Parker Siegfried showed great poise in goal for Kansas City. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. – The less said about the Red Bulls’s season opener the better.
The hosts grabbed a one-goal lead early in the second half before conceding twice within a couple of minutes en route to a 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City at Red Bull Arena Saturday night.
It was head coach Gerhard Struber’s first regular season game as boss as he made his debut during the MLS Cup Playoffs last November. He is 0-2 as coach.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) April 18, 2021
Talking on MSG, Struber said said that it was a “disappointed situation especially when I see my boys over the whole game in a very good step forward thinking.”
But the Red Bulls went backwards during a nightmare two minutes late in the opening half.
“For three minutes, we miss the most important things and in these minutes [they] take our mistakes very efficiently,” Struber said. “But the good one is we make a big step in this game from our performance [from] the last friendly game. I can see in our progress we make the necessary steps to come further in our identity.”
That would be a pressing team.
The match started optimistically for the hosts as they took the lead as 17-year-old Caden Clark scored off a spectacular 10-yard volley goal from a corner kick in the 48th minute.
“Caden has the abilities to score these goals,” Struber said. “This is not the first one and not the last one. We hope that he can score again and again and for me it’s not a surprise. His is his ability and he shows [it].”
It was Clark’s first home goal.
I’ve kept that in the back of my mind, actually, not scoring at home,” he said. “I really wanted to do that in front of the supporters and it was great to do that in front of the few that were here tonight who brought the noise.
“When I scored that [goal] the place was shaking and you feed off of that and gain some energy from them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry that momentum and let them score right away. I think if we don’t let that happen we could’ve won the game or at least get a draw. It is always a goal of mine to score at home, but just disappointed in the result.”
The Red Bulls’ lost focus haunted them big time.
First, Andrew Gutman was called for a handball in the box, giving the visitors a penalty kick in the 58th minute. A minute later Gadi Kinda converted with a right-footed shot into the center of the goal past goalkeeper Carlos Coronel to knot things up at 1-1.
On the hour, Sporting took the lead as Daniel Salloi tallied from close range for a 2-1 lead it did not relinquish.
“We had good moments but I think the biggest let down is that we played a good game for 87-88 minutes and they score two quick goals,” Clark said. “That is pretty disappointing and frustrating from our end.”
Parker Siegfried starting in place of the injured Tim Melia (East Islip, N.Y.) and two other ailing goalkeepers, acquitted himself well in the Sporting KC goal and showed much poise.