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RECAP: New York Red Bulls Defeat Houston 2-1 on Morgan Goal

photo by Matt Kremkau

by Anthony J. Merced

New York Red Bulls win their first MLS game of the 2024 season against Houston Dynamo, 2-1 on Saturday night, on the back of a second half goal from returning winger Lewis Morgan. Red Bull fell behind in the first half but found an equalizer before the halftime whistle and took advantage of poor passing from Houston to guarantee the win.

Dynamo head coach Ben Olsen is no stranger to the New York Red Bulls and his style of soccer worked well for most of the early part of the game. Long balls bypassed the Red Bull press and forced mistakes like the one that led to the game's opening goal. A long ball over the defense found Ibrahim Aliyu in the seventh minute while defensive midfielder Daniel Edelman couldn't close down his target. Aliyu dribbled the ball and shot past Carlos Coronel for the game's first goal.

Red Bull did adjust midway through the first half, with star player Emil Forsberg finding the ball with more regularity. A few of his own efforts were either blocked or hit the crossbar, adding to his frustration as he awaits his first MLS goal. New York found the equalizer in the 43rd minute when striker Dante Vanzeir became the distributor, sending a cross to the head of Elias Manoel who buried his effort into the back of the net. 

The second half saw New York with a better shape. Despite losing Peter Stroud to an apparent arm injury before the end of the first half, substitute Lewis Morgan came on and added a new dynamic to the Red Bull play. While the pressure remained less effective, New York was able to force mistakes. Once such mistake decided the game in the 59th minute. Morgan intercepted a pass in the offensive area of the field before dribbling and scoring an impressive screaming effort past goalkeeper Steve Clark. 

Head coach Sandro Schwarz looked to secure the win with defensive substitutions and putting the Red Bulls into a defensive shape for the final third of the game. Houston was able to threaten but it wasn't enough as New York takes four out of a possible six points in their first two games, both on the road.

New York will finally play their home opener next Saturday against FC Dallas. The team should be confident after securing two results under their new head coach and star signing in Forsberg. 


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