Fielding a team of mostly reserves, Jesse Marsch's men won the match 1-0, thanks to Manolo Sanchez's first professional goal. The Clemson grad did well to make a run to the back post and tap home a Bradley Wright-Phillips cross. Sanchez, who has yet to be signed by the Red Bulls, certainly didn't hurt his chances with the goal. After the goal, which came in the 10th minute, the Red Bulls created more chances but failed to convert any of them.
Sean Davis, one of the team's homegrown players, stepped in for corner kick duty and performed admirably, considering the shoes he's filling there belong to none other than Thierry Henry. Leo Stolz had to leave the match after 30 minutes, with both of his shins on ice. He seems to be unaffected by the knocks as the club put up footage of him scoring two goals in training.
The roster is looking a little different, with Marsch and his staff weeding out some of the trialists in the days after the win. Tim Ward and Colin Heffron were sent home, while Gabriel Cajano was sent back to Red Bull Brazil. There are still plenty of trialists on the roster, but after this match against Toronto, the first team will hopefully become more clearly defined.
The last time these two teams met was on February 5th in Orlando. Playing a match with two thirty-minute halves, the match saw the Red Bulls win, 2-0, with Dax McCarty and Sacha Kljestan getting their names on the score sheet. The Red Bulls seemed to be the dominant side, and although they only won by a margin of two goals, it was a comfortable win. This time around, Greg Vanney is supposedly resting his starters so it provides yet another opportunity for Jesse Marsch to trim the fat. I'm predicting that he'll use most of the rested starters to some effect in this match, but it's hard to tell at the moment.
Toronto is coming off of their own 1-0 win, but with this one coming against HB Køge in their second match of the competition. Their first match was a 1-0 loss to OKC Energy.
A win would see the Red Bulls advance to the championship match of the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic, where they would play the winner of Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union. A loss would put them in a consolation match against the loser of the aforementioned matchup.
IMG Suncoast Pro Classic - February 25 - Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC
Start Time: 7:30 pm (Eastern)
Online Stream: www.imgacademy.com