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RECAP: Forsberg Assists Again in 3-3 Draw with Austin

photo from New York Red Bulls

by Anthony J. Merced

New York Red Bulls drew 3-3 against Austin FC in the second game of the Coachella Valley Invitational, with Emil Forsberg again showing his strength on the offense with another assist. A starting lineup full of starters bossed the first half but substitutes gave Austin a way back into the game in the second half.

"I'm very satisfied with the development," said head coach Sandro Schwarz on the team's preseason efforts. "To be honest, we also have to improve some things but the behavior of the whole group, I said this before, is very professional. A good atmosphere, good energy, and this is important for me as a coach."

Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a goal from Wiki Carmona. The team pressed Austin high up the field, forcing turnovers and impressing themselves on the opposition. A three-man backline of Sean Nealis, Andres Reyes and Noah Eile controlled the game defensively, giving Austin few looks at goal. The lead was doubled thanks to a sublime back heel pass from Forsberg to Elias Manoel who slotted an easy effort into the back of the net.

Austin FC scored just before halftime and a list of substitutes for the Red Bulls changed the completion of the game. Forsberg, Manoel, Eile and others made way for emerging talent like Aidan O'Connor and Julian Hall. With the inexperience on the field, Austin was able to claw another goal and eventually take the lead. 

"We still have a lot to improve on," said captain Sean Nealis. "There's a lot of confidence going forward."

Red Bulls equalized in the 71st minute with yet another preseason goal from Dante Vanzeir. The striker who had woes in 2023 appears in form to start the year and will have to be a key for New York to succeed in this year's campaign.

New York has one more game left in the CVI, a meeting with the LA Galaxy on Saturday morning. From there the team will travel to Nashville for the opening game in the 2024 MLS season. 


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