Red Bulls celebrate Florian Valot’s first-half goal. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
ORLANDO — Deploying essentially a reserve lineup, the Red Bulls twice lost the lead and could and hold off a second-half surge by Orlando City SC and suffered a 4-3 MLS defeat at Orlando City Stadium Saturday.
Josue Colman goal in the 87th minute snapped a 3-3 deadlock and lifted the Lions (1-2-1) to their first win of the season. Scott Sutter’s shot, set up by former Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan, deflected off his teammate, Colman to decide matters.
It didn’t matter because it was an Orlando goal regardless who scored it.
The Red Bulls (2-2-0, 6 points) played the final 12 minutes of regulation and five minutes of stoppage time with 10 men after defender Kyle Duncan was forced out of the game with an injury in the 78th minute. The Red Bulls had to play the remainder with 10 men because head coach Marsch had used his three allotted subs.
In attempt to rest as many regulars as possible, Red Bulls Marsch used backups, except for MLS regulars Luis Robles in goal, Kyle Duncan on defense and Mark Rzatkowski in the middle. He also used three former Lions players in the Starting XI — defenders Aurelien Collin and Tommy Redding and forward Carlos Rivas. The latter two players came over in the Kljestan trade.
No doubt the Red Bulls’ bench was impressive and deep with the likes of striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, midfielder Daniel Royer and defenders Tim Parker and Kemar Lawrence.
It was similar strategy to what Marsch deployed in the team’s 4-0 season-opening win over the Portland Timbers at home March 10.
What ensued in the opening half was a wild and crazy and physical 45 minutes that ended in a 2-2 tie.
Only seven minutes after the opening kick, the Red Bulls stunned the hosts by grabbing the lead as Florian Valot found some room at the far right post and headed home Alejandro Romero Gammara’s left-wing cross.
The Lions, however, equalized in the 15th minute as Justin Meram set up an open Will Johnson at the right post for an easy goal — Connor Lade was watching on the play — for a 1-1 deadlock. Kljestan received the second assist on the goal.
Derrick Etienne, Jr. boosted the Red Bulls into a 2-1 edge with his first MLS goal in the 24th minute. He latched onto a Valot pass off a counterattack and beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik from atop the penalty area.
Two minutes later, Orlando came back again, this time knotting things up as Dom Dwyer scored off a Yoshimar Yotun corner kick. It appeared he pushed goalkeeper Luis Robles into the net. The Video Assistant Referee was not used.
The hosts took their first lead in the 48th minute as Mohamed El-Munir’s throw-in to Dwyer caught the Red Bulls’ backline napping. Dwyer had little problems racing alone on Robles for a 3-2 advantage.
Despite than disadvantage, New York equalized in the 82nd minute as second-half substitute Aaron Long headed in a long free kick by Rzatkowski for a 3-3 tie.
BWP came on for Etienne, Jr. as a 75th-minute sub, but did not make much of an impact.
NY – Florian Valot 1 (Kaku, Rzatkowski) 7′
ORL – Will Johnson (Meram, Kljestan) 15′
NY – Derrick Etienne Jr 1 (Valot) 24′
ORL – Dom Dwyer (Yotun) 26′
ORL – Dom Dwyer (El-MUnir) 48′
NY – Aaron Long 1 (Marc Rzatkowski) 82′
ORL – Josue Colman (Scott Sutter) 86′
NY – Aurelien Collin (caution, persistent infringement) 38′
NY – Kaku (caution, unsporting behavior) 54′
ORL – Lamine Sane (caution, unsporting behavior) 60′
ORL – Yoshimar Yotun (caution, dissent) 90+1′
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Connor Lade (Kemar Lawrence, HT), Aurelien Collin (Aaron Long, 65′), Tommy Redding, Kyle Duncan; Marc Rzatkowski, Vincent Bezecourt, Carlos Rivas, Florian Valot, Kaku, Derrick Etienne, Jr. (Bradley Wright-Phillips, 75′)
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 7; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 4
Orlando City SC: Joe Bendik; Scott Sutter, Lamine Sane, Amro Tarek (RJ Allen, 73′), Mohamed El-Munir, Will Johnson, Cam Lindley (Josue Colman, HT), Yoshimar Yotun, Sacha Kljestan, Justin Meram, Dom Dwyer (Chris Mueller, 64′)
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 9; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Marcos De Oliveira
VAR: Timothy Ford