Preseason ends with 1:0 loss to Salt Lake
March 3, 2012 (Official Game Summary)
In their final preseason match of 2012, the New York Red Bulls fell to Real Salt Lake, 1-0, at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium Saturday night as part of the Desert Diamond Cup's third place match.
Both teams grappled for control of the match in the early going. In the 18th minute, New York almost tallied the first goal of the night as defender Roy Miller slipped the ball to Dane Richards, who nearly found a wide open Kenny Cooper in the box. However, Real Salt Lake was able to clear. Moments later, New York midfielder Joel Lindpere's in-swinging cross was met by an open Thierry Henry. The Frenchman was able to connect with the pass cleanly, but his header zipped over the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake took the lead on a solid individual effort from defender Chris Wingert. Midfielder Ned Grabavoy found Wingert on the left side of New York's half. Wingert cut it to his right foot and blasted it from 22 yards out past goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo and into the upper corner of the net.
The Henry and Cooper forward tandem nearly tied the game on two occasions before halftime after Wingert's opening tally. In the 32nd minute, Cooper was able to get enough space at the top of the box to force goalkeeper Nick Rimando to block his shot. Henry was first to the rebound, but was not able to get enough power on his volley and Rimando was able to collect. Four minutes later, Cooper got behind the Real Salt Lake back four and unleashed a left-footed attempt that Rimando could only parry away. Henry again was the first to the ball and could not keep his first-time hit on frame.
Five minutes into the second half, Real Salt Lake looked to extend its lead when Sebastian Velasquez freed himself from 15-yards-out to push it high. Soon after, Paulo Jr. ran towards goal and curled an effort that Vuolo palmed out of harm's way. Substitute Alvaro Saborio could have iced the result 16 minutes from full time when he had a chance to shoot from close range. However, the Real Salt Lake forward could not re-deflect the ball on target.
Miller had an excellent opportunity to tie the game in the 86th minute. The Costa Rican defender was put through on goal by Henry and went one-on-one against Rimando. Miller elected to chip the keeper and the ball drifted wide of the net. With two minutes left in the match, Miller again went wide, as he tried to re-direct in a Lindpere shot from outside the box.