January 27, 2017
OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Red Bulls blank Timbers in preseason opener
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Red Bulls kicked off their preseason with a 2-0 friendly victory over the Portland Timbers at Kino Stadium Friday night.
|Kemar Lawrence set up the Red Bulls first score of the match, an own goal by the Portland Timbers.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
An own goal set up by Red Bulls left back Kemar Lawrence and a penalty kick by former St. Francis College standout Vincent Bezecourt turned out to be the difference in the match.
"For us, we have to accelerate our process here because we have a very important game in about 26 days," said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, referring to the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Red Bull Arena Feb. 22. The second leg is in Vancouver March 1.
"The emphasis was to come down here and play MLS competition immediately," Marsch added. "I think overall, a really good performance from us, we were very organized. We're missing a bunch of guys, but we've got a really good club here, and a bunch of good, young players that we really like and think have bright futures.
"On a night like tonight I think you saw a lot of them have good nights and [they] fit into the way we play so, overall, thought it was pretty good."
Among the missing were striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, the 2016 Major League Soccer Golden Boot winner who was in New York awaiting the birth of his child, defender, Sal Zizzo, ruled out due to illness, and midfielder Mike Grella, picked up a knock in training.
The game was played in three 30-minute periods.
New York's Starting XI mostly consisted of MLS players from last season, but also featured second-round draft pick Ethan Kutler, Red Bulls II II center back Aaron Long and trialist forward Robbie Findley.
Lawrence, who was called up by the Jamaica national team for next Friday's international friendly against the United States in Chattanooga, Tenn., set up the first goal as he whipped in a cross that deflected off Portland defenders Rennico Clarke, a fellow Jamaican, and Gbenga Arokoyo in past their goalkeeper in the third minute.
The rest of the first period passed uneventfully, with the Red Bulls getting the better of the scoring opportunities.
The second period featured a lineup reminiscent of the Red Bulls II's United Soccer League championship side. That included recently signed Dan Metzger playing alongside Homegrown Players Brandon Allen, Tyler Adams and Derrick Etienne Jr. NYRB II central defender Long also played the second period alongside Tim Schmoll, Florian Valot, David Najem and Bezecourt.
Bezecourt, a member of last year's United Soccer League championship team Red Bulls II, converted a penalty kick in the 61st minute to double the lead after Portland's Zarek Valentin committed a foul in the box.
The Red Bulls next will play Real Salt Lake Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET before taking on the New England Revolution Friday, Feb. 3 at 11:30 a.m.
NY - (own goal) 4'
NY - Bezecourt (PK) 55'
New York Lineup: Ryan Meara (Rafael Diaz, 60'); Ethan Kutler (David Najem, 48'), Aurelien Collin (Jordan Scarlett, 30', Tim Schmoll, 43'), Aaron Long (David Somma, 60'), Kemar Lawrence (Justin Bilyeu, 48'), Felipe (Tyler Adams, 30', Zeiko Lewis, 70'), Sean Davis (Dan Metzger, 48'), Daniel Royer (Florian Valot, 30'), Alex Muyl (Vincent Bezecourt, 48'), Robbie Findley (Derrick Etienne, Jr. 30', Arun Basuljevic, 70'), Gonzalo Veron (Brandon Allen, 48')
POR: GK Attinella, D Powell, D Arokoyo, D Clarke, D Vytas, M Zemanski, M Chara, M Asprilla, M Valeri, M Barmby, F Mattocks
POR: GK McIntosh, D Myers, D Okugo, D Valentin, D Farfan, M Arboleda, M Bijev+, M Lewis+, M Bodily+, F Ebobisse^, F McInerney
POR: GK Hamilton+, D Brett+, D Ordain*, D Batista+, D Farfan, M Adu*, M Hernandez^, M Damraoui+, M Cicerone^, F Williams+, F Johnson*
NY: GK Meara (Diaz, 70), D Kutler (Bezecourt, 43), D Collin (Scarlett, 30 (Schmoll, 43), D Long, D Lawrence (Allen, 43), M Muyl (Bilyeu, 43), M Felipe (Adams, 30 (Basuljevic, 70), M Davis (Najem, 54), M Royer (Valot, 30), F Veron (Metzger, 43), F Findley (Etienne Jr., 30 (Lewis, 70)
* Indicates guest player/trialist; ^ indicates SuperDraft pick, + indicates T2 player