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Backe puts Red Bulls' win over PSG in perspective

New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe isn't getting carried away by the exhibition win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Joel Lindpere's first-half goal gave the Red Bulls a 1-0 win in Saturday's opening match of the annual Emirates Cup tournament at Arsenal's north London stadium. But Backe knows his team still has plenty to prove.

The Red Bulls play Arsenal on Sunday. The return of Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez to the lineup after they sat out the opener may not be enough to disrupt the hosts' famously free-flowing possession soccer, Backe said.

"We definitely represent MLS, and I was a little bit worried at the beginning before the tournament that we shouldn't embarrass ourselves," Backe said. "So today it was OK. It will be 10 times worse tomorrow."

Is Backe targeting another victory? Hardly.

"I just hope we can pass the halfway line tomorrow and create something," Backe said.

As Backe noted, Saturday's win owed more to the Red Bulls' tactical acumen and resilience than it did outstanding attacking. The coach highlighted the discipline of captain Tim Ream, calling his performance his best of the season.

"Taking into consideration we arrived late Thursday with a five-hour time difference and had leading players outside for tomorrow, we only had 18 outfield players — and five are young guys from the academy," Backe said. "The shape was phenomenal. Defending, defending, defending.

"For a U.S. team playing a team like Paris, I think it's a massive result for us."

Juan Agudelo, who at 17 last year became the youngest player to score for the United States, showed the promise that has led many American fans to predict great things from the Colombian-born striker.

Agudelo twisted and turned PSG's Loick Landre in the area to work an opening for a tight angled shot that goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu parried at the near post.

Moments later, he rolled a disguised pass between the left-back and central defender that dropped perfectly for Lindpere to calmly place past the keeper.

But with Backe having lauded his team's shape, Agudelo may make way Sunday for former Arsenal striker Henry — the north London club's all-time leading scorer.

It may be too risky to play two strikers against the Gunners.

"Everyone knows about the possession game Arsenal have, so we will have to challenge and charge the ball all the time," Backe said.