Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BRADENTON, FL — Two days after suffering a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on a penalty kick, the Puerto Rico Islanders played to a scoreless 0-0 tie against Red Bull New York at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL Monday afternoon.

Gaudette led Islanders in shutout performance (Josh Devins)The Red Bulls had a number of chances to go ahead in the first half. Four minutes in, former USL-1 forward Macoumba Kandji darted past his defender on the left wing before playing a dangerous cross that was booted away. Fifteen minutes later, Kandji again found space on the left side and passed it to a wide open Lionel St. Preux, but the trialist put the ball over the bar.

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Puerto Rico’s best chance of the match came in the 14th minute. Sandy Gbandi was able to create space on the right side of the penalty box and his deflected shot was punched away by goalkeeper Danny Cepero. Former Vancouver Whitecaps forward Nicholas Addlery was on hand to hit in the rebound, but a Carlos Mendes block prevented the Islanders from putting their names on the scoresheet.

Both teams switched up their lineups at halftime and three minutes into the second half, Andres Cabrero forced Cepero to make a diving stop in front of the left post.

Nine minutes later, Red Bulls midfielder Jeremy Hall was open at the top of the 18-yard box and had his shot parried away.

New York had two chances to take the lead in the 71st minute. Defender Ryan Mirsky was able to knock the ball to forward John Wolyniec, whose goal-bound header was cleared off the line. Moments later, Juan Manuel Perez Bernal was slipped through on goal but his shot was saved.

Puerto Rico’s opening preseason contest against the Fire was decided on an eighth-minute penalty kick converted by Brian McBride.



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