The Red Bulls flew down to Orlando, Florida to take on a side that wanted to get their season going by trying to get their first win of the season, at the same time they had to take care of their own situation as their next competitive match would be down in Mexico against Chivas of Guadalajara in the Semi-Final 1st Leg of the CONCACAF Champions League.
So with Jesse Marsch making some squad rotations for this league encounter with Orlando City, they kids did a very good job making this match exciting and fun to watch, but sadly fell to Orlando City by a final of four goals to three.
Trusting the process was seeing the two young attackers doing some magic from the USL Bulls to the MLS Bulls as Florian Valot and Derrick Etienne Jr converted their first goals in MLS. Valot got on the board first in the 7th minute when he got a great cross to convert his chance.
Marc Rzatkowski from outside the area goes to the near side of the field and finds Alejandro Romero Gamarra, then a brilliant cross from Kaku across the face of goal finds a leaping Valot who delivers a snap header to the top shelf.
Derrick Etienne Jr. also converted his first MLS Goal in the 24th minute by getting a splendid low ball from Valot and when he received it, the Haiti Messi struck it thru the wickets of Joe Bendik.
But Orlando found ways to score between the Red Bulls goals. Will Johnson gets a wide open tap in to level the match in the 15th minute, then controversy came towards the officials on the field and in side the video review room.
Two minutes after Etienne Jr scored Orlando City earned a corner along the near side. Once it was struck by Yoshimar Yotun it was Dom Dwyer who found a way to get his head on the ball and beat Robles to the near post. But there was an issue that should’ve been addressed.
Referee Jair Marrufo failed to call a foul and VAR Timothy Ford failed to properly review and communicate to Marrufo that Dwyer both grabbed Luis Robles Jersey and made contact with Robles by shoving him into the net at the same time. The goalkeepers are always protected from these types of situations and sadly were failed by this officiating crew.
But when the restart came in the second half the Red Bulls failed themselves by not paying attention to Dom Dwyer as the home side earned a thrown in and that set up the go ahead goal as Dwyer converted his second of the game as he got the throw in from Mohamed El-Munir.
in the laws of the game, if the goal is scored from a thrown along the touch lines, the goal scorer is not considered to be offside. Just during a dead ball situation on a free kick, or a corner.
But then the defense converts for the Red Bulls as Aaron Long found a way to equalize late in the 2nd half. A long looping free kick from Rzatkowski that found Long and a flick header beats Bendik to make it three.
But Orlando got the last laugh as the Red Bulls who were down to ten men due to an injury from Kyle Duncan and a long rip by Scott Sutter that deflects off of Josue Coleman and beats Robles to end this exiting and fun match on an early Saturday afternoon.
“A lineup that doesn’t include a lot of the regulars, but we’ve done that a lot to adjust on the CCL. But there are some positives and some things we need to continue to work at.” said Jesse Marsch, “I think there has been four league games where our team hasn’t been treated with the same respect as the opponent because of our young guys and that’s from the referee’s.
So maybe the league doesn’t like me saying this, but if people want to credit us for developing and playing young players which I think everyone should feel good and is necessary to this country, then they have to make sure that they are protect and treated correctly that they are not abused.”
While this was an entertaining match, the referee was very poor on the day. It wasn’t just the goalie interference that should’ve wiped out Dwyer’s first goal, but the poor usage of cards and officiating to allow dangerous tackles.
While Collin did receive a yellow for his first reckless challenge, he should’ve gotten a second yellow for the next reckless challenge in the first half. Will Johnson in the 61st minute delivered a head shot to Vincent Bezecourt that knocked him down on the field.
No foul was called and after Marrufo whistled to stop play, there was no review from VAR or if there was a review it wasn’t good enough to inform Marrufo to issue a card of any kind. That could’ve been a career ending injury to a promising player like Bezecourt.
If Major League Soccer wanted to be proactive and have VAR, then they are being let down by the PRO department as these lack of calls are failing the league. But outside of the poor officiating, this was an entertaining match and now it’s on to Guadalajara in the CONCACF Champions League Semi-Finals.