BWP, Red Bulls Gut Out Road Draw in Orlando

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

Is this the birth of a rivalry?

With a plethora of fouls, physical play, cards — and even an ejection — the New York Red Bulls and Orlando City SC played to a contentious 1-1 draw at the Citrus Bowl.

Bradley Wright-Phillips put New York ahead early but Orlando’s Kevin Molino equalized in the second, putting an end to Friday’s battle royal. Cristian Higuita saw red in the 85th minute, but New York could not take advantage of the situation.

“We knew we were going to get Orlando’s best,” Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch said after the match. “They threw a lot at us and they were very aggressive and wanted to win a lot of battles at mid-field and it so it made for a very physical game. Then the referee had a hard time managing it not to say it wasn’t an easy one to manage and a hard time doing it but overall that’s what good games are about.”

With Kaka igniting the Orlando lineup, a debuting Aurelien Collin was tested early in the first half, with former teammate Cyle Larin springing behind the veteran and chipping a shot over Luis Robles.

However, it was the Red Bulls drawing first blood in spite of Orlando’s pressure. Sacha Kljestan put the ball right in the stride of Bradley Wright-Phillips who put an impressively calm and clean finish past the Lions’ keeper Joe Bendik. Kljestan, who has largely been the creative engine through which much of the Red Bulls attack flows, leads Major League Soccer in assists with five.

Both teams played physically to end the half, but the opening 45 minutes produced controversy of its own. With Collin already on a yellow card, New York’s newest defender seemingly took Kaka down in the box, and referee Ted Unkel initially called for a penalty. However, the linesman called an offside, negating what likely would have been the tying goal.

Orlando earned their tying goal in the second half off the foot of Kevin Molino. Kaka and Larin victimized an out-of-position Kemar Lawrence to feed Molino, sending him on goal, beating a prone Luis Robles.

Robles, who enjoyed a sterling match, kept Orlando off the board with a double save on a Kaka shot and a Larin rebound.

An already chippy game turned ugly in the 85th. Christian Higuita saw red for a very late, very dangerous two footed challenge on Sacha Kljestan. While nothing came from the ensuing free kick, the Lions faced the remainder of the game with 10 men.

“Sometimes it’s not all about the beautiful fútbol,” Marsch said. ” It’s about digging it out and fighting your way through the game and then if you have a couple plays, it’s about making them and preventing the other team from making them.”

Despite the advantage, it seemed that the Red Bulls were more than happy to take the road draw, their first road point of 2016.

While one rivalry rises, another is set to continue. The Red Bulls continue their road trip, traveling to RFK stadium to face Atlantic Cup rivals DC United for the first time this season.

Scoring Summary:
NY – Bradley Wright-Phillips (3) (Sacha Kljestan, Sal Zizzo) 19′
ORL – Kevin Molino (4) (Cyle Larin, Darwin Ceren) 67′
Misconduct Summary:
NY – Aurelien Collin (caution, foul) 17′
ORL – Rafael Ramos (caution, dissent) 24′
ORL – Kaka (caution, dissent) 25′
NY – Ronald Zubar (caution, foul) 58′
ORL – David Mateos (caution, foul) 59′
NY – Lloyd Sam (caution, dangerous play) 61′
ORL – Brek Shea (caution, foul) 65′
ORL – Cristian Higuita (ejection, serious foul) 85′
NY – Kemar Lawrence (caution, unsporting behavior) 87′
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Kemar Lawrence, Aurelien Collin, Ronald Zubar, Sal Zizzo (Alex Muyl, 89′), Felipe, Dax McCarty ©, Lloyd Sam (Gonzalo Veron, 64′), Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Chris Duvall, 75′)
TOTAL SHOTS: 5; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 18; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 3.
 
Orlando City SC: Joseph Bendik; Seb Hines, David Mateos, Rafael Ramos, Brek Shea, Darwin Ceren, Cristian Higuita, Kevin Molino (Servando Carrasco, 88′), Antonio Nocerino, Kaka ©, Cyle Larin
TOTAL SHOTS: 12; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 16; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1.
Referee: Ted Unkel
Referee’s Assistants: Sean Hurd, Jose da Silva
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
  • You can’t really be suggesting an RBNY / Orlando rivalry, can you? Do you hate NYCFC so much that you want to usurp that rivalry from your foes across the river as well? I can see a rivalry between the two new expansion teams (Orlando and NYCFC) which there is one brewing… but to claim a rivalry with Orlando when you already have a primary rivalry (DC), and a secondary one (NYFCF), really? Are you going to claim a rivalry with every team that historically gives you trouble?

  • troy

    chippy game. glad we got a point.

  • The only garber

    Is Orlando the best expansion team in mls history besides Seattle.
    They have a pretty good team and playing above expectations.