Tag Archives: Mathias Jorgensen

New York Red Bulls Feeling Blue

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 6: 1-2 loss

One loss against Orlando: Well… okay.

Another loss against Chicago: Um.. what?

A third loss in a row, against Minnesota: Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m sitting here looking down my nose, saying, “Ugh– but it’s Minnesota!” I know things have been looking up for the Loons this season. No team can be in charge of another’s success. But RBNY has been so confident. And for what? To have four points out of a possible fifteen?

You look like you haven’t felt the fire:

Overall, the Red Bulls had a lackluster performance. There were, of course, the flashes of brilliance: Luis Robles and his three saves. Tim Parker‘s full-body ball clearance. Mathias Jørgensen and his half-dozen or so runs on goal that hint at exactly why he’s in a Red Bulls kit.

Then there was Cristian Casseres Jr. His goal in the 70th minute was the phenomenal moment that fans are looking for each week. But ninety-plus minutes is a long time to watch a match and only see momentary flashes. There’s frustration at Red Bull Arena, even if maybe it can’t be found on the pitch.

He’s stealing your thunder:

Of all the soccer clichés that get on my nerves… actually, “it’s only halftime” is the one that makes me want to thunder-punch someone the most. And “the calm before the storm” is obnoxious, but ubiquitous in sports (and we send along all infractions to Pablo Maurer). But after that, “defend our fortress” is rising in the power rankings for triteness. Because what happened when fans were told the team would defend the fortress?

Abu Danladi and Romario Ibarra: that’s what happened. Anyone watching on TV sees goal celebrations equally from either side: play stops, teammates hug, the players reset. But when a visiting team scores and you’re there to see it live, it’s almost surreal. The home team resets and the din of the crowd remains level. Very often, if not for the change on the scoreboard, I wouldn’t actually believe a goal occurred. The team can get back to fortress defending any time now. Immediately would be best.

Blue ain’t your color, baby:

Because, after all, NY is Red. It might be easier to cry over the sky falling, kiss the season goodbye, and find another sports venue for your entertainment. But sports fandom is not built for ease; rather, it’s a way to be show what you’re made of. So instead, let us demand the team dust off the past, forge ahead together, and bring it to Sporting KC in their Blue Hell of Children’s Mercy Park.

(P.S. Because I’m a little bit country, and I’m a little bit rock n’ roll…)

Featured image: Bill Twomey

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New York Red Bulls and a Pocket Full of Kryptonite

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, March 23: 0-1 loss

So there I was, at Red Bull Arena probably way too early for my own good. It was cold, as late March usually is. There was a promise of empanadas at some point in the evening, and a very confident New York Red Bulls team was going to face Orlando City, winless as they entered Harrison.

Well I don’t think I can handle this: If RBNY has a weakness, it’s desperate teams. The more cynical among the fans fretted over San Jose’s visit the week before. But the four-goal trouncing of the Quakes allayed those nerves. MLS being, well… MLS, the fear came right back with the Lions anyway. They braced themselves for Dom Dwyer and Portugal legend Nani to blitz a slightly depleted squad, thanks to the international duty absences.

Please put me in your plan: Manager Chris Armas brought out Amro Tarek at center back against his former team. Last year, Jesse Marsch did the same, slating Tommy Redding against Orlando. All things considered, things went better this time around. Alex Muyl, the Earthquake-crusher, was tapped to drop back when an apparent hamstring pull sent Connor Lade to the locker room for medical attention. Lade’s official substitution, Omir Fernandez, also had to be replaced when he averaged one foul suffered for every ten minutes he was on the field. Mathias JØrgenson put in a solid half hour on the pitch for RBNY. Still no hat trick*, but his star is on the rise.

*It occurs to me now that it might be unfair that I have inadvertently made that the benchmark. But here we are. I’m a high school teacher by trade: giving teenagers lofty standards is what I do.

It drives me up the wall and through the roof: Overall, there isn’t a whole lot to comment on with this match. Both teams stuck to their plans and the threats came and went at both ends. OCSC goalkeeper Brian Rowe was credited with three saves on the day. RBNY had seven corner kicks, as well as a couple of free kicks just outside the box. But it was a great big ball of nothing for over seventy minutes of play. Thank goodness for halftime empanadas.

I can’t believe my dilemma is real: Dwyer wasn’t the issue. And Nani? Let’s just say he was handled.

No, the only goal of the match came from former RBNY captain Sacha Kljestan. I still have a soft spot for my fellow Seton Hall Pirate and fellow person-whose-name-gets-misspelled- and-mispronounced-on-the-regular. So while it stinks that Kljestan finally made good on his promise to score on his former team, it’s really to his credit that he made something happen for either side. Besides, there are plenty of folks out there to be upset in my place.

RBNY returns to training this week, and then travels to face another former captain and another winless (and maybe a little desperate) team, the Chicago Fire. At least I can say the Red Bulls are one for one so far against teams named after historic disasters.

(The song is actually NOT called “Pocket Full of Kryptonite,” but the album is. And, to my knowledge, Jimmy Olsen never had a crush on Lois Lane. But this song still slaps.)

Featured image: @NewYorkRedBulls

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Home Sweet Home for New York Red Bulls

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, March 16: 4-1 Win

Ah, Spring. When young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of MLS. At least, we hope so. It was still rather chilly, but a bright sunny afternoon welcomed fans old and new to Red Bull Arena. The home match against the San Jose Earthquakes happens every other year, and new Quakes coach Matias Almeyda is looking to bring his team into the playoff conversation.

