Photo by ISIphotos.com
BY MIKE NASTRI
The Red Bulls pulled out a commanding 3-1 victory over Juventus behind three second half goals by Jeremy Hall, Conor Chinn and Juan Pablo Angel.
The Red Bulls starting XI was most of the reserve team that has been playing US Open Cup matches. And once again this "other squad" showed it can get results. Although Juventus had a shorthanded team due to the World Cup, it still boasted many stars including Alessandro Del Piero and Diego.
"They played with, in the first half or first 60 minutes, at least four or five high profile players, world class players," said head coach Hans Backe. "And they don't like to lose."
These stars would shine in the first half, especially Diego. The Brazilian midfielder controlled the pace of the entire first half orchestrating the Juve attack. Under Diego's command, the Italian side held the possession advantage in the first 45. Del Piero and Jonathan Zebina created fits for Hall and Danliegh Borman on the left side. But ultimately the Italian side couldn't take advantage on the score sheet.
The second half would begin with Roy Miller at left back and the Juventus attack was not the same. Miller held his own on the left side and allowed Hall to play more offensively. And Hall did just that, putting the Red Bulls up in the 50th minute. The University of Maryland product half-volleyed home a rebound off a rocket shot by Irving Garcia.
"Irving had a great shot, hit the crossbar," said Hall. "We've been talking about getting in the box when the ball's on the opposite side, the outside midfielder has to get into the box and just be ready for it."
"I saw a guy coming at me, so I just hit hard and low and it went in."
The second goal came just five minutes later. Roy Miller streaking down the wing past Zebina, found a wide open Conor Chinn with a beautiful cross. Chinn would calmly take the ball down and hammer it home for the 2-0 lead.
"The wings crossed the ball back post, and Roy did a gret job, and luckily I was there," said Chinn. "I felt like I was able to put my chance away, so it was good."
Juan Pablo Angel came in with Dane Richards in the 68th minute and seven minutes later the two combined to put the icing on the cake. Richards found Angel who put the Red Bulls up three with a touch of class past Juventus keeper Alex Manninger.
Amauri ruined the clean sheet for keeper Greg Sutton in the 90th minute, but overall the Red Bulls played well enough to get a win over a quality Juventus side.
"The Red Bulls definitely played a great game, but we are disappointed with the result," said Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero. "As time went on we started feeling tired from the long trip and the entire season."
This Red Bulls reserves continue to show their own quality and composure with their 3rd straight victory (including the two USOC matches). And some of these reserve players are pushing Backe to see some time in regular MLS matches.
One of those players is Irving Garcia, who could have been the man of the match despite not finding his name on the score sheet. He had two rocket shots and was fearless against a great defender in Fabio Grosso.
"He was a little nervous in the beginning as a draft pick, and just played safe," said Backe. "But the way he played today, to take players on, he gave me something to think about, that's for sure."
Garcia and the rest of the second squad will have a USOC against the Rapids on Wednesday to build on this performance and to show that they may be worthy of seeing regular MLS time. But for now, Backe will continue to use these younger players as he has been, but he has been encouraged with their progress.
"They need time, they have a lot to learn, but still I can say that the depth is good in our squad"