The New York Red Bulls defeated Atlanta United FC, 1-0, at ESPN Wide World of Sports in their first match of the MLS is Back tournament.
Florian Valot struck early with a calmly slotted ball in the 4th minute, with the assist coming from Kaku off a first touch pass. The goal gave Chris Armas’ guys the lead early on in the match.
The Frenchman's goal was registered as the fastest of the tournament. In the 25th minute, midfielder Danny Royer had his volley saved after a whipped in cross from Kyle Duncan.
Cristian Cásseres, Jr. had the third opportunity of the first half, after having his shot stopped by Brad Guzan late in the first half.
In the first 45 minutes, New York had three shots total compared to Atlanta’s four, but went into halftime with the lead.
With Atlanta keeping majority of the possession, the New York backline consisting of Duncan, Amro Tarek, Aaron Long, and Jason Pendant held them for the first 45 minutes by winning 18 duels and having 15 total clearances.
Omir Fernandez, Alex Muyl, Jared Stroud, Marc Rzatowski, and Tim Parker came in for Tom Barlow, Kaku, Florian Valot, Daniel Royer, and Jason Pendant in the second half to help New York keep the lead.
In the 59th minute, Duncan found Alex Muyl within the eighteen and his shot was stopped by the foot of Guzan.
In the 74th minute, Atlanta United almost tied the game via a Ezequiel Barco header that just went wide of the post.
Adam Jahn connected a header off a cross in the dying moments of the match, but David Jensen came up with a huge stop to secure the victory for New York. Jensen tallied four saves and recorded his first clean sheet of the 2020 season.
New York will now prepare for their second group stage match against Columbus Crew SC on July 16.
4’ -- RBNY -- Florian Valot (Kaku)
Thursday, July 16 vs. Columbus Crew (10:30 p.m. ET)
MLS is Back // Victory in Game 1 by New York Red Bulls on Exposure