Updated: Mar 12
Image Credit: Star Tribune
The New York Red Bulls toughed out a 1-1 draw at Minnesota United FC in what was Minnesota’s home opener. An already struggling offense found it even more difficult to find the back of the net given that the pitch was covered in snow for the full 90 minutes. Despite the disappointing result there were some positives to take away from the match. Here are three of the biggest takeaways from Saturday’s match in Minnesota.
1. Reyes Rises to the Occasion
In a difficult match, NY Red Bulls were able to find an equalizer in the 49th minute from a Andres Reyes header. Tolkin played an outswinging corner kick which Reyes was able to superbly place in the far corner. The 23 year old Colombian became the 28th different first scorer of the season, interestingly enough in the Red Bulls 28th season of existence. Concerns were raised when he was substituted off in added time due to injury, however Coach Struber has since clarified the reason for his substitution was a cramp. Hopefully Reyes can continue to build on his fine start to the season
2. Offensive Struggles Persist
While it can be difficult to take anything away from the game given the conditions the match was played in, don’t worry we’ll get to that, many Red Bulls fans will be feeling jaded given the slow start to the offense this season. The defense has been outstanding to start the season however a lack of ruthlessness up front has resulted in just one goal and two points through three games. Lewis Morgan had a particularly poor game and committed several individual errors that squandered goal scoring opportunities in this match.
3. Pitch Conditions Overshadowed the Game
Disappointingly this was another situation in which the main discussion points of the match did not occur on the field… they didn’t occur off the field either though as this time it was the field itself. For the third time in seven years Minnesota played their home opener in the snow and many of the images pregame were of both home and away staff using equipment like snow blowers and Tupperware (?!) just minutes before kickoff. The pitch conditions made for a difficult game and many felt that these conditions were rightly unacceptable from both camps, including Coach Struber. He had this to say after the game: "It's like under-18, a youth team moment. ... I was so surprised when I got outside, and I cannot see green. Whatever the reason for that, but this is very, very unprofessional"