So the second half of the Red Bulls Pre-Season is officially over as the club ended with a 1-1-1 record as they had a solid month of February beginning in Orlando, flew back to their training facility in Hanover and then back to Orlando with a final stop in Jacksonville as they take down the Armada five goals to one.
This was the Gonzalo Veron show as he has shown to be more comfortable with what Jesse Marsch wants as well as being comfortable with his teammates as he earned a hat trick in his final pre-season game and could become a new terror for opponents in Major League Soccer.
His first of the night was in the 23rd minute as Veron found a way to slice thru the defenders and went for side netting and converted. Then in the second half Sacha Kljestan's free kick nails the far post and the rebound was loose, yet Veron found a way to steal and score on the Armada's keeper in the 60th minute. The final tally of the night for Veron in the 61st was a fabulous ball laid off by Bradley Wright-Phillips and all Veron had to do was slip it past Miguel Gallardo to complete his hat trick.
Of course you are looking at other players who just came over or trying to add on another positive season after starting in their first, Gideon Baah was able to make it two goals to nil as he headed in a corner from Kljestan in the 28th minute as he put himself into a solid position and a snap header beats Gallardo. Sean Davis converted the final goal of the night in the 84th minute after Shaun Wright-Phillips gave him the ball and scored from distance.
Even though Armada trialist Charles Eloundou converted from distance to finally beat Luis Robles there wasn't much the NASL side could do as they fall to a final of five goals to one by the Red Bulls. Not only did Veron and a few others shined, Luis Robles shined very bright as he made every single stop before his shutout was broken.
He made several big saves in the first half and in the second half stopped a dangerous free kick in the 57th minute as he lept in the air and punched that dangerous ball away and early in the 2nd half he made a big save on Matt Fondy as he broke thru the defense and had a solid chance for a goal.
Former US International and former Metro/Red Bulls keeper who is now coaching the Armada, Tony Meola had some words praising his former side as well as discussing his new side he is managing. "Red Bulls deserve five goals fair to them and I told Luis (Robles) he's in mid-season form." Said Meola, "We created some chances and the big reason was when we got out of the locker room down two nil, Luis makes that big save. We hit the crossbar, but no excuse we can't go down like that."
But for Jesse Marsch and his side, it looks like they are ready to start the season that will begin in one week as the club will raise their second Supporters Shield Banner and take on a Toronto FC side at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, March 6th.