Much to Work On For RBNY

New York looked solid against Philadelphia in preseason affair
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Friday, February 14, 2014

John Hefti Photography - RBNY, NYRB

The first game of the preseason for Red Bull New York was held at a neutral site as they faced the Philadelphia Union down at Ever Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., at the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

This was the first time RBNY manager Mike Petke was at the helm at a preseason where he knows he will be running the team.

Two different sides entered the game as the Thierry Henry-dominated side handled the first half while the Eric Alexander controlled the second half for RBNY. Lloyd Sam was a part of the first half as he looked determined to lock up the starting right midfield position and so far he did just that.

Sam looked strong on the ball and got into position for the first goal of the match as he powered his shot past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath early. He had help from Henry along the near side, but decided to smash the shot in.

But it’s not just goal scoring he needed to work on, but assisting, too. He got the ball from Tim Cahill and when he found Henry rushing towards the net, Sam placed it in a perfect spot for the former French international, who scored in Jacksonville for the first time.

The Union did convert in the first half and to be fair there was some confusion as to why referee Chris Penso decided to allow the Union to have a free kick inside the top of the Red Bulls area. Apparently, MLS has decided to crack down on time wasting by the goalkeepers and not knowing how long Luis Robles held on to the ball, Penso decided to blow his whistle and allowed the Union to set up their free kick inside the area. Jack McInerney blasted the ball through Robles for the Union’s only tally.

The story of the second half of the match was the Union’s first round SuperDraft pick in goalkeeper Andre Blake. As of right now you have to say that there is competition for the starting keeper position as Blake made some fantastic saves against the second half squad. MacMath needs to be on his toes all season long if he wants to keep his job.

But at the end of the night, the city of Jacksonville was the winner on a rainy night as the city saw some top flight club soccer. There will be more soccer coming in 2015 when their NASL club starts up, and it does show that this city in Northeast Florida is ready for the world’s game. And for the Red Bulls, it’s time for them to meet Mickey Mouse at the Disney Soccer Showcase next week.

NEXT UP: March 8 – Red Bull New York vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, BC Place, Vancouver, Canada. 7:30 p.m. EST, TSN.

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.
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