Mathias Jorgensen
New York Red Bulls

Youngster Mathias Jorgensen experienced one interesting New York Red Bulls debut against Club Santos Laguna.

When 18-year-old Mathias Jorgensen, the New York Red Bulls’ future, stepped on the sideline to make his debut for the club, the team had excitingly tied their CONCACAF Champions League series 2-2 with Club Santos Laguna.

It was in the 65th minute and under 84-degree weather, the teenager is not used to, and in front of a fiery green crowd of Santos fans, whom unless he’s been taking Spanish classes, had no idea what they were saying or chanting.

As mentioned, RBNY got themselves back in the series 2-2, hence there was hope that they would score one more goal to win the match. He could’ve been the one who scored that goal, perhaps that struck his mind.

What a time it was for the teenage Danish forward to make his debut. Jorgensen had to be somewhat nervous unless he has ice in his veins from the cold nights in Denmark. Perhaps that nervousness was mixed with a pump-up thought of, “It’s my time to finally shine with the Big Apple.”

That pump-up feeling showed. Jorgensen’s first touch in a New York jersey was a neat forward pass to Derrick Etienne Jr. down the right wing. He looked confident. He didn’t look cold from getting off the bench. One could’ve bet that the former Odense Boldklub player started the match, that pass looked like second nature to him.

Bradley Wright-Phillips’ replacement, the club’s all-time leading scorer, was born or we can even exaggerate and say a Red Bull legend, an MLS legend, was born. Or maybe not. It is silly to predict a player’s future based on his first touch but a precise first pass is a mini step closer to a potentially stellar career.

With Jorgensen’s second touch, it can be argued that he wasn’t all that nervous. His second touch was a fancy side-foot pass in the box. A kid who just recently became old enough to vote’s second touch for an MLS team was a fancy pass in the box. Impressive. Again, it was only his second touch, let’s not get carried away.

One can only imagine what was going through Jorgensen’s heart then, the match was 2-2, the team was pushing to turn the series around with a goal, and his two first touches were two crisp passes.

Just seven minutes after the striker entered the match, New York conceded a goal. The green crowd went wild. It’s only 3-2 on aggregate. There’s still hope.

Four minutes later, Santos scored again. The crowd exploded again. There’s still hope for Jorgensen to win this game in his debut. Or is there?

Three minutes later, Laguna hit the Red Bulls’ net again. The players were far from playing like themselves. The team couldn’t even hold on to the ball. The defenders weren’t marking. Santos’ netted their third goal in the 79th minute and the scoring was 5-2 on aggregate. There was no hope left.

As if it wasn’t enough, Santos scored again two minutes later. Not of the normal variety but with a “goal of the tournament” contender as Brian Lozano beamed a shot from midfield in the net.

New York conceded four goals in nine minutes after tying the series 2-2 in the first nine minutes of the game. It was one of the most heartbreaking eliminations the club or any other MLS teams ever faced.

It’s safe to say that Tuesday falls in the top 10 worst days in the organizational history.

What a debut that was for Jorgensen, an 18-year-old—his age cannot be stressed enough.

That interesting debut can do two things to the Denmark U-19 international player. It will either put him down and make him catch a plane back to Denmark. Let’s no go this far. Either the rough CL exit will bring his confidence and his game down or it will wake up the bull inside him.

Red Bull fans will hope for the second alternative. The match against Santos must serve as a push that will kick off the career of a future New York legend. The kid has potential. That was one of the few sparks of hope RBNY saw in their nightmare in Mexico.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.