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Leagues Cup '23: RBNY vs San Luis


J.J. Pavlick

The New York Red Bulls will be without Cory Burke, Dylan Nealis, and Lewis Morgan. Andres Reyes is on the bench to start the match tonight against San Luis, he was listed as questionable along with Cory in the days leading up to the game.

The Red Bull needs a Ruthless no-holds-bar win tonight against San Luis to show they can play with the rest of the knockout group. They just need a tie to move on and get the 1st seed in the group, that will land them with NYCFC barring some kind of crazy outcome between Atlas and Toronto.

Matches that have already been determined are as follows:

  1. LAFC vs Juarez in Toronto, CN

  2. Mazatlan vs Dallas in Frisco, TX

  3. Orlando vs Miami in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  4. Pachuca vs Houston in Houston, TX

  5. Charlotte vs Cruz Azul in Frisco, TX

  6. Philadelphia vs D.C. in Chester, PA

  7. Leon vs TBD in TBD

  8. FC Cincinnati vs TBD in Cincinnati, OH

Just 2' into the match and San Luis has Luquinhas down on the ground holding his lower back, the training staff takes him to the sideline to evaluate, he is good to go and goes back on the field about a minute later leveling the playing field at 11 v 11 again.

Red Bull thought they scored but Tom Barlow was offside, so no goal and we remain at 0 - 0. Nealis had a great header on goal to the low corner of the 1st post, it took a great save by Diego Urtiaga to keep it out, the rebound hit the post and Luquinhas didn't reset in time and was offside during contact. Tom Barlow was also laying in front of the keeper preventing him from moving, VAR had two picks on that one. Then Troy Lesesne picks up a yellow card for dissent toward the 4th and center referees just ten minutes into the match.

In the 16' Sean gets another header attempt again to the 1st post, this time it's just wide of the frame. In the 19' San Luis nearly goes ahead but just like the Red Bull the player was deemed offside on the play, so we remain scoreless in Harrison, NJ.

In the past two minutes, Tom Barlow has lived up to his consistently bad performance level. He just passed the ball in midfield straight to a San Luis player, then 30 seconds later in the box misses an open Dant Vanzeir with a poor low cross into the box. We remain scoreless in the 24' of the match.

If the Red Bulls want to change their fortunes this season, they need to make some roster moves and one of the biggest is sending Tom Barlow packing for a legit forward who is creative on the ball. Game after game he has made numerous costly mistakes that have killed great opportunities. Dante Vanzeir has been left on an island with no legit help from his fellow forward all season. The other glaring issue is the midfield disaster, the team has no distributor in the lineup with Morgan out likely for the season at this point. This combo has forced Vanzeir to go wide just to get the ball and requires him to have to beat three or more defending players just to get a shot off, leading to him becoming the only striker to play the role of setup man. It is a complete waste of Dante's talents and leading to frustration on the offensive side of the ball this season.

"Yeah, I hated that we gave up the goal we gave up because he made a fantastic save on the first attempt from Atletico San Luis and then they were able to put into rebound. And I think he deserved a clean sheet on the night. But how he's able been able to step up in the last two games and really bring us back and swing the momentum in our favor is really impressive. And you know, he's been a leader like that all year long. So Carlos is someone that has really grown and matured, not only is in terms of what you see on the field, and some of the plays he's able to make, but how he's in the locker room. So I'm excited for him. And for the group, you know, now we're in the next in the knockout stage of this competition. And again, finishing at the top of the group, I think is something we can feel really good at all". -- Troy Lesesne #RBNY Head Coach

In the 45'+2' Tom Barlow goes full Barlow and misses well wide on another breakaway allowing a 5'2 player to topple him over like a sack of potatoes. The man may be listed at 6'2 185 pounds but he plays like a player 4'3 and 50 lbs. soaking wet. Thanks to Barlow we go to half scoreless in a game they need to win if they want to avoid a chance at facing Pumas in the Round of 16.

Troy needs to make moves at halftime if he wants to secure a win tonight against a poor San Luis side that got obliterated by New England just a few days ago by a score of 5 - 1. The Tom Barlow love affair needs to be axed and the team needs a legit player at the position if they want any chance at a run for the MLS Cup or Leagues Cup.

Troy elects to keep things the same way and the Red Bull gives up a solid chance at goal just 35 seconds into the second half, San Luis brought on Klimowicz for Vitinho and has now had two solid looks at the goal from dangerous spots in the opening minute of the half.

