Scott Thomsen (pictured) helped the New York Red Bulls defeat Club America in a friendly on July 6, 2016, in Harrison, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch could not have asked for a better way to prepare for the start of his team's run in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) next month than its 2-0 friendly win over Club America on Wednesday night.
The Aguilas have captured the last two SCCL titles and are a perennial Mexican power.
"I don't want to overplay it because Club America is definitely still in the beginning stages of their preseason," Marsch remarked afterwards at Red Bull Arena. "You see a little bit of the style, certainly some of the shiftiness and talents that a lot of Latin American players have on the ball. But the game will be on the line in a totally different manner once we get to the CONCACAF games. We'll be prepared for a different mentality and approach."
Goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, who acquitted himself well in a rare start, echoed those sentiments. The 32-year-old has found it difficult breaking into the Starting XI because regular custodian Luis Robles’ standout play and durability, appearing in a Major League Soccer-record 123 consecutive matches.
"It starts to get us a major idea of the way that these teams possess and technically and tactically some of the ways they play," Reynish commented.
Former England international Shaun Wright-Phillips opened the scoring off a bicycle kick in the third minute, while substitute Dan Metzger added an insurance tally eight minutes into the second half.
"There [were] a lot of really good players on the field and their coach went out of his way to keep the good players on the field and to continue to put more good players on in the second half," Marsch said of Club America. "So they went after it. They wanted to get a result."
Just as important was center back Damien Perrinelle's performance as he continues to recuperate from a knee injury suffered in last year's MLS playoffs.
"It was great to see him on the field again," concluded Marsch. "He's still shaking off a little bit of rust, but getting 75 minutes under his belt I think was really good. He said the knee felt great."
The Red Bulls begin 2016/17 SCCL play at home against Group F rival Antigua GFC on August 3.