Difference Maker: Damari shows his class with clutch goal

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

The New York Red Bulls needed a hero, and Omer Damari answered the call.

In a game desperate for a goalscorer, Damari not only notched the game defining goal against Alianza but he nearly helped to give RBNY the win just before the final whistle with his play on a Bradley Wright-Phillips attempt.

“I thought (Omer) fit into the game really well,” said head coach Jesse Marsch after the game. “We’ve seen him in training already be quite good and fit in well. So we’re excitied about the future with him for sure.”

Damari joined New York on loan from RB Leipzig for the remainder of the season. His experience with the shared, attack-minded mentality of the other Red Bull teams seems to have allowed him to integrate much faster than is normally seen with foreign players in MLS. His interplay with Sacha Kljestan was also a surprise as the two appeared to have a natural chemistry, connecting on passes and creating dangerous opportunities. Damari also looked comfortable with the physical play, which is something CONCACAF, and soccer on this side of the world is accustomed to delivering.

Most importantly, he managed to salvage a point for a team that has been notorious for their poor road form.

Considering his success, it’ll be interesting to see if Jesse Marsch returns to the 4-4-2 bucket formation that found success in the preseason. Damari’s striking prowess could prove to be the missing key that Marsch needed to complete the formation — the same alignment that has seen success with the USL squad this season.

Omer may have a chance to show his ability in a classic rivalry game this Sunday against DC United. It is a fixture that has lent itself to dramatic moments and one where Damari may welcome as a proper introduction to Red Bull fans.