This gentleman has been enjoying his first Red Bulls pre-season. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
It's been a very busy final week of pre-season games for the New York Red Bulls, with three matches in four days before this evening's Red Bull Reto Del Sol against Mexican Primera side Atlas at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Tuscon, Arizona.
The first game of the Arizona trip was a 3-1 win for the Red Bulls over FC Tuscon with two goals from Corey Hertzog and one from Austin da Luz. The game also included a late cameo appearance from New York's now-mostly-retired Mike Petke after an injury to Sacir Hot.
The Red Bulls followed that win up with a 2-2 draw the next day against Sporting Kansas City, coming from behind in each half through Theirry Henry and then Dane Richards, who were paired as New York's two strikers. Jimmy Nielsen spilled a Richards shot into Henry's path for the first goal, and the Frenchman returned the favor as he set up Richards for the second leveler.
New York did not fare as well against last year's MLS Cup Runners-up FC Dallas on Monday night, as a second-string RBNY side was comprehensively outplayed in a 4-0 loss. Schellas Hyndman elected to play almost all of his starters, while Hans Backe's XI was made up of second or third-choice players supplemented by some players from FC Tuscon. The game cannot have done much good for the confidence of the Red Bulls' younger players, while it also emphasized the lack of quality depth at several positions, including striker.
In other assorted club news, the Red Bulls waived Conor Chinn and Irving Garcia, Chris Albright will be out for 4-6 weeks after another knee operation, and New York has agreed terms with Teemu Tainio and Stephen Keel.
The Red Bulls have their final pre-season game tonight against Atlas at 10 PM Eastern time. The match will be live on MSG+ and ESPN Deportes, and we'll have a game thread going here at Once a Metro, so please drop in and share your thoughts.