The international break couldn’t come sooner for the New York Red Bulls. This past weekend’s 3-0 loss to Orlando City SC was the worst loss of the short tenure of Troy Lesesne.
With the team already trailing, Andres Reyes saw a second yellow card. That gave Orlando’s Facundo Torres two more goals before the long night was over.

RBNY has played nine games since May 6 in both the league and U.S. Open Cup. After Saturday, Lesesne said he knows the heavy workload has some bearing on the result.

“There’s no doubt about it that that’s an element to tonight and where we were and the performance,” Lesesne said.

“But what I would say to that is, I think the first goal we obviously don’t get this play right, but I think we get a lot of things right in the first half, and again we create some good opportunities, and even whenever we go down a man, we still stay in, and we fight. And I think you have to give the guys a lot of credit for the output that they had on the night and everything they put into the game; even going down, whenever Lewis was down, we still continued to fight to try to get a goal back in the game. That’s not a moral victory, but I think it does say a lot about the group through this long stretch; we are four wins, two losses, and two draws. I think that we made a lot of positive progress, and tonight is disappointing not to finish it off with the win.”

Barlow Breaking Point

Tom Barlow started the game up top alongside Luquinhas and Cory Burke. His night lasted 45 minutes, and saw two shots. Plus plenty of missed chances from everyone but especially Barlow.

On the one hand, seeing New York’s offense unafraid to attack is a positive. Despite just returning from injury, Luquinhas looked consequential with his attacks. Coach Lesesne said afterward the arena lit up whenever he was on the ball. One chance in the 30th minute saw Burke feed Luqi in the box, where the Brazilian couldn’t get a clean look as he went to the ground. That “shot” was easily covered by Pedro Gallese.

But looking at Barlow, things are beginning to really stick out. His second shot, the one that wasn’t on target, was a play around that saw him sky the ball over the net. Another chance saw what could be a near-open net play with plenty of space where the forward couldn’t come to control the ball enough. Fans were actively booing Barlow as he exited the pitch, and he was subbed off at halftime for Lewis Morgan.

No one should blame him for Morgan’s apparent re-injury later in the night. But an MLS starter was subbed at half for a guy coming back from injury. Someone who has shown he’s injury prone. That’s frustrating.

Cross at Coronel

Orlando City’s first goal in the 18th minute was not Carlos Coronel’s fault. The backline gave Iván Angulo too much space and allowed him to get a run.

What I will fault the Brazilian for his his reaction during Angulo’s run. As the attacker was coming towards him, Coronel did not react enough. He stayed in the box and didn’t advance out of the net to challenge. Instead, he kept looking towards the linesman, waiting for an offside flag. The wrong move on a bad play gave Orlando too many ways to succeed.

The night was Coronel’s worst of the season so far. New York’s first blowout loss comes after he and the backline have been stellar. Orlando City had seven shots, five were on target, and three went in. The saving grace is that one came on a penalty kick, and another came while down a man.

Sluggish Second

Andres Reyes’ hockey check in the first half earned him a yellow card. His second foul toward Torres saw his night end early in the 47th minute. It was New York’s second straight game with a player sent off. Cameron Harper saw red in Miami last Wednesday, though RBNY held on for the 1-0 win.

Even playing a man down New York still held the ball a fair amount. The team held possession for 48% of the game. However, RBNY never looked complete against Orlando City. Going back to the first half, only one shot on target (the Luquinhas one) was registered. Down a man, they got another one, but that was essentially a consolation.

Barlow couldn’t play the ball, Dru Yearwood was forced into a pseudo-attacker role, and Cristian Cásseres Jr. was a non-factor. It’s truly hard to judge the second half, considering the team was down a man. Plus, Morgan exiting late with no sub available means Orlando City had a two-man advantage.

If anything, maybe Hassam Ndam would have been a good sub to bring on in the second half. Even down a man, New York had ball possession covered. City’s best looks came on fast breaks. A tall defender like Ndam might have been enough to stifle some bleeding.

Time to Regroup

The team returns home on Saturday, June 21, against Charlotte FC. It remains home for a Pride Night celebration on June 24 against Atlanta United FC.

Both Southeastern sides are currently above the playoff line. Charlotte, however, sits only two points above RBNY in the play-in section.

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