Goalkeeper David Jensen got his first start with the New York Red Bulls in a game that ended 1-1 against the Columbus Crew SC.
The game started with a complicated scenario as Columbus scored the first goal before the one-minute mark. It was a rather slow start for the Red Bulls.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said Sean Nealis. “We started a little slow, a little lackadaisical, then we came out the second half and played with a lot of energy, put a lot of focus, determination and ended up tying the game. Maybe we should have gotten the win in the end.”
Forward Brian White, who went on to score the tying goal in the second half, made the same kind of observation.
“The first half wasn’t up to the standards that we want to keep in terms of energy level, the way we want to go attack a game,” said White. “We addressed it at halftime, and in the second half everyone responded really well to come out and get a goal back and ultimately tie. It shows good character.”
For Jensen, the game against Columbus was an opportunity to finally play a full game and get a better idea of what he’ll face in MLS play.
“They scored pretty early, it was like a punch to the stomach,” said Jensen. “We lacked a little bit of energy in the first half, but I really think in the second half we came out and showed energy. We just got the mentality all over and kept on pushing. Finally, we got the goal that was deserved, so yeah, the last part of the game we just missed the goal unfortunately to get to 2-1.”
After the early goal scored by former New York Red Bull, Derrick Etienne Jr., the Red Bulls’ backline was able to stabilize and maintain order.
“He responded well to that, and I felt he was coming off his line great,” said Nealis, when asked about Jensen’s performance. “He did a great job when we needed him to, and hopefully there's more of those performances coming from him.”
With one game left to play in Tucson, Jensen likes what he has witnessed from his new teammates.
“The intensity has been high, and the boys have shown really good energy,” he said. “We have to stick to that and keep building on that. We’re a team that really wants to play offensive football and press high on the pitch, that will give us a big chance during the season.”