PHOENIX — The New York Red Bulls may have fielded their ostensible first team on Thursday night against Pumas UNAM, but Thierry Henry & Co. weren’t able to break through. Neither could Pumas, who also set out a first-team squad for the first half, and the friendly at Chase Field finished 0-0.
The Mexican side had the better of the chances, including two first-half breakaways, from Juan Carlos Cacho in the 24th minute and Martin Bravo in the 28th, that rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara was able to deal with. Red Bulls manager Hans Backe isn’t yet sure who his number one goalkeeper will be, but Meara’s performance tonight should nudge Backe further into his corner.
Henry made his first preseason appearance after returning from loan with Arsenal. He lined up alongside new striker partner, Kenny Cooper, and looked sharp in the early going. But like many of the Red Bulls players, he faded as the match wore on and preseason fitness levels showed.
The Red Bulls best chance fell to left midfielder Joel Lindpere in the 54th minute. Dane Richards scooted down the right side to the byline and squared a ball across the goalmouth, where a sliding Lindpere wistfully watched it roll just past his outstretched foot.
The Red Bulls will decamp from Phoenix to Tucson on Friday, and will face the New England Revolution on Saturday in the Desert Diamond Cup.
PUM: Emilio Orrantia (caution) 47’
PUM: Efrain Velarde (caution) 87’
New York Red Bulls – 18-Ryan Meara (GK), 8-Jan Gunnar Solli, 5-Markus Holgersson, 22-Stephen Keel, 7-Roy Miller, 19-Dane Richards, 4-Rafa Marquez, 2-Teemu Tainio (11-Dax McCarty 46’), 20-Joel Lindpere, 33-Kenny Cooper, 14-Thierry Henry
Substitute Not Used: 31-Ray Burse*, 44-Victor Palsson, 15-Tyler Ruthven*, 25-Brandon Barklage*, 3-Jonathan Borrajo, 27-Jhonny Arteaga*, 10-Mehdi Ballouchy
Pumas UNAM – 1-Alejandro Palacios (GK), 2-Efrain Velarde, 3-Marco Palacios, 4-Dario Veron, 5-Diego de Buen, 7-Javier Cortes (18-Emilio Orrantia 46’), 8-David Cabrera (75-Carlos Campos 46’), 10-Martin Bravo (64-Erick Vera 67’), 14-Luis Fuentes, 24-Juan Carlos Cacho (63-Alfonso Nieto 58’), 35-Eduardo Herrera (11-David Izazola 58’)
Substitutes Not Used: 13-Odin Patino, 65-Antonio Garcia
* - Guest Player
Referee: Allen Chapman
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Mark Declouet
Watch the New York-New England match LIVE on MLSsoccer.com Channel 1, 10 pm ET.