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February 22, 2012
Forward lifts RSL over Red Bulls

Corey Hertzog had several chances for the Red Bulls, but could not convert.
Corey Hertzog had several chances for the Red Bulls, but could not convert.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Paulo Jr. scored in the 75th minute to boost Real Salt Lake to a 1-0 victory over the Red Bulls in the opening game of the Desert Diamond Cup for both teams on Wednesday night.

Former St. John's standout Chris Wingert started the scoring sequence. Fabian Espνndola eventually got the ball, made a dynamic run and fed Paulo Jr. for a header in the front of the net before a crowd of 5,547.

The Red Bulls, who are 1-1-2 in the pre-season, used a lineup that included mostly trialists, young players and veteran midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy against a RSL team that boasted several regulars.

"They had a lot of subs they made, almost finished up full strength with the first team," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. "I thought our guys worked very well. It was the first game where most of the guys did 90 minutes. We got a little bit tired the last 15-20 minutes."

Goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo was happy with the way the defense performed.

"As a back four, we were playing together for the first time," he said. "We were moving some guys around. I thought I was very proud of the guys. I thought we did very well. The communication was good. We stuck together, we held together, we slid left to right together. So I was very happy with the organization of the back four."

The first scoring chance came to the Red Bulls in the eighth minute. Left back Connor Lade received a diagonal pass and swung in a cross that was nodded over the bar by forward Corey Hertzog. Moments later, New York forward Jhonny Arteaga forced goalkeeper Kyle Reynish to push his shot away.

On the other end, RSL midfielder Nico Muniz was inches from giving his side the lead, creating enough space at the top of the penalty area and curling an attempt that beat Vuolo and slammed off the right post. Vuolo parried a Yordany Alvarez strike from 15-yards in the 22nd minute.

The teams entered halftime scoreless but had prime chances two minutes from the break. Real Salt Lake’s Cody Arnoux cut in to his right foot and his on-target blast was stopped by Vuolo. Soon after, Hertzog got to a loose ball first and was denied from close range by Reynish.

Hertzog could have tied the game in the 82nd minute, taking a Tyler Ruthven feed and rifling his long-range shot over the crossbar.

The Red Bulls will be back in action against UNAM Pumas at Chase Field in Red Bull Reto del Sol at 10 p.m. ET Thursday (MSG+, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3). They next meet the New England Revolution ine the Cup on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.

"It's quite an important game," Backe said. "We're playing you can call it the first team tomorrow. It's a lot of games now. a Saturday game coming up -- New England. I'm just hoping we can stay out of injuries."

Scoring Summary:

RSL: Paulo Jr. 1 (Fabian Espindola 1, Chris Wingert 1) 75’

Disciplinary Summary:

NY: Leobardo Alvarez (caution) 33’

New York Red Bulls – Jeremy Vuolo (GK), Jonathan Borrajo, Tyler Ruthven*, Leobardo Alvarez*, Connor Lade (Andrew Welker* 86’), Brandon Barklage* (Willis Forko* 81’), Ryan Maduro* (Jose Angulo* 46’), Victor Palsson, Mehdi Ballouchy, Corey Hertzog, Jhonny Arteaga (Giorgi Chirgadze* 71’)

Substitute Not Used: Philip Tuttle*

Real Salt Lake – Kyle Reynish (GK), Terukazu Tanaka (Tony Beltran 61’), Leone Cruz (Jamison Olave 66’), Carlos Salcedo (Chris Schuler 66’), Lance Laing (Diogo de Almeida 46’, Chris Wingert 61’), Nico Muniz (Luis Gil 66’), Yordany Alvarez (Kyle Beckerman 66’), Sebastian Velasquez, Enzo Martinez (Ned Grabavoy 66’), Emiliano Bonfigli (Paulo Jr. 66’), Cody Arnoux (Fabian Espindola 66’)

Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando, Lalo Fernandez

* - Guest Player

Attendance: 5,547
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