rookie Connor Lade scored his first preseason goal 10 minutes from full time, as the Red Bulls earned a come-from-behind 1-1 tie against Mexican Second Division side, Merida FC. New York moved to 1-0-1 in the 2012 preseason with the draw.
Merida had a couple of good chances to score in the first half, but Red Bulls goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo made a pair of fine saves to keep the game even. In the 20th minute, a short back pass was intercepted by Merida and Vuolo went down to stop Ever Alfaro’s ensuing low shot. Three minutes later, midfielder Arturo Alvarado took a long range attempt that hit the crossbar after a fully extended Vuolo tipped it. With 10 minutes remaining in the interval, Merida’s Axel Fernandez skipped towards the box and fired it off the right post.
On the other end, Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty used his left foot to shoot it wide right from outside of the box. With moments left in the half, McCarty found Jonathan Borrajo on the right wing and the defender swung in a cross that was volleyed by Kenny Cooper straight into arms of goalkeeper Alfredo Frasuto.
The Red Bulls put out an entirely new team in the second half and went down a goal eight minutes in, as Rodrigo Noya rose above his defender to nod it in after Alvarado controlled a short corner kick and delivered it into the box.
New York searched for the equalizer and nearly got one in the 73rd minute. Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards made a mazy run down the right wing and his cross was met by Jose Angulo, whose header went just over the bar.
The Red Bulls’ hard work however, would pay off seven minutes later. Victor Palsson sent a forward pass to Giorgi Chirgadze in the middle of the park. Chirgadze had enough time to face goal and sent a through ball to a wide-open Lade, who flicked it over the on-rushing goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
New York returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 14 when it takes on Mexican First Division side, Tecos, in Guadalajara, Mexico at 9:00 PM ET. The team returns to the New York/New Jersey area the following day.
New York Red Bulls 1, Merida FC 1
Feb. 11, 2012 – Cancun, Mexico
MER: Rodrigo Noya 1 (Arturo Alvarado 1) 53’
NY: Connor Lade 1 (Giorgi Chirgadze 1, Victor Palsson 1) 80’
NY: Victor Palsson (caution) 50’
NY: Ryan Maduro (caution) 54’
MER: Paul Uscanga (caution) 58’
MER: Tomas Charles (caution) 62’
New York Red Bulls (First Half) – Jeremy Vuolo (GK), Jonathan Borrajo, Markus Holgersson, Stephen Keel, Leobardo Alvarez*, Brandon Barklage*, Dax McCarty, Rafa Marquez, Joel Lindpere, Corey Hertzog, Kenny Cooper
New York Red Bulls (Second Half) – Ryan Meara (GK), Jan Gunnar Solli, Matt Kassel, Sacir Hot, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Ryan Maduro*, Victor Palsson, Connor Lade, Jose Angulo* (Giorgi Chirgadze* 77’), Jhonny Arteaga*
Merida FC Starting Lineup: Alfredo Frausto, Rodrigo Noya, Aaron Reyes, Gandhi Vega, Tomas Charles, Fernando Herrera, Paul Uscanga, Axel Fernandez, Arturo Alvarado, Ever Guzman, Ever Alfaro
* - Guest Player