The New York Red Bulls opened their 2020 MLS Is Back campaign with a hard fought victory over Atlanta United. Under the lights on a perfect evening in Orlando, Florida, the Reds absorbed constant Atlanta pressure while capitalizing on one exposed mistake early in the match.
The Red Bulls got off to a fast start with an early 4th minute goal by Florian Valot. Valot caught the defense sleeping, while Kaku, off a Tom Barlow pass, played a perfect through ball to the streaking midfielder. Valot found himself 1v1 with Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan and squeezed the ball passed him into the bottom left corner. The French midfielder had missed the whole of the 2019 season with a knee injury.
Throughout the rest of the game, Atlanta controlled much of the possession and had far more attempts on goal. Perhaps Atlanta’s best chance to level the game came in the last minute of stoppage time. If not for a fantastic diving save from David Jansen, Atlanta’s Adam Jahn’s 97th minute header would have found the back of the net.
Instead, the Red Bulls came away with the unexpected 1-0 win and much needed momentum heading into this tournament. Next on the schedule is a July 16th showdown with the Columbus Crew.
Edited by Nick Sbordone