Can the real Red Bull striker please stand up, please stand up. Thank You Dante Vanzeir! He finds space to the near post and heads it in with authority, he created his own space using his high soccer IQ and found the space needed to get the team on the board. Red Bulls go up 1 - 0 and now will play NYCFC if the result holds. The goal came in the 57' of the second half of play off a corner kick taken by JMI.

"It was a rollercoaster of emotions, I think in the end we deserved it more, it’s not stolen from them. It was tough, we scored at 1-0, they come back at 1-1, and if you win or lose in penalties, it was still enough. Then we got the penalty against us and just hoping for a miracle. Carlos [Coronel] had the confidence today and again saved the penalty like against New England. I think he did a great job, he gets us through the First Round of the Leagues Cup. I think we have to thank him as well for the save and then we have to gain confidence out of this game. We are the winner of the group, so now it’s up to us to prove it also in the next round." "It’s amazing, it’s my job, so when I can’t score in a game it’s always like, even if I play good, it’s kind of disappointing. I feel great, I was waiting a little bit for my goal and especially for a brace. Let’s hope this is the start of many more. It’s a very great feeling". --Dante Vanzeir RBNY Central Forward

Tom Barlow calls for the long-distance pass and as usual messes it up, with a wide-open Dante Vanzeir in the central lane with a straight path to the goal. 1 - 0 is cute and all but let's be real New England put a 5 piece on San Luis just 4 days ago.

The Barlow experiment is over for tonight in the 62', they bring on Elias Manoel to replace the anemic Barlow who missed a gift from Dante just seconds before being subbed off.

Just like that San Luis scores and well now the hard road has been opened for the Red Bulls who let's face it should be up handily in this match and instead are tied with San Luis who finished last season in 12th barely, it's a sad affair when you struggle with a team your rival beat down with no problem. In the 70' we're tied again, and San Luis has been the better-looking side this half.

Troy sees his side needs energy and goes to the bench, he brings on Donkor and Yearwood for Luquinhas and Omir Fernandez in the 72' of the second half. Now Reyes and Duncan are getting set to enter for the Red Bulls at the next stoppage in play, is it too little too late? Hassan comes off for Reyes and Harper is off for Duncan in the 76'.

Dante Vanzeir is the best thing about the Red Bulls tonight, he single-handedly has given the Red Bulls the best looks on the goal. He just danced on the San Luis center-back and let off a rocket for the low corner at the 1st post and it took all of the goalkeeper to keep it out and keep the match tied at 1 - 1 in the 81'. The Red Bulls waste another corner kick opportunity tonight, they've had 12 of them. San Luis has had 2 and both were dangerous in comparison.

Donkor and Manoel what a thing of beauty to bad Manoel didn't follow the play, he had a goal sitting on his foot. Instead, he was stunned by the flick pass from Dante and fumbled the ball out of play for a goal kick. The play in the 85' would've been a highlight reel goal if it was finished properly.

San Luis's Unai Bilbao fails to convert the penalty kick in the 90' to win the game, instead NY takes the save and scores the winner.
Photo Credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the 89' the center referee is calling a penalty kick for San Luis, JMI in a rare misplay takes his man down in the box. The Red Bulls will need Carlos to come up big here or they could be going home instead of going through. J. Damm steps up to take the penalty and the 4th indicates a minimum of 5' additional minutes. Save Carlos Coronel and JMI owes that man a steak dinner at NYC's finest steakhouse tonight.

Dante "The Wonder Boy" Vanzeir puts the Red Bulls ahead 2 - 1 in the 90'+ 2' and brings on the Hudson River Derby to be played in Harrison, NJ. Dante goes near post-low for the breakaway goal and lead. The goal was assisted by none other than JMi who is always relentless and seems to know how to find the right player for the moment. Just a short time before the pass JMi was called for a foul in the box and to recover as he did shows how special of a player the guy is. Hopefully, the Red Bull do enough this off-season to keep JMi in Harrison instead of him going overseas to a giant.

New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir (13) celebrates his second goal of the match with teammate New York Red Bulls midfielder Ronald Donkor (48) during the second half at Red Bull Arena.
Photo Credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Manoel wants in on the goal party with his teammate from Belgium and breaks the keeper's ankles after a bad turnover in the defensive side for San Luis. The goal is under review, the referee determined Manoel committed a foul and the goal will not stand. The score stays 2 - 1, it was a soft foul to call but it was called, and the Red Bulls will just have to hold on for a few seconds.

That is the match, and the Red Bulls will see New York City FC on August 3rd in Harrison, NJ for another episode of the Hudson River Derby. Thanks to Dante's game-winning goal and brace, the Red Bull avoid the possibility of facing Pumas in the round of 16.

Photo Credit: © Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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