Caden Clark, the 17 year old, newly acquired phenom from Minnesota, blasted a rocket to equalize against Toronto FC Wednesday night. The youngster made MLS history by becoming the youngest player to score a goal in his first two games, after he was subbed on in the 59th minute.
Toronto struck first in the 23rd minute, after they were awarded a penalty kick following a handball by midfielder Dru Yearwood. Toronto’s Ayo Akinola received a corner kick inside the box, the forward kicked it straight up in the air and caught the left hand of Yearwood, who was a mere 5 feet away. The referee blew the whistle and immediately pointed to the spot. Alejandro Pozuelo claimed the kick and easily found the bottom left corner, with Bulls keeper Ryan Meara rooted to his spot.
The Red Bulls answered in emphatic fashion. The Red Bulls’ Florian Valot had a shot saved by a diving Quentin Westberg, after a brilliant cross by Tom Barlow. Barlow himself had a shot saved in the 56th minute. Finding himself one on one with Westberg after a poor pass back to the Toronto keeper, Barlow found himself alone with just the keeper to beat. Unfortunately for Barlow and New York, Westberg made himself big and saved the shot that was kicked straight at him.
The difference came in the 59th minute, when Clark was subbed on for Jared Stroud. Clark’s presence was felt right away by filling the spaces where Toronto had trouble defending.
The equalizer came in the 77th minute. Clark was able to slip by the Toronto midfield and receive the ball after an off balance spin. After regaining his balance, the 17 year old unleashed a stunning left footed shot that beat Westberg and found the top left corner. Daniel Royer’s reaction said it all. The Austrian midfielder put both hands to his head, mouth agape, stunned by what he had just witnessed.
The winning goal however eluded both teams and each walk away with a much deserved point. This result puts the Red Bulls in 7th place with 24 points, three behind rivals NYCFC. They come back home to Harrison, NJ for a Sunday fixture with Orlando City, who are 7 points ahead and currently occupy the 4th place spot in the table.
Edited by Nick Sbordone