Red Bulls cruise to easy 3-0 away win at Orlando City

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Goals from Luquinhas, Casseres Jr and Lewis Morgan give the Red Bulls an easy 3-0 win at Orlando City. It is their fourth straight road win, the first time it’s happened in MLS since 1998. The home side had no answers for the visitors, and are tied on points in the table.

Red Bulls cruise to easy 3-0 away win at Orlando City

Team News

Orlando makes a few changes to the team that won against both Columbus and Tampa Bay. Pedro Gallese remains in goal. Joao Moutinho is in at left back, Ruan at right back. Cesar Araujo and Junior Urso are the midfield pairing. Alexandre Pato leads the line in attack. He is supported by Facundo Torres, Mauricio Pereyra and Ercan Kara. 

The Red Bulls also make a few tweaks to their lineup. Ashley Fletcher is the lone striker up front, Patryk Klimala drops to the bench. Omir Fernandez and Luquinhas will help him in attack. New York lines up with a back-3. Frankie Amaya and Cristian Casseres Jr make up the midfield duo. Aaron Long captains the side with Sean Nealis and Tom Edwards in defense. John Tolkin and Lewis Morgan are the wingbacks. 

Red Bulls lineup (3-4-3): Coronel; Tolkin, Long, Nealis, Edwards; Amaya, Casseres Jr; Fernandez, Luquinhas, Morgan; Fletcher 

New York subs: Barlow, Edelman, Klimala, Meara, Monzon, Yearwood, Dylan, Ryan

Orlando City lineup (4-2-3-1): Gallese; Moutinho, Jansson, Schlegel, Ruan; Araujo, Urso; Torres, Pereyra, Kara; Pato

Lions subs: Dezart, Lynn, Mendez, Michel, Perea, Smith, Stajduhar, Willams, van der Water

First Half: Luquinhas scores his first MLS goal

New York came out with there customary pressing and stifled Orlando in the early going. The hosts got the edge in possession but did little with it. In many instances, the Red Bulls won turnovers and went into transition mode. Fernandez had a pair of chances but they both hit side netting. 

The Red Bulls eventually made their pressure pay off, scoring a well-worked opening goal. Nealis played a long ball to Morgan, who then laid a pass off to Fernandez. The winger found Luquinhas in space at the top of the box and Brazilian scored. An outside the boot hit for his first MLS goal. Oscar Pareja will be annoyed with the defending on the goal. Especially at Schlegel, who didn’t close the space and essentially watched Luquinhas poke in the opening goal. 

Orlando will be disappointed. They were held without a shot in the first half. New York outshot them nine to zero, and could’ve added another before the break. Pato, Kara and others were held in check. Everything went according to plan for Gerhard Struber’s men. However, he’ll have to deal with Morgan, Luquinhas and Fletcher with yellow cards to their names. 

Second Half: Casseres Jr, Morgan give the Red Bulls an easy win at Orlando City

It didn’t take long for the Red Bulls to pick up where they left off in the first half. They would double their lead just three minutes into the restart. Off a bad giveaway from Ruan, Fernandez placed a through ball to Fletcher. The Englishman laid one to Casseres Jr who got in behind, shot but Gallese parried away only for the Venezuelan to follow up and tap in the second goal of the game. He’s now scored in his last three games against the Lions.

The same themes in the first half came again in the second. Orlando City simply couldn’t find any space and ended the game without a shot on goal. Patryk Klimala came into the game was a threat. Unfortunately for him, he scored but it was chalked off due to offside. Seventeen year-old Thomas Williams entered the match for Orlando in place of Junior Urso, but didn’t make much impact. Neither did Benji Michel or Silvester van der Water, who replaced Pato and Torres respectively.

The game ended 3-0, so Orlando will go back to the drawing board. Gerhard Struber remains undefeated against Orlando City, and the Red Bulls are up to second in the East.

Three Takeaways from Orlando City vs New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls win again on the road. This was an all-around great performance, to shutout the opponent who came in good form. New York outshot Orlando 17-3 and had an Expected Goals value of 2.3-0.1 – it was dominant. There really wasn’t any negatives in their game, and now New York has won four straight road games to start the season. A great achievement.

Orlando City simply had nothing. Much of the credit goes to the Red Bulls, but Oscar Pareja will think long and hard at how his side didn’t create anything going forward. The first half sent alarm bells ringing as they didn’t cope with their opponents’ pressing and passing in spaces. They host Charlotte FC next and will hope for a better result there. But this game will require long film study sessions to see where they need to improve.

The Red Bulls are putting MLS on notice. Maybe, just maybe the Red Bulls are good and are raising eyebrows elsewhere. Yes, their home form has left a lot to be desired. But once that gets sorted, look out. This was their best pressing performance of the season, it’s their second successive shutout win on the road and it’s going to get pundits talking about them. An unprecedented fifth consecutive win to start the year is possible, at Chicago next week.

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