Caden Clark is one happy camper after his golazo. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – After scoring in his Major League Soccer debut, Caden Clark had some tough act to follow.
The 17-year-old midfielder did it in spectacular fashion, scoring a golazo in the 77th minute to boost the Red Bulls into a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at Rentschler Field Wednesday night.
The result gave the Red Bulls a valuable road point vs. the Reds, who are calling the University of Connecticut home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draw left the Red Bulls (7-8-3, 24 points) in seventh place in the Eastern Conference while the league leaders moved to 11-2-5 and 38 points.
Mark Rzatkowski fed Clark the ball and the teenager let loose with a left-footed, 25-yard shot in the upper corner to knot things up at 1-1.
“I found the space between the centerbacks and the sixes, and Marc played a great ball to me,” Clark said. “I had space to turn and my touch kind of beat the defender, and then he had to make a decision to foul me or not and he didn’t. So, I saw the space, and, not watched the video, but saw it, and my mind was pretty set on hitting it once I got open. Yeah, everything was kind of set up for it so I think it wasn’t bad.”
Interim head coach Bradley Carnell has enjoyed watching the teenager perform and score goals.
“Listen, it’s a kid playing high right now, high on life and high on the energy of making his debut, and things are falling into place,” he said. “He has certain qualities, when all of this comes together and the kid has a chuckle in his boots, yeah, I mean, there’s wonders that can happen.”
Things 17-year-old Caden Clark just did for @NewYorkRedBulls:
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 15, 2020
Clark scored the lone goal in the Red Bulls’ 1-0 win at Atlanta United Saturday.
“You know, it’s awesome,” he said of scoring in his first two matches. “The Red Bull organization and the coaches here have given me opportunities to do that, putting me in today to make that possible. I’m not a big guy that like. … Yes, I’ll remember that, but it’s more kind of focused on the next game. I think it’s very very cool that I did that, but we got bigger things to worry about for next game.”
Alejandro Pozuelo had given Toronto the lead by converting a penalty kick in the 23rd minute.
“I thought we were fearless, I thought we really took it to them,” Carnell said.
“We knew we had to get a lot right on the night and give the best version of ourselves. … Overall, a point of the road, if we said before the game, yeah we’ll take it, but during the progression of the game and how it went, I thought we could have got more out of it.”