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RBNY Scoreless Affair to Start 2024

photo by Matt Kremkau

by Garry Redman

The long-awaited season has finally begun, following numerous player acquisitions and pre-season activities. The New York Red Bulls, who have been rebuilt, are arriving in the Music City to start their season positively. They and new head coach Sandro Schwarz intend to prove they are not the team the experts, pundits, and fans believe them to be.

Swedish international and former RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg was unveiled as the centerpiece of an improved offensive package the team hopes will resolve the issues in front of the net that plagued them last season. They faced a Nashville SC side with one of the league's best defenses, surrendering only 32 goals last season.

Fifteen minutes into the match, the Red Bulls were the first team to attempt to get on the board as Elias Manoel took a headed pass from Forsberg, but Nashville's goalkeeper Joe Willis was up to the task, parrying away Manoel's shot with minimal effort.

In the 21st minute, Dante Vanzier took a pass and lifted the ball past Joe Willis, looking to put his disastrous debut behind him. However, the ball bounced off the right post, as another scoring opportunity for New York went by the wayside.

One minute later, Nashville midfielder and captain Sean Davis chased down the ball, but his foot landed on Peter Stroud, receiving a red card. But after a quick check with VAR, the red card was rescinded, and Davis was allowed back on the field, receiving only a yellow card for the rough foul.

Red Bulls had one more scoring chance at the end of the first half, with Emil Forsberg finding the ball at the center of the box, but his shot was once again blocked and then saved by Joe Willis. While New York dominated possession, they couldn't find a way to get the ball past the Nashville keeper as an entertaining first half came to a close.

The Red Bulls spent most of the second half maintaining possession, keeping Nashville's defense on their collective toes. Until the 63rd minute when Frankie Amaya saw a brief opening and took a shot from distance, but once again, Joe Willis was there, glancing the ball off the bar and keeping New York off the scoreboard. 

In the 74th minute, Emil Forsberg tried to take things into his own hands, rushing up the field before getting fouled by Brian Anugaa and earning a freekick in front of the net. But once again, the post would be Joe Willis' best friend, the ball slamming off the goalpost to the relief of the home supporters as New York was kept off the scoreboard.

Meanwhile, New York's keeper, Carlos Coronel, had a pretty quiet day, that is, until the 84th minute when Nashville earned three successive corner kicks, with Tyler Boyd coming the closest as his blistering shot rocketed toward the net, but Coronel was able to parry it harmlessly over the bar.

As the final whistle was blown, the Red Bulls enjoyed their unbeaten streak against Nashville, although coming close more than a few times to leave GEODIS Park with all three points. For now, just one will do as the team heads over to Houston to get a win before their home opener in two weeks.


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