Recap: New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake

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TIJUANA, MEXICO - MARCH 06: Jesse Marsch coach of New York Red Bulls looks on during the quarter finals first leg match between Tijuana and New York RB at Caliente Stadium on March 06, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Photo by Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images)

SANDY, UTAH (March 17, 2018) – A cross-conference battle between the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake resulted in the first loss of the season in all competitions. By all accounts, this was a Red Bull team that maintained the advantage in all ways except scoring.

Red Bulls Short on Scoring in Salt Lake City

Penalty kick makes the difference:

A foul in the box by Carlos Rivas was confirmed by the Video Assisted Referee. Albert Rusn├ík converted the resulting penalty kick for Real Salt Lake (4′). The rest of the game was an uphill climb for RBNY as they chased a leveling goal. Even though the team created a number of chances for a total of 9 shots, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was able to maintain the clean sheet, credited with 4 saves on the night. Referee Ted Unkle booked four Real Salt Lake players, but none of the fouls committed yielded a penalty shot for the Red Bulls.

Playing into space:

Throughout the match, New York Red Bulls dominated possession. The team maintained the ball in the attacking third with 454 total passes. Led by the vision of midfielder Alejandro Romero Gamarra, the team often played the ball into space in the first half. But as the 2nd half wore on, the team closed down their spaces, switching to shorter passes instead. This allowed Real Salt Lake to to intercept and have a few breakaways down the field. Defenders Tim Parker and Aaron Long outran the attackers to prevent any further scoring.

Late attacking options ineffective:

Having kept attackers Bradley Wright-Phillips, Daniel Royer, and Derrick Etienne Jr. off the field for most of the game, their addition proved too little too late, with only one appreciable shot among the three of them. As the game headed into stoppage time, RBNY’s pace was frantic rather than fast. Frustration took over as they allowed turnovers and intercepted passes in stoppage time.

The New York Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena for their next match. They hope to get back to their winning ways against Minnesota United FC.

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