New York Red Bulls
Photo Credit: Dave Janosz

Unlucky Break Leads to a Draw in Orlando Instead of a Red Bull Win

The New York Red Bulls come out of Inter & Co Stadium with a point after a 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC. A solid effort all around from the team with the defense showing more and more flashes of improvement.
New York’s defense stepped up when it mattered most in this match, especially in the first half where Orlando had most of their chances. The home squad’s 14-shot attempts (three shots on goal) were double what the Red Bulls put up, including seven corner kicks they couldn’t capitalize on.

But it was New York who struck first after Lewis Morgan was awarded a penalty kick in the 21st minute which he converted, recording his sixth goal in just as many games. Morgan made his 100th appearance in the MLS and now leads the league in goals scored and is the second player in MLS history to score six goals in March alone (Carlos Vela, 2019).
Head Coach Sandro Schwarz spoke on the impact Morgan has had so far on the season.

"He’s a very important player for us," Schwarz said. "With his intelligence on the field to find the right space in good moments, to find the right timing for deep runs, was good. He played today very clearly in some moments and that is what we need. We are very happy about his spot now, about his attitude, and also about his performance because off the field he is a great guy, great person, and very helpful for all of us."

The Red Bulls went into the half with a 1-0 lead and maintained that lead for the majority of the second half. The defense did a good job frustrating Orlando’s offense in moments when the opposition had chances to equalize. The back four of Dylan Nealis, Andres Reyes, Sean Nealis and Kyle Duncan continued to play well together just as they did in New York’s 4-0 victory against Inter Miami.

“I think as a whole, the team did well tonight,” Nealis said. “Orlando’s got some talent up top and I think we made it tough for them shifting throughout the back line and even the press with the top guys, [the defense] did a great job stopping them from getting any momentum… It felt good going into this game.”

Although the Red Bulls' defense fought hard, it’s also what cost them the three points after an unfortunate own goal from late sub-Noah Eile tied the game up in the 89th minute. Though an unlucky break and tough ensign to the match, the club showed no signs of letting up or their spirit going down.

"I'm very proud of the team, of their fighting spirit, of their mentality. It's not so easy to play here, especially after a 4-0 top match against Miami," Schwarz said. "We were able to give everything today for the three points and we had very good moments to score the second goal."

With a point earned after the match, The Red Bulls are now tied for second in the Eastern Conference with Miami and Columbus. The club earned 11 points (3-1-2) so far through six matches and have now earned points in seven of their last eight matches on the road in the regular season.
New York will travel to TQL Stadium to face last season’s Supporter Shield winners FC Cincinnati. Cincinnati is currently the sole team atop the Eastern Conference, so a win against them will put the Red Bulls in their place. Kick-off will be on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 pm.

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