Lewis Morgan’s first half penalty canceled out Brandon Vazquez’s opening goal, as the Red Bulls are tied for 1st in the East after a 1-1 draw at 9-man Cincinnati. It was an intense battle from the opening whistle. Fouls flew in, challenges aplenty and referee Rosendo Mendoza issued two red cards in the second half to Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. The Red Bulls couldn’t break down the hosts up a man, but are tied for 1st place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union.
Red Bulls earn hard-fought point at FC Cincinnati, share 1st-place tie with Philadelphia
Cincinnati put out a strong lineup for this game. Tyler Blackett got the start in defense over Ian Murphy. Raymon Gaddis and Alvaro Barreal are the wingbacks. The formidable trio of Luciano Acosta-Brandon Vazquez and Brenner headline the attack.
Gerhard Struber makes some changes to the team that won at Sporting KC. Tom Edwards is back from injury, and is in defense. Sean Nealis is suspended for this game, so his brother Dylan will slide into his spot at CB. Cameron Harper is the wingback. Lewis Morgan, Luquinhas and Patryk Klimala make up the attack.
Cincinnati lineup (3-4-1-2): Roman Celentano; Nick Hagglund, Geoff Cameron, Tyler Blackett; Raymon Gaddis, Obinna Nwobodo, Allan Cruz, Alvaro Barreal; (C) Luciano Acosta; Brandon Vazquez, Brenner
Cincy subs: Kenneth Vermeer, Zico Bailey, Ian Murphy, John Nelson, Haris Medunjanin, Yuya Kubo, Harrison Robledo, Arquimides Ordonez, Nick Markanich
Red Bulls lineup (3-4-3): Carlos Coronel; (C) Aaron Long, Dylan Nealis, Tom Edwards; John Tolkin, Frankie Amaya, Cristian Casseres Jr,; Cameron Harper; Lewis Morgan, Patryk Klimala, Luquinhas
New York subs: Ryan Meara, Andres Reyes, Daniel Edelman, Dru Yearwood, Steven Sserwadda, Caden Clark, Omir Fernandez, Tom Barlow, Serge Ngoma
First Half: Brandon Vazquez, Lewis Morgan trade goals in physical first half
The physicality started out early with a few fouls on Luquinhas. Tyler Blackett earned the first yellow card of the match. Carlos Coronel made a big leg save on Brenner, but Cincinnati was still able to grab the first goal of the game. Brandon Vasquez got in behind the Red Bulls defense and tapped in the opening goal of the season. The American’s ninth tally of the season.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) July 10, 2022
Soon thereafter, the Red Bulls would equalize. After John Tolkin was fouled just inside the box by Gaddis, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Lewis Morgan came forward and converted past the keeper, also his ninth goal of the league campaign.
29' GOAL RED BULLS!! John Tolkin was brought down just inside the box, referee Rosendo Mendoza pointed to the spot. Lewis Morgan stepped up and slotted it just past Celentano. His ninth goal of the year. #AllForCincy | 1-1 | #RBNY pic.twitter.com/yyrK0swqID
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) July 10, 2022
The first half finished level at a goal apiece. It was a physical affair with seventeen tackles, four yellow cards, two apiece between the sides. The home side outshot the Red Bulls seven to four, and held a slim 52%-48% edge in possession.
Second Half: More fouls, and two red cards in a tense match
No changes for either team to start the second half. So many tackles throughout the contest, you had the feeling it wouldn’t finish eleven-versus-eleven. And then Cincy got a red card, Allan Cruz was sent off for a hard foul on Luquinhas down the touchline that nearly took out Gerhard Struber. The home team were reduced to 10 men and Cruz will miss the next match. Tom Barlow came on Patryk Klimala. John Nelson entered the match for Raymon Gaddis. Andres Reyes made his return, back subbing for Tom Edwards, while Yuya Kubo came on for Vasquez.
Another sub, as Caden Clark gets on for Harper. Not many more shots or big actions followed, even after the red card. New York struggled to break down and create clear chances up a man. As the game drew to a close, another red card was issued. After a stoppage in play, Aaron Long and Luciano Acosta went at it. The latter put his face into the defender and was given a straight red card. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Three Takeaways from FC Cincinnati vs New York Red Bulls
Leaving it level in Cincinnati. pic.twitter.com/lSXtEe4VZQ
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 10, 2022
Honors even in an intense match. This game had essentially everything, goals, fouls, a red card and a draw in the end. The second half action fell off a bit but there were still notable moments. As expected, this top-five Conference matchup was a battle. Expect more of these in the second half of the campaign.
Cincinnati are here, and have the makings of a playoff team. They have a very potent attack and a decent midfield to boot. Cincinnati need a bit more steel in defense, thankfully they’ve made themselves tough to beat at home. This ain’t the team that was a certified Wooden Spoon contender ever since they entered the league. This team can make the playoffs if they continue to get their attack firing, and have some luck along the way.
The Red Bulls’ striker position is up for grabs. Patryk Klimala hasn’t scored a goal since May 18th, he was subbed off for Tom Barlow – who hasn’t scored since March 20th. Ashley Fletcher is now a rumor after not impressing on loan, and will be gone at the end of the month. You can’t expect much from 17-year-old Serge Ngoma, which begs the question. Who is going to take this position? Who will lead the line? Everyone brings something different to the table, but the goals have dried up considerably. These are small problems for a team in 1st place, as they are getting goals in other areas. But for sure, the striker position will need to be addressed during the transfer window.
Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls