Kaku debut 2.24.18
Phoenix Rising FC

Kaku Debuts for New York in 2-1 Loss to Phoenix

TUCSON, Ariz. (February 24, 2018) – The New York Red Bulls dropped their final contest of the Mobile Mini Sun Cup to host side Phoenix Rising FC, 2-1.

Despite the defeat, New York saw for the first time their newest Designated Player Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra, since announcing the completion of his transfer last week.

Kaku saw 57 minutes, starting at the traditional number 10 position in the middle of the pitch as the Red Bulls began in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Facing Phoenix for the second time in two weeks, New York came out with energy and familiarity against the USL side’s style of play.

Four minutes in, New York earned a free kick just outside the Phoenix penalty area. Kaku took it and sent it over the wall but it was saved right into the keeper’s hands.

Ben Mines would be the recipient of a right-footed looping ball from Kaku over the top of the defense in the 16th minute. His run ended in a kick save from Phoenix’s keeper on Ben’s shot.

Phoenix opened the scoring in the 28th minute executing a counterattack to perfection off a New York corner.

They would double that lead in the 54th minute as the head referee called a handball in favor of Phoenix. Didier Drogba would step to the spot and catch James Hickok diving the wrong way.

Three minutes later Kaku would come off as a substitute for Jose Aguinaga.

In the 65th minute, New York grabbed a goal back to cut the deficit to one coming from a Brian White chip received from Amando Moreno.

The squad returns to home tomorrow following the conclusion of preseason in Tucson.

New York: Louro (Hickok, 45’); Stevens (De Vera, 61’), Politz, Scarlett, Bailon (Duncan, 69’); Echevarria, Tinari (Murphy, 76’); Moreno (Jones, 83’), R. Gamarra (Aguinaga, 57’), Mines (Bonomo, 86’); White

Scoring:

PHX: Asante 28’

PHX: Drogba (PK) 54’

NY: White 65’

Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra Post-Game Quotes:

57 minutes on the field, how did it feel to be out there on the pitch with the team?

RG: “To be honest, I felt really well, very comfortable with the guys and we had very good game overall.”

Did you think your first game would come against a big player such as Drogba and his team?

RG: “No, I was not expecting my debut match to be against Phoenix and I saw Drogba in the stadium prior to the match. I am very happy because I have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and it’s a dream come true to play against {Drogba and his team}.”

As you continue to build fitness, what is your biggest takeaway from today?

RG: “A lot of things like how the guys play in the final third and we all have the same ideas so that’s very good. With this match, I am feeling a lot better and I hope to be in the best shape for next match.”

Anything else you want to add?

RG: “I am very happy to be here and I thanked all the guys for it, and I am hoping that I am in the coach’s plans for the next match and be able to make my debut at Red Bull Arena.”

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