The New York Red Bulls opened their 2018 season with an away game in CONCACAF Champions League against CD Olimpia. It was an up-and-down performance for RBNY, with a goal in the first half cancelled out by a penalty conceded in the second.
Still, a 1-1 draw on the road in CCL is not at all a bad result, especially with away goals counting as the first tiebreaker if aggregate scores are tied after the second leg. That second leg is on March 1.
So call it a promising start to CCL and 2018 for RBNY. Once A Metro’s Player Ratings do their best to get off to a similar beginning to the new season:
Luis Robles - 7: decent start to his tenure as club captain. Robles wasn’t asked to do a great deal in the first half, and dealt with most of what was thrown at him in the second, with the exception of a very well-taken penalty kick.
Kemar Lawrence - 8: Active and important at both ends of the field.
Kemar Lawrence was also very good for #RBNY in #OLIvNY: 31/38 passes, 1 key pass, 4 crosses, 1 shot, 7 interceptions, 8 clearances, 4 recoveries. Pushed into the attack well, and repeatedly recovered back to help break up #Olimpia counterattacks. #CCL #SCCL2018 pic.twitter.com/oDMtBNcxkC— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) February 23, 2018
Aurelien Collin - 5: Outwitted by Michaell Chirinos on the play that delivered Olimpia’s equalizing PK.
Aaron Long - 7.5: A solid, understated effort from RBNY’s solid, understated starting CB.
Amir Murillo - 7: Encouraging to see him at right back rather than right-ish-center-back, since he can add value to the team’s work in the final third when given the chance.
Felipe Martins - 8: Getting high marks for providing the two most entertaining moments of the game that weren’t goals.
Hahaha!! Felipe was booked for diving on the ground and grabbing the ball with both hands to stop an #Olimpia counterattack! Multi-sport athlete. #RBNY #OLIvNY #CCL #SCCL2018 #CCLFever #MLS pic.twitter.com/vsbG1EQHrb— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) February 23, 2018
Tyler Adams - 6.5: A relatively quiet night by his standards, but was guilty of getting a little too sucked into Olimpia’s efforts to rile and distract the Red Bulls.
Tyler Adams gets booked for a high foot. (And for some reason the commentator said "he was shown mustard"......never heard that one before). #RBNY #Olimpia #OLIvNY #CCL #SCCL2018 pic.twitter.com/OafXUCqaUF— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) February 23, 2018
Daniel Royer - 8: Just when it seemed like he had blown his best chance to score, he found himself a better chance and took it.
Sean Davis - 7: Looks like Davis might be RBNY’s preferred set-piece taker to start the season.
Alex Muyl - 7: Seems like every year it is hoped Muyl will reinvent himself as an incisive attacking player, and ever year he settles back into the unglamorous of work of enforcing RBNY’s pressing game on the right flank. He is good at it, in fairness.
Little thing here since it's Alex Muyl season. His work in the press forced the turnover that led to the goal when he forces the Olimpia defender into making a hasty clearance that Murillo knocks down for BWP before the assist. pic.twitter.com/J5tSkidPvO— Guachin Thunder Liger (@NotLenz) February 23, 2018
Bradley Wright-Phillips - 8: BWP has scored 100 goals for RBNY. It would appear he’s set his mind on getting 100 assists next.
Daniel Royer gives #RBNY the 1-0 lead vs #Olimpia in Costa Rica!! Beautiful cross served in by BWP, and a great glancing header by Royer! Big away goal. #OLIvNY #CCL #SCCL2018 #CCLFever pic.twitter.com/0I8kzmzqNf— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) February 23, 2018
Derrick Etienne - 6.5: Not sure if Etienne was brought in at the 60th minute merely to be a fresher-legged version of Muyl, or if he was asked to be more visible in attack - but he ended being mostly slightly less visible version of the man he replaced on the field.
Marc Rzatkowski - 3: The best thing one can say about his debut for RBNY is that it happened in an empty stadium.
Rzatkowski, in six minutes, has missed one shot, half-hit another, and allowed a ball to roll over the attacking goal line.#OLIvNY | 1-1 | 87'— Mark Fishkin (@MarkFishkin) February 23, 2018
Carlos Rivas - 5: He got 10 minutes at the end when his teammates were largely overwhelmed. Didn’t do much to help or hinder that situation.
Coach: Jesse Marsch - 6
It was the first game of the season and Marsch might reasonably argue that his players were simply not fit enough to keep up with play after half-time. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen RBNY appear to lack adequate response once an opponent adjusts to Marsch’s initial tactical approach. Once Olimpia started to really test the Red Bulls, it seemed all Marsch had to offer was some inffectual substitutions and some sympathy.