Despite taking a solid 2-0 lead into the halftime break at the Omnilife Stadium on Tuesday night, the New York Red Bulls succumbed to a resurgence by Chivas de Guadalajara after the interval and lost their first pre-season game under head coach Hans Backe.
The Red Bulls, who fielded a strong lineup from the start, took the lead with goals from Juan Agudelo and Dane Richards, but wobbled in the closing stages as Chivas scored three times in the final twenty minutes to claim victory. The first Chivas goal, which let the hosts back into the game, came just after Corey Hertzog had replaced Thierry Henry for the Red Bulls.
New York triallists Teemu Tainio and Stephen Keel were both involved; the former Tottenham midfielder played the first half before being replaced by Carlos Mendes at halftime, and Keel came on for Rafael Márquez with nine minutes to play.
After Chivas leveled the scores on eighty minutes and saw Richards receive a second yellow card for a late challenge with five minutes left in normal time, the home side were always in with a chance of grabbing victory. They managed it in the most dramatic fashion, as a header by Jorge Mora won the match in stoppage time.
In more pleasant news for Red Bulls fans, the club released the new away kit design on Tuesday. It looks very stylish, although the "Red Bulls" text on the front seems odd, as most clubs have their name on the back side of the collar.
The Red Bulls will return to the New York area today, before heading down to Florida for the second phase of pre-season. The team's next game will be a scrimmage against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, February 23rd.