Red Bulls close preseason in troubling loss to Union

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

BRADENTON — The Philadelphia Union may have sported their numberless training gear to the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic final, but it was the New York Red Bulls that looked like a team in need of practice

Looking shaky and bewildered, New York fell to the Union 3-1 to cap off their preseason.  Bradley Wright-Phillips managed the late game consolation goal for New York, countered by an Andrew Wenger brace and Fernando Aristeguieta strike.

Luis Robles and his backline had an uncharacteristic shaky performance, and it took Philadelphia three minutes to break them down.  Wenger victimized Ronald Zubar, deflecting a shot of his head and beating Robles for the first tally in the third minute.  Six minutes later, Mike Grella answered with a chance of his own, but Algerian keeper Raïs M’Bolhi did well to cover the ball.

The nightmare continued for Robles as Aristeguieta headed home a Sebastian Le Toux free kick, catching the Red Bulls keeper off guard and doubling the Union lead in the 32nd minute.

Wenger made it three a minute from halftime, sending a shot through New York’s defenders and past Robles.  Bradley Wright-Phillips nearly answered on the other end, but M’Bolhi does well to stop him.

Matt Miazga entered the match for Damien Perrinelle at the half.  Sal Zizzo and Peguy Luyindula also spelled out Felipe and Lloyd Sam later in the half.  New York held most of the possession for the second half, but the meandering midfielders could not find an opening through a stout Union defense.  Kljestan came closest, ringing a Felipe corner kick off the post in the 64th minute.

Zizzo finally sparked New York, sending a perfect cross from the right into the path of Wright-Phillips for the consolation goal in the 81st minute.  However, that would be New York’s best — and last — chance of the evening, dropping the IMG title to the Union.

New York open the season against Sporting KC at Sporting Park on March 8th.

SCORING SUMMARY

  • PHI: Wenger (unassisted) 2’
  • PHI: Aristeguieta (Le Toux) 32’
  • PHI: Wenger 2 (unassisted) 40’
  • NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Sal Zizzo) 80’

NY LINEUP:  Luis Robles, Chris Duvall, Damien Perrinelle (Matt Miazga, 45’) , Ronald Zubar, Roy Miller CAP, Lloyd Sam (Peguy Luyindula, 69’), Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe Martins (Sal Zizzo, 69’), Mike Grella (Anatole Abang, 87’), Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • paul mccrary

    Grella looks slow. Why is he out there? I thought the goal was to get younger and faster, not sign NASL scrubs who are 28.

  • Esteban

    Just a sad showing. I really feel like it’s going to be a long, disappointing season. It definitely seems like the team is cutting costs with their acquisitions.

  • Although Philly was nothing to write home about, RB looked tragic. For those of you who say who cares it’s preseason, the real season is a week away? There quite literally is no hope. God I’m happy I gave up season tix.

    • slowleftarm

      I don’t think this team is going to be very good but as far as this game goes – who cares, it’s preseason!

  • Jfeelgood

    Don’t worry!!!! Everyone calm down! Ali has it covered!!! It’s in his 300 page thingy ! Ok?!?!
    *rolls eyes*

  • RB

    Of course we did. What else?