Metro again goes scoreless in Carolina
March 22, 2006 (Official Game Summary)

Charleston New York
03.22.06 · Preseason

New York Red Bulls coach Mo Johnston classified his team's uninspired 1-0 preseason loss Wednesday in the Carolina Challenge Cup to Charleston Battery of the USL First Division with one word: "Unacceptable."

Battery forward Ben Hollingsworth put the home side on score sheet in the 14th minute after running through the Red Bulls three-man back line and awkwardly sidefooting the ball past a closing Tony Meola. Meola did manage to get a piece of the ball with his right foot, but it wasn't enough to push the ball wide as Red Bulls defenders stood watching as the ball rolled ever so slowly before stopping just over the goal line.

Johnston came into the game hoping for positive results from his three-man back line experiment. Things didn't turn out the way he had hoped. "We got bit playing three in the back tonight," Johnston said. "That's all there is to it."

But it wasn't only the defense that let the Red Bulls down. The absence of any continuity in the New York midfield resulted with both Youri Djorkaeff and running mate Eddie Gaven having to drop deep into the midfield to collect the ball, which made the bunkering tactic the Battery employed for most of the match almost unnecessary until the final 20 minutes.

"We gave up an easy goal and then we couldn't respond," Johnston said. "It's a problem we are going to have to address before the season begins."

With less than half an hour remaining, and the urgency to equalize building, New York did begin to put some pressure on the Battery. But with all 11 players behind the ball, Charleston withstood the Red Bulls efforts at equalizing.

In the 62nd minute, Amado Guevara nearly equalized off a superbly taken free kick from just right of the goal, 22 yards out. He looped the ball over the outside of the Battery wall, but a Keith Wiggins in the Charleston goal made a spectacular save, diving to his left and tipping the ball to safety.

Ten minutes later, Djorkaeff got on the end of a well-driven cross from Seth Stammler from just inside the right touchline, slamming the ball into the roof of the net. However, the Battery's offside trap left the Frenchman clearly offside and the goal was ruled out.

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