Starting XI vs Portland 081817
Steve Dykes

New Faces Impress in First Game for New York Red Bulls

Three players made their debut for the New York Red Bulls in their game against the Portland Timbers.

Fidel Escobar and Dilly Duka made their first starts since joining the team during the second transfer window. Vincent Bezecourt made his first-team debut since being signed from New York Red Bulls II.

Head Coach Jesse Marsch only had good things to say about their play.

“[Fidel] Escobar really grew into the game. He was dominant, he was dominant in the back. He took care of 1v1 situations with [Jeremy] Ebobisse and with [Darren] Mattocks and he was dominant. Dilly Duka I thought was quite good, he understood what we are trying to do, he understood our tactics. Found the game in a lot of ways," Marsch said.

"The last one is Vincent [Bezecourt]. I think he’s got a lot of good qualities, thought he worked hard, thought he fit in the midfield really well. He put some attacking plays together. I thought we were unlucky, we were really unlucky not to come out with more in this game. Really, really proud of our team.”

Luis Robles expounded on the Panamanian international Escobar's play.

“Excellent, excellent," Robles said. "Since he’s been here it’s only been a brief time, but we see so much potential and his ceiling is very high. For a guy that has to learn a new system, come to a new environment he’s done a great job. That’s why when we put him on the lineup sheet today, it was absolute belief that he was going to be good and everyone was able to see the kind of things we’ve been able to see in training today.

"He was confident, he was good on the ball, he won his headers, he’s only going to get better, which is exciting for this organization.”

The Red Bulls rolled out nine changes from their previous match when they faced the Timbers, with starters Sean Davis, Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips on the bench. Tyler Adams was held off the gameday roster to rest on a coach's decision.

With growing roster flexibility, the Red Bulls will be able to keep opponents guessing on their 18-man gameday roster.

The Red Bulls will turn their focus ahead to New York City FC, who come to Red Bull Arena for the final New York Derby of the regular season on Friday, August 25.