The quality was evident, but so too was the rust.
Making his New York Red Bulls debut and playing in his first official match since last September, recently-signed forward Péguy Luyindula had a mixed performance in the club’s 1-0 loss at the Montreal Impact this past Saturday. The 33-year-old Frenchman showed glimpses of quality by getting into good spots and linking up with players who he is still largely unfamiliar with, but he also missed a pair of golden opportunities as the Red Bulls fell to a disappointing 0-2-2- on the season.
Luyindula may not have turned in a dream debut for New York, but head coach Mike Petke was impressed with the former Paris Saint-Germain striker all the same.
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“We saw some very good things from Péguy. I think we saw the quality he has,” Petke said after the game at Olympic Stadium. “I think eight out of 10 times, he finishes one of those couple of chances he had and perhaps that’s chalked up to his first real 90 minutes in a long time.
“But I liked large chunks of what I saw from Péguy today. His movement of the ball was very good, defensively he was committing to the pressure and everything, so it’s definitely something to build on.”
Luyindula, who replaced an injured Thierry Henry in the Red Bulls lineup, admitted after the match that he should have buried at least one of his clear looks on goal; he skied a shot over an open net after Heath Pearce teed him up in the first half and also was stymied by Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins on a close-range effort in the closing 45 minutes.
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But Luyindula was not completely disappointed with his or the Red Bulls’ showing. He pointed to the club’s chances created and edge in possession as to reasons why New York had a "very good game," and also admitted to feeling comfortable with his new teammates.
“They make me in the game very good and they help me so good and they talk to me and everything. It was a very, very good first time,” said Luyindula. “I wish I would’ve scored for the first game but I hope it will happen on the second one.”