The New York Red Bulls won their second straight game under Chris Armas. It was rarely pretty, but Armas got the job done.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 99th goal in MLS, and Luis Robles kept the Red Bulls seventh shutout of the season, defeating the New England Revolution 2-0.
The Red Bulls put on a poor showing in the first half. The Revolution’s press caused them fits. Passing for both teams dipped to under 65%, and the game matched the weather perfectly. Moving Rzatkowski into the spot vacated by Tyler Adams showed some promise, but mostly fell flat.
Adams looked equally uncomfortable on the right side of the field, often drifting inside to his more natural position. The shift overloaded the middle of the field, and made the Red Bulls struggle to assert their position.
The best chance for the Red Bulls came in the opening moments of the match. Aaron Long latched onto a corner kick, but his header struck the crossbar.
The Revolution nearly opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Diego Fagundez sent a cross that beat the Red Bulls backline. Teal Bunbury managed to get his foot to it, but the point blank shot was saved by Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls came out a different team in the second half. They the showed cohesion they lacked in the first half, and it paid off in the 69th minute. Following a free kick from Rzatkowski, Danny Royer cleaned up the bouncing ball at the back post, finishing calmly into an open net.
Wright-Phillips added the insurance goal in the 80th minute. Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra floated a perfect cross into the box that Wright-Phillips deftly headed into the net. The goal rewarded the Red Bulls second half performance, lifting the team up, and helping them see out the victory.
The Red Bulls improve to 12-5-2 on the season and they remain in third place in the Eastern Conference. Next up for the Red Bulls is a trip to D.C. United and their first match in Audi Stadium.
One concern for the Red Bulls is the health of Aaron Long. The steadfast defender exited the match in the 65th minute and proceeded directly to the locker room. With a tough stretch of games coming up, and strong form from leaders Atlanta United, the Red Bulls will hope that Long is not out for any stretch of time.
Man of the match
Michael Murillo set the tone for the Red Bulls in the second half. His strong run of play helped lead a lackluster team to victory after the break. Consistently creating danger in the box during the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Murillo put the Revolution on the back foot, and they never recovered.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography