Forsberg, Morgan score, Red Bulls hold off FC Dallas for home-opening 2-1 win

Emil Forsberg Red Bulls
Emil Forsberg celebrates his first goal with the Red Bulls, March 9, 2024 vs. FC Dallas. (Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls)

HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls’ star combination of Emil Forsberg and Lewis Morgan shined through the rain of a dreary Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, playing the key roles in a 2024 home-opening 2-1 victory over FC Dallas. 

Forsberg recorded his first goal with New York since making a high-profile move from Red Bull Leipzig in Germany from the penalty spot in the 30th minute, which was won by Morgan. The two switched roles in the 54th minute when Morgan doubled the home side’s lead in the 54th minute with an assist from Forsberg on the break.

The result clinched a second victory in three games to start the 2024 season for the Red Bulls, who have secured seven of a possible nine points.

Morgan, who was making his first start of the 2024 season after a lengthy rehab from a hip injury and offseason surgery, won the penalty in the 29th minute to create Forsberg’s opener. Defender John Tolkin played a perfect ball over the top from the left wing to send Morgan in on goal, but before the Scotsman could get on it, he was pulled down by Dallas defender Emmanuel Twumasi in the box to win the penalty.

Forsberg stepped up and coolly slotted his chance just inside the left post, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Maarten Paes, who guessed the right way. 

The Red Bulls out-attempted FC Dallas 7-2 in the first half while maintaining 55% of the possession. Only one other shot landed on target beside Forsberg’s penalty during the opening stanza — and it also belonged to the star Swede as his free kick in the 16th minute was palmed away by Paes.

New York nearly had a second off a corner in the 42nd minute. Forsberg’s ball was flicked on ever so slightly in the box toward the far, right post, where a flying Daniel Edelman could not get a touch on it. Had he, and the Red Bulls’ league very well could have been doubled. 

They got their second in the 54th minute on the break, sparked by a sly touch from Elias Manoel at midfield to play Forsberg on. Entering the right side of the box with a defender on his back, he slid a pass over to Morgan, who finished inside the left post with one touch from his left foot. 

It was Morgan’s second goal in as many games and the headliner of 78 minutes played on Saturday night as he continues ramping up to full fitness.

FC Dallas pulled one back in the 59th minute off a free kick from Jesus Ferreira — the US international sneaking a right-footed shot through the Red Bulls’ wall and inside the left post where keeper Carlos Coronel could not reach it. It was Dallas’ first shot of the night that landed on goal.

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