Caden Clark heads the ball during the second half against Sporting Kansas City.  (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

William Smith is a frequent contributor to

By William Smith
Special to

As excited as I was to see the 2021 season start, albeit with COVID-driven smaller crowds, I endured an equal measure of misery watching the Red Bulks drop their season opener to KC, 2-1.

While I realize I should just be grateful to be alive, gainfully employed and vaccinated, I do feel that good old fashion Red Bull aggravation building up inside me as I write this. So, without further adieu, here are my 11 thoughts about the Red Bulls opening night:

1) I was initially annoyed about not winning the ticket lottery and thus not being able to attend the match. Having actually seen the game, I am glad I was home for it.

2) Caden Clark’s goal was beautiful, but he otherwise failed to leave his imprint on the game. Someone needs to control the midfield.

3) Andrew Gutman looked great except for the handball that led to the game tying penalty kick. Of course, that’s a little bit like saying that Archduke Ferdinand enjoyed the parade except for the shooting.

4) Daniel Royer should start. Play your best players, Gerhard. Don’t be a slave to the system.

5) Sean Nealis showed tremendous improvement since last we saw him.

6) Fabio looked good up top. He will, however, look better when Patryk Klimala gets here from Celtic to partner with him.

7) Tom Barlow is a very handsome young man. He could probably be an Abercrombie & Fitch model … which is good because he is a horrendous striker.

8) The team fell apart after the PK, giving up a 2nd goal one minute later and failing to mount any further attack. More mental toughness is needed.

9) Carlos Colonel is an improvement over Ryan Meara in goal. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves.

10) Somewhere, somehow, over the years, Sean Davis has lost the desire to take a shot on goal or play the ball forward. He is lord of the pass back.

11) I was surprised to see Wikelman Carmona get in the game, but I liked what I saw from the youngster.

Overall, this was a very deflating start to the season. That said, this is a young team and we are still waiting on three players to arrive so I will try not to be too snarky and hope for better against the Galaxy next week.

Stay safe, my friends.