TUCSON, Ariz. – Don’t fret Red Bulls fans.
The scoreboard said they dropped a 5-0 decision to the Houston Dynamo in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup at the Kino Sports Complex Saturday night.
But the lineup sheet said they used lineup featuring a mixed roster of Major League Soccer, United Soccer League and Red Bulls Academy players.
The Red Bulls regulars and starters were in Houston, preparing for Thursday night’s CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 first leg against Olimpia (Honduras) in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Mac Steeves tallied two late second-half goals for Houston, while Oscar Boniek Garcia, Andrew Wenger and Mauro Manotas also found the net.
The Red Bulls almost broke through in the 11th minute with Ben Mines making two consecutive runs in behind the defense that forced two saves from goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Six minutes later, Academy products Steven Echevvaria and Mines connected on a combination that started at midfield and ended with an Echevvaria shot blocked outside the penalty.
Houston responded in the 30th minute with Boniek scoring on a rebound off an Evan Louro save.
Wenger doubled Houston’s lead on a header past Louro in the 40th minute.
Amidst multiple rotations from both sides, Houston found the net three times in the 55th, 77th and 83rd minutes. With unlimited substitutes allowed but no re-entry, all Red Bull substitutes saw time except for Tommy Redding.
The Red Bulls will meet Portland Timbers at the Kino Sports Complex Wednesday.
HOU: Oscar Boniek García 1 (unassisted) 30’
HOU: Andrew Wenger 1 (unassisted) 40’
HOU: Mauro Manotas 3 (Alberth Elis 2) 55’
HOU: Mac Steeves 2 (Eric Bird 1) 77’
HOU: Mac Steeves 3 (Eric Bird 2) 83’
Red Bulls Starting XI:
New York: Louro; De Vera, Politz, Scarlett, Stevens; Echevarria, Tinari; Moreno, Aguinaga, Mines; White