In their final match of the Visit Tucson Sun Cup tournament, the New York Red Bulls finally earned a victory as they defeated Sporting Kansas City by a final of two goals to one. Now the team will be flying back to their training facility to prepare for the 2020 regular season.
There were no goals in the opening half by either side, but once the clock struck the hour mark, that’s when it got interesting as Florian Valot converted his third of the pre-season. Cristian Casserers Jr. was along the near side and crossed a nice ball towards the Sporting KC area. Valot was in a perfect position to head the ball into the back of the net for the lead.
@Casseres23 to @florian_valot pic.twitter.com/4oyabmBVa2— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) February 22, 2020
While Sporting KC did equalize right after Valot did, the Red Bulls would convert a penalty in the 86th minute to regain the lead. Tom Barlow was taken down inside the area, which allowed Casserers to take the spot-kick and converted his first of the pre-season.
@Casseres23 converts! @tbarlow55 drew the penalty and Casseres slotted it home.— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) February 22, 2020
2-1 #RBNYvSKC pic.twitter.com/Xvru1XuHXH
After earning two draws in this tournament, the Red Bulls finally got a much-needed win to boost their confidence to start the season. IT was a relief to see Omir Fernandez get some minutes after a horrible challenge against the Crew, Ryan Meara went down with an injury and David Jensen finished the match.
“We will take many positives from the game especially that we won.” said Chris Aras “We stayed in a tough game and varied up in our tactical pressing and it was interesting to see that each can be effective and Kansas City can challenge all of our tactics.
“We are a young team, but we are together and it showed in a big way, against a team that has stayed together for a very long time. We felt we were able to create some chances especially in transition and we eliminated some of their big chances and it feels good to wrap-up our pre-season.”
While the pre-season finished with a flourish, you have to say that the two bright spots in this match was the continued scoring of Valot and now a goal and an assist for Casserers Jr., which gives the question, are these two going to add a possible big season along with what Daniel Royer, Kaku and Josh Sims return to make the attack dynamic.
Time will tell when they open their regular season on Sunday March 1st against FC Cincinnati at Red Bull Arena, but for now the Red Bulls end their pre-season with a record of two wins, two draws and a loss. Time to get ready for the 2020 MLS Regular Season.