New York Red Bulls' Gonzalo Veron (white jersey) in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League action against visiting Antigua GFC on August 3, 2016, in Harrison, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
HARRISON, New Jersey -- After a year of frustration, Gonzalo Veron just might be coming into his own with the New York Red Bulls.
In Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Antigua GFC, the Argentine midfielder-forward did not score. Yet, he played well enough to be named to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Best XI of the week.
On Sunday, Veron came off the bench to replace the injured Bradley Wright-Phillips and tallied the first goal in a wild, 2-2 MLS draw at the LA Galaxy.
With the heart of their SCCL schedule coming up, the Red Bulls will need the 26-year-old to be on his game. New York travels to El Salvador for meeting with Alianza on August 16.
"You work during the week to be ready if you are called upon," Veron commented. "I came in, had to do what was needed, and I think it came out well. What is important is that the whole team does great and I think we did against a great rival like the Galaxy."
Veron’s second goal of the season gave the Red Bulls into a 1-0 lead in the 68th minute, chipping a Sacha Kljestan pass over goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
"Gonzalo took the run amazingly well," remarked Kljestan. "He is very good at that so I was able to look up and find him. The finish was a 10 out of 10 because it is not easy coming on his left foot and the goalie coming out."
The Red Bulls increased their lead to 2-0 before the Galaxy rallied in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
New York twice has squandered two-goal road advantages within the past month.
"It's what happens to many teams, you start to play in the back more trying to protect the lead but that is what we have to do less of," Veron finished. "We have to learn to end games better by protecting the ball and moving the ball and playing vertically especially when there are five minutes left in the game."