To say Daniel Royer under preformed at the start of the season is generous. Through the New York Red Bulls first 20 games of which 17 games Royer played, he only netted 4 goals.
Bradley Wright-Phillips carried the much of the scoring duties with 15 goals over 23 games. It looked to be as if Royer’s previous season had been a fluke.
As a comparison last year he scored 7 at the 20 mark and 12 overall his streak of goals afterward stopping due to a knee injury he sustained. It started to seem that Wright-Phillips would be alone up top, with no one coming even close in helping him.
Royer rounding into form at the right time
After the 20 game mark Royer has come alive. 8 goals over 5 games with 2 braces. In the 2 – 2 tie against Vancouver Whitecaps Royer credits on fixing up small details in his play.
“I think it’s just about little things and details,” said Royer after the match. “I think I’m doing the same things as at the beginning of the season, I’m always trying to work hard and I know the opportunities will come and we’ll always create chances. I think I’m more calm when I get the final chances to score. But there are not big changes to the beginning of the season.”
Whether Royer knows it or not, his runs at the back post have been much more effective than the first 20 games this season. It is not a stat that is measured. However, you do see the results of these runs on the field, and that is a big key change.
Chris Armas could see the change in Royer as well, all the way back to the Red Bulls’ 2-0 win over the New England Revolution.
“Yeah, you know, Danny does a good job operating on the back post,” said Armas. “His timing is always excellent and he has a good knack for being around the goal. We’ve seen that many times now.”
Armas is correct. Royer’s improvement on his timing and his awareness of being in the right place at the right time, is something that has been severely missing form the Red Bull attack.
During the Vancouver game, the Red Bulls were down 2-1. A late chance set piece, wonderfully served up by Tyler Adams, allowed Royer a run at the back post to volley it and allow the Red Bulls to escape with a point. Armas once again applauded the work rate of Royer.
“Danny is always getting that goal for us,” said Armas. “When you need a big goal, he’s there. He’s sniffing out plays, running hard in the box, and having that uncanny ability to get on the end of things. Danny is inspirational — and he keeps getting better.”
Again Armas is correct. As soon as Royer regained his confidence, his scoring touch returned.
Will this return to form continue?
Save another injury, Royer should be able to sustain his current form. He will also take a major weight off of Wright-Phillips’ shoulders.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography