Red Bulls 1, FC Dallas 2: Kenny Cooper Scores But New York Drops Season Opener

The New York Red Bulls dropped their 2012 MLS season opener, 2-1, to FC Dallas on Sunday at FC Dallas Stadium.

The Red Bulls fell behind early when Zach Loyd scored just 11 minutes into the match. Blas Perez blocked a poor attempt at a clear inside the penalty area of the Red Bulls and played the ball over to Loyd who kicked it hard and low past New York's rookie keeper Ryan Meara.

Thierry Henry had a great opportunity to level the match with a free kick just outside of the area in the 44th minute. Henry's quickly taken strike beat the goalie but struck the post and stayed out.

Meara cut down the angle well early in the second half to deny a great scoring chance for Dallas. Meara's aggressiveness did not pay off in the 61st minute when Ricardo Villar chipped the ball over him to double FC Dallas' advantage. Villar was in on net after a turnover. Perez intercepted a weak back pass and then sent Villar free behind the defense with a deft pass.

Kenny Cooper got one back for New York after being subbed on in the 63rd minute. Thierry Henry played him into the area with a great aerial through pass. Cooper saw Kevin Hartman charging off his line and chipped over him a moment before a big collision between the two players. Cooper and Hartman were both on the ground before the chip floated into the net in the 78th minute.

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe started Juan Agudelo up front as a striker but the young forward didn't generate any magic and only one shot. Meara played pretty well in his first career start and made four saves. He can hardly be blamed for the first goal and the second goal resulted from a turnover in the Red Bulls' own half. Cooper had a very good debut for New York with three shots and the goal in limited minutes.

The Red Bulls will be back in action on March 17 when they travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to play Real Salt Lake.

-- For more on the Red Bulls 2012 season, stay tuned to our StoryStream. See SB Nation's Once A Metro for more discussion of the Red Bulls.

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