Second-string New York Red Bulls stun Premier League champs Chelsea
HARRISON, New Jersey -- A New York Red Bulls team made up of mostly developmental third-division players scored four second-half goals and stunned Chelsea 4-2 on Wednesday night in the English Premier League champion's first game on its U.S. preseason exhibition tour.
Sean Davis scored twice and Franklin Castellanos bagged a goal and an assist to help the team with only four players who have any minutes in MLS this season upset the 2012 European champion and five-time English league winner.
Loic Remy gave Chelsea the lead midway through the first half, but Castellanos tied it in the 51st minute, 16-year-old Tyler Adams added a header and Davis tacked on a pair to rally New York and stun the near capacity and largely blue-clad crowd of 24,076 at the Red Bull Arena.
This is the third time in four years Chelsea has toured the United States before beginning its season and the second time it has competed in the exhibition International Champions Cup with several other top European clubs.
Using a starting line-up of several regulars and three players returning from loan, the Blues had the better possession and chances, outshooting the Red Bulls 12-4 alone in the first half.
Remy, who scored seven goals in 19 league appearances last season, gave Chelsea the lead when the Blues caught the Red Bulls on a counter.
Substituting liberally to begin the second half and inserting Eden Hazard, John Terry and Nemanja Matic, Chelsea continued to dominate the second half. But it was a Terry miscue that enabled New York to tie the match.
Castellanos raced after Terry's weak back pass to substitute keeper Asmir Begovic, who tried to clear the ball with a slide tackle, won the ball and scored into an open net.
Chelsea continued to push forward and Diego Costa glanced a header off the post in the 62nd, but Castellanos curled a cross into Adams on the six-yard line, who headed it in seven minutes later.
Davis latched onto a loose ball at the top of the area to increase the Red Bulls lead to 3-1 in the 73rd, before Hazard settled a free kick at the top of the area and scored in the 75th to raise English hopes.
But Davis corralled an errant clearance attempt by Ramires at the top of the Chelsea area in the 77th and scored again.
New York used a starting line-up more than half of which came from its USL minor league team Red Bulls II, a team which has won seven of 18 games this season.
The Red Bulls used a developmental roster after playing and losing on penalties on Tuesday to the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
Chelsea will play Paris Saint-Germain Saturday and Barcelona on July 29 before returning to England to play in the Charity Shield against Arsenal on Aug. 5. Jose Mourinho's men then begin their Premier League title defence on Aug. 8.