(Photo by Kaitlin Marold - JSN)

Red Bulls Edge Orlando City 2-1 on Goals from Clark and Casseres Jr.

The New York Red Bulls beat Orlando City 2-1 at Red Bull Arena, and snapped a two-game losing skid. While this MLS Conference rivalry game took place, in Portugal, two of the world's largest soccer teams did battle. Chelsea won their second UEFA Champions League title in the last 10 years, defeating the Premier League's first-place-juggernauts Manchester City.

The Red Bulls outshot Orlando City by a vast 7-2 margin and were flagged for 19 fouls compared to City who committed 13 fouls. Over all, the Red Bulls looked strong and have played well at their home field,

Starting Lineups

Head coach Gerhard Struber went with a 4-2-1-2-1 formation against Orlando City

Here was how the Red Bulls lineup looked

  1. Goalkeeper Carlos Colonel
  2. Defense
    1. RB- Duncan
    2. CB- Nealis-Edwards
    3. LB- Tolkin

3. Midfield Davis, Casseres, Amaya, Clark

4. Forwards Royer and Klimala

Tom Edwards, who was loaned from Stoke City this offseason, made his debut at centerback. So did John Tolkin who started his first MLS game. Klimala made his first start after he showed Head Coach Gerhard Struber what he can add offensively as a substitute, during games against Philadelphia and New England.

Game Summary

Coming into Saturday's game at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, Orlando City had not lost a game (3-0-3 record). The visiting team's defense had given up just two goals-- which was the fewest in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Orlando City's leading goal-scorer, Nani missed the game due to a two-game suspension for making "unwanted physical contact" with a MLS official during Orlando City's game on May 16.

The Red Bulls came into Saturday's match having lost their last two games and looking for a win at Red Bull Arena. New York's manager, Gerhard Struber made two key changes to his lineup, starting Patryk Klimala in favor of Brazilian striker Fabio, who led the MLS in assists. Had Klimala not played well in this one, Struber surely would have been criticized for not playing Fabio.

The first key event in the game involved a Red Bulls' free kick, in the attacking third, on the left side of the field and way over near the touchline. John Tolkin crossed into the box and his cross was headed strongly on goal by Sean Nealis. Nealis used his Six foot-four inch-frame to win an aerial duel, but his header was brilliantly saved by Orlando City SC's goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese

In the 35th minute, Caden Clark crossed to Danny Royer who was making a run into the center of the 18. Royer headed the ball over to Klimala, who controlled the ball and then made a quick move towards the goal-line. Klimala dribbled down the wing and sent a cross into the box that Royer got a touch on and rolled over to Caden Clark who scored and gave New York an important 1-0 lead.

  1. 63' Joao Moutinho IN, Michael Halliday OUT (midfield)
  2. 63' Silvester Van der Water IN, Sebastian Mendez OUT (forward)


Free Kick Puts New York Up 2-1

The Red Bulls started the second half on the offensive, earning three corner kicks in the first ten minutes.

  • SUB 62' | Fabio IN, Klimala OU

That substitution looked good for New York, as Fabio headed a chance on goal in the 64th minute. Again Orlando's goalie, Gallese made the save and kept the deficit at one goal. Orlando made a substitution in the 65th, as Silvester Van der Water was subbed on for midfielder Sebastian Mendez.

In the 60th minute, New York earned a free kick within striking distance of Orlando City's goal. Midfielder Christian Casseres Jr. took the free kick for Red Bull and it was 'bend it like Beckham'! Casseres Jr.'s free kick was perfect and landed in the upper left corner of the net past Gallese. Casseres Jr. is third on the team with three goals on the season.

In the 84th minute, Orlando City created a highlight-reel play. Midfielder Junior Urso dribbled past midfield into open space and sprayed a pass out wide. The pass was received by an Orlando City player who sent a cross into the box. The cross was taken first-time by Tesho Akindele and passed over to  Van der Water. The Dutch forward, signed on Feb. 23, 2021, received the pass, took a touch and took an athletic sliding shot that beat the Red Bulls goalkeeper.

The Red Bulls made two substitutions in the 85th minute, replacing Clark with the midfielder from Flemington, NJ, Brian White and Danny Royer with Omir Fernandez from the Bronx, NY.

The Red Bulls needed this win and improved their record to 3-4-0 on the season. Their next game will be three weeks from now, when they will host Nashville SC on June 18 on Red Bull Arena.


Anthony Paradiso
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