The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club dropped their first contest of the season 1-0 at the hands of the New York Red Bulls. Eric Miller’s 45th minute own goal spoiled Tim Howard’s return in a frigid Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.
The home side had a number of first-half chances but Howard came up with big saves time and time again. Just two minutes into the game, Bradley Wright-Phillips found himself all alone in front of goal forcing an acrobatic kick save from Howard. Twenty minutes later, Howard would deny Wright-Phillips once more by making another point-blank stop
At the other end, Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles, who made MLS history by appearing in his 142nd consecutive contest, was barely tested in the first 45 minutes. Caleb Calvert, making just his second professional start, sent a left-footed strike into the stands. A few minutes later, Robles came off his line and intercepted the ball from Marlon Hairston.
In the dying moments of the first half, the Red Bulls would finally break through. Sal Zizzo got in behind the Rapids’ back line and sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal. While trying to get in front of a Red Bulls attacker, Miller’s attempt at clearing the ball would go past Howard and into the back of the net.
Pablo Mastroeni changed things up a bit in the second half by bringing in Dillon Serna for Caleb Calvert and Shkëlzen Gashi for Dillon Powers. The Rapids pressed and enjoyed more possession in the attacking end.
Dominique Badji, looking to score his second tally in as many games, had the best opportunity for the Rapids at the 72-minute mark. Badji sprinted past the defense but was unable to beat Robles at the far post.
With the loss, the Rapids fall to 1-1-0 in the season, while the Red Bulls become the first MLS team with six points (2-0-0). Colorado returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park next weekend to host expansion side Minnesota United FC on Saturday night (7:00 p.m. MT - Altitude 2).
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Colorado Rapids
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
Saturday, March 11, 2017
NY: Eric Miller (OG) 45’
NY: Sean Davis (caution) 35’
NY: Derrick Etienne, Jr. (caution) 55’
NY: Daniel Royer (caution) 79’
COL: Micheal Azira (caution) 90+4’
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Sal Zizzo, Damien Perrinelle (Aurelien Collin 75’), Aaron Long, Kemar Lawrence; Sean Davis, Felipe; Danny Royer, Sacha Kljestan; Derrick Etienne, Jr. (Mike Grella 61'), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Fredrik Gulbrandsen 88’).
Subs not used: Ryan Meara, Tyler Adams, Michael Amir Murillo, Alex Muyl.
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Axel Sjöberg, Marc Burch; Micheal Azira, Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers (Shkëlzen Gashi 72’); Marlon Hairston, Dominique Badji, Caleb Calvert (Dillon Serna 59’).
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Bobby Burling, Mekeil Williams, Nana Boateng, Ricardo Perez.
New York Red Bulls: 2-0-0 (6 points)
Colorado Rapids: 1-1-0 (3 points)