ANALYSIS— On a cold and snowy Saturday, Minnesota United held their home opener and welcomed the New York Red Bulls. With both teams itching for three points, the circumstances had everyone thinking, ‘one out of three ain’t bad.’ Let’s take a look back at the MNUFC V RBNY matchup.
The Snow Is Really Piling up Outside: MNUFC V RBNY
Snow in Minnesota, even nearly halfway through March, is a reality. It doesn’t make for ideal conditions, but players, staff, and fans made the best of it. Officials brought out the orange ball, leaf blowers took the place of snow blowers, and snow art decorated Allianz Field.
— Stooph (@St3ffffffffff) March 12, 2023
The match featured many slips and slides, and some of them were intentional. The visitors dominated possession early on, making many advances on the Minnesota goal, but to no avail. The Loons, biding their time, took possession and used the relative calm of a set piece to create a solid chance in front of the Red Bull goal. Forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane recovered a Carlos Coronel block to bury the ball into the net in the eighteenth minute. While defender John Tolkin got a touch on the ball, there was too much power to make the stop.
I Poured It on and I Poured It Out
The Red Bulls showed some panic throughout the remainder of the first half. There were dangerous challenges and useless shots from distance. The frantic pace served little purpose, and the visitors needed the halftime break to regroup. When Andres Reyes flicked on John Tolkin’s corner kick into the goal to level the match, the momentum of the whole game shifted. Fans have lamented the decline of effective set pieces in recent years, so this was a welcome change. Reyes’s Man of the Match accolade was well-deserved.
READ MORE: 2023 New York Red Bulls Season Preview
Now Don’t Be Sad
Game-saving effort pic.twitter.com/3Xefh5Kh4p
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) March 12, 2023
It is the opinion of this writer that New York sports fans have high standards, to say the least. Score one goal: why not four? Make one save: why not two, which would have kept the clean sheet? Get one point: why not all three?
RBNY manager Gerhard Struber has heard the fans and assures them they will be satisfied:
“We are looking forward. We have to do something. We have to work hard, again, in every training session that we have, hopefully, next week, the win be in the hand for us and our fans.” The season is long, and obstacles can be as unpredictable as the weather. But with theatrics like what we saw from midfielder Omir Fernandez, there is something special around the corner. To paraphrase the late Marvin Lee Aday, you could complain all night, but that ain’t getting us anywhere.
The NY Red Bulls will host the Columbus Crew SC on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET, before travelling to face Charlotte FC at the Bank of America Stadium on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Both games can be seen live on Apple TV. Additionally, one game from this past weekend can be seen below.
Photo Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports on March 11, 2023, of the Minnesota United FC and the New York Red Bulls Headshot.