You know I’m a dreamer: This is already Matchday 3. The season is well on its way, with all its narratives being formed and tweaked. The Red Bulls have lived and learned with two home games in their latest attempt at the CONCACAF Champions League. But the league home opener is a special moment. A halftime ceremony celebrated the 2018 Supporter’s Shield, as well as the team’s previous two, which are all immortalized on the building itself. Recently retired former Red Bull Mike Grella was invited to hold up the 2015 Shield at the ceremony. Confetti-filled posters of the players from Decision Day 2018 were distributed to fans following the match.

RBNY supporters group, Vikings Army, display an “Unfinished Business” tifo at the home opener. Photo by Sylvana Budeshelm

Sometimes nothing keeps me together: The game itself didn’t look so good at the start. The Red Bulls were unsettled throughout the first half. The high press Red Bull thrives on was keeping them on the attack, but no one could find the back of the net. At the same time, the Earthquakes looked threatening after every turnover. Just five minutes into the match, Christian Espinoza sent a low shot past Luis Robles. Then, around the thirty-minute mark, a rough challenge sent midfielder Florian Valot to ground. With a scream. And anyone who saw and heard knew. The player who lost most of last season to a tear in his left ACL confirmed a few days after the game that he tore his right ACL. He bounced back once, and fans are confident he can do it again.

I’m on my way: In the 34th minute, homegrown Alex Muyl entered the pitch for Valot. While he had two off-target shots leading up to the halftime whistle, it was clear he was knocking on the door. But that happens a lot, and not just to Muyl. The entire first half was rife with missed opportunities. Kyle Duncan, who had done great work in the back line until the game against San Jose, scrambled for the first half but finally found his bearings in the second. It was time for RBNY to show what they were made of.

Just set me free: If you’re reading this, and you didn’t come to the game because some other commitment was going to have you missing the first half, let me tell you right now: the second half alone was worth the price of admission. Not one, but two goals from Alex Muyl, the first goal of the season for striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, and the final dagger from Daniel Royer.

Take me to your heart: Almost as soon as Wright-Phillips scored, he was substituted. In his place came Mathias Jorgensen, the eighteen-year-old Danish international who was the marquee signing of the Red Bulls’ off-season. And while he didn’t score a hat-trick right out of the gate, coach Chris Armas was happy with what he saw: “He almost scored. It’s right there for him.”

Whether he starts the next match, replaces Wright-Phillips earlier, or plays alongside him remains to be seen. But like many of the players on the roster, it’s about more than what fans see on gameday. “But if you got to know him a little bit the way we do, what a humble, hard-working team guy, and he fought hard, even in a few minutes,” Armas said. This is clearly the identity of the RBNY player, which belies the “villains of MLS” perception that other teams would like to foist upon them.

Enjoying back-to-back home games, the Red Bulls face former teammate Sacha Kljestan and Orlando City SC on Saturday.

Featured image: Sylvana Budeshelm

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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Games of Auld Lang Syne for New York Red Bulls

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Scene: The Press Box at Red Bull Arena, February 27th. The New York Red Bulls are about to host Club Atletico Pantoja in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. More on that later…

I’m eating a cannoli (like a good Jersey girl) and greeting one of the several staffers that I’ve gotten to know in my time as a reporter.

Me: Happy New Year!

Him: Happy New Year!… Wait– do we still say that at the end of February?

Me: When it’s my first time seeing you, sure!

It’s true: This is a new year; for the now 24 teams in MLS, for the 16 teams who qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League, and for the 84 teams who will compete in the U.S. Open Cup. With a new year comes a new start. The past is gone, and the future is in their hands, or, I should say, at their feet.

Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot:

The team, the fans, and the entire league knows there was a Tyler Adams-shaped hole cut out as the 19-year-old Academy product nabbed some lederhosen and transferred to RB Leipzig (the RB stands for ‘rasenballsport,’ a made-up word to keep the lettering consistent but avoid the blatant corporate branding that is a no-go in the Bundesliga). 

While fans were sad to see him go, Adams is still just a television broadcast away. I have watched his explosive pace and relentless hustle light up the Bundesliga. He was recently credited with his first assist. RB Leipzig is currently in fourth place, which will qualify them for the UEFA Champions League.

What did RBNY get in return? The transfer window was all but silent and all but closed when this announcement was made:

Are fans looking for a big name? Are they looking for someone who has scored dozens of goals in huge competitions overseas? Would they have preferred someone… older?

That’s not who the club is, and they haven’t been that way for a long time. Just because Mathias Jorgensen isn’t a big name, doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be. Wouldn’t you rather have the guy who makes a name for himself with your team? Because I can think of a couple of MLS sides who have been of little consequence in recent years. At least RBNY have made the playoffs nine years running.

And Never Brought to Mind:

Yeah… about that. There is still no star over the crest this year. There is another Supporter’s Shield, the third in six years. If RBNY was RB Leipzig, that would mean three stars. But that isn’t how American sports roll. But what’s done is done. Everyone begins with a clean slate, from the Red Bulls with their Shield to the San Jose Earthquakes with their Spoon.

We’ve Wandered Many a Weary Foot:

So begins the trudge through multiple competitions, regardless of weather and distance. A breezy 25-degree evening saw the Red Bulls sew up their spot in the quarterfinals with a 5-0 aggregate score in the Champions League. They are heading out to Columbus for the start of the regular MLS season (Yay, Condiment Derby!).

The boys in red will return to Red Bull Arena next week to start the series with Santos Laguna, followed by a trip to Mexico for the second leg. This is what roster depth is for, and I am here for all of it.

Happy New Season!

Featured image: Bill Twomey

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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