Still searching for their first win at home, the New York Red Bulls welcomed FC Dallas to Red Bull Arena.
Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since these teams last faced off. Their last meeting was in what I like to call the before time. Dallas could not participate in the MLS is Back tournament in 2020, and with expansion teams making for an ever-expanding schedule, this cross-conference clash has been a long time coming. Although rain in the second half made play sloppy at times, both teams fought hard to find a goal.
Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun
Manager Gerhard Struber, looking at his first US Open Cup match next week, made some changes to his starting XI. Giving Patryk Klimala a break, Struber instead gave Ashley Fletcher his first start for the club. The striker, previously from Watford in the English Premier League, has been integrated quickly and got right to work, tallying a shot on goal within the first two minutes of the match. Subbed out in the 72nd minute, Fletcher showed his capabilities in the attack, despite not making the scoresheet. While the priority was to neutralize attacking threats by Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola, there is always an emphasis on scoring early. Twenty minutes in, the match ramped up. A Lewis Morgan chip, several Luquinhas dribbles, and a Tom Edwards curler all came close, but the team could not find the back of the net. Scoreless at the half, the team needed some new ideas.
How we cheered for more
The boys in red picked up where they left off for the second half, threatening a goal within moments of the starting whistle. Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes had solid support from his back line, with more than one clearing header to keep a clean sheet for the visitors. Klimala entered the match in the 58th minute to offer new options on the attack. Morgan looked to Klimala often in the last fifteen minutes of the match, sending the ball up the near side of the pitch towards him. The Red Bulls pushed onward, with a total of 19 shots on the day. Despite five minutes of stoppage time, including a daring attempt by RBNY during a corner kick at the death, neither team could bag all three points. The match ended 0-0: not the result they wanted, but it would have to do.