Thursday, February 25, 2010

Red Bulls Win in Orlando; Robinho and Neymar Coming to RBA

As Thursday wore on, there was considerable doubt about whether the Red Bulls and the three other teams involved in the pre-season Disney World Pro Soccer Classic - Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC and FC Dallas - would even show up to play in Orlando.  The reason, of course, was the labor strife engulfing the league.  With that obstacle cleared (at least temporarily) following the League's and Players Union's 5pm announcements, the Red Bulls lined up against the Dynamo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the following formation:

Though Houston's Danny Cruz struck the woodwork early, the teams went to the locker rooms level at halftime.  Borman was replaced by Jeremy Hall when the South African left the game in the 43rd minute with a knock.  Houston dominated play early in the second half, but the Red Bulls had arguably the two clearest scoring chances the rest of the way, as Jeremy Hall mised a sitter and  then Roy Miller, playing in midfield, dragged his shot wide.  In the end the Red Bulls prevailed in 6-5 on penalties, with Austin Da Luz sealing the victory.  Neither top draft pick Tony Tchani nor Juan Agudelo played any role in the match, with both nursing minor injuries. 

Only a stream of the second half was available to fans through TFC's website, and that is likely where fans will want to go on Saturday at 8:30pm when the final takes place between the Red Bulls and TFC, who defeated FC Dallas 1-0.  We hope to have a game summary (and possibly photos) from Homebrew, our newest staff member and man on the ground in Orlando.  

Edit: Here is a bit of postgame reaction from manager Hans Backe and Austin Da Luz, courtesy of Red Bulls Reader:

Finally, if the Red Bull Arena grand opening goes off as planned in March, Robinho will be one of the superstars making an appearance, alongside Brazilian wonderkid Neymar.  Now if we could just sort out this CBA nonsense and put everyone's mind at ease.

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