The New York Red Bulls 2016 season carried a lot of promise into the opening match against Toronto FC. The team was coming off of its 2nd Supporters' Shield in 3 years. They had the core of their 2015 team back for 2016, and seemed to fill in the gap of central defense that opened with the departure of Matt Miazga. Toronto had other ideas though, and played spoiler to the Red Bulls first home season opener since 2011.
The Red Bulls came out they way they played in 2015, pressing high up the field, but with a twist of a 4-2-2-2 formation where Mike Grella played up top with Bradley Wright-Phillips. The Red Bulls were flying at times, but just couldn't manage to do anything with their chances, getting just 1 shot on goal. Toronto FC had a tough time to creating chances of their own until they earned a penalty kick from a Kemar Lawrence challenge late in the game. Toronto added an insurance goal from Marco Delgado when he was in 1v1 with Luis Robles, sealing a 2-0 loss for the Red Bulls first game of the year.
One of the (maybe the only) bright spots in the game today was new signing Baah. On multiple occasions he single-handedly stopped Toronto attacks. As the Red Bulls were stretched out by Toronto's counter attack, Baah couldn't keep Toronto at bay. Today was a very good first day for the new defender though, which is a promising sign going forward.
Kemar Lawrence's Penalty
The penalty call against Lawrence was 100% the correct call. The issue was that it seemed like Lawrence didn't need to make a challenge in that situation. While Sebastian Giovinco provides good service from the wing, on that play, it was probably not going to result in anything. It was a challenge that wasn't needed and ended up resulting in a goal for Toronto.
Take a shot, will you?
1 shot on goal. It's the first game, but you aren't winning many games with 1 shot on goal. The Red Bulls need to test the keeper.