The New York Red Bulls kicked off their 2017 preseason schedule with a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers Friday night at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.
With the two sides playing three 30-minute session, New York’s starting group consisted mainly of MLS players from last season, but also featured second-round draft pick Ethan Kutler, NYRB II center back Aaron Long and trialist forward Robbie Findley.
The second stanza saw the team use a lineup reminiscent of NYRB II’s USL Championship run from last season. The newly-signed Dan Metzger played alongside Homegrown Players Brandon Allen, Tyler Adams and Derrick Etienne Jr. NYRB II’s Long also played the second period alongside Tim Schmoll, Florian Valot, Vincent Bezecourt, and David Najem.
Head coach Jesse Marsch said the team need to accelerate its process as it has a home match against Vancouver Whitecaps on February 22 in the CONCACAF Champions League.
“The emphasis was to come down here and play MLS competition immediately,” he said. “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.”
The Red Bulls got on the board with an own goal in the third minute when a Kemar Lawrence cross deflected off of a Timbers player and into the net. Bezecourt converted a penalty in the second period to round out the scoring.
Sal Zizzo and Mike Grella both missed the match – Zizzo was ruled out due to illness, while Mike Grella picked up a knock in training.
New York is back in action on Tuesday, January 31, with a match against Real Salt Lake.
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’)