(HARRISON, NJ) The New York Red Bulls overcame a wasteful first half to soundly defeat Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena Saturday night.
Daniel Royer, Michael Murillo, and Omir Fernandez provided the goals for the Red Bulls as part of a second half surge. Once again, two second half substitutes provided goals, and the Red Bulls cruised to a 4-0 victory.
RSL, notably, are led by Mike Petke, the legendary Red Bull player/coach that brought New York their first piece of silverware. Petke returned to Red Bull Arena for the first time since his controversial firing before the 2015 season. His return to RBA was spoiled by a second half flop.
The first half yielded little purchase for either team. The match proved a physical battle in the midfield, and each side created a smattering of chances in transition. Both Nick Rimando and Luis Robles kept the match level, turning away the few moments of danger they faced. The Red Bulls held the stats advantage, but the match remained level at the half.
RSL put the ball in the net first, but it was their own. In the 58th minute, Michael Murillo sent a cross into the box. Marcelo Silva got the final touch, sending the ball past Nick Rimando to give the Red Bulls the lead. The Red Bulls doubled their advantage two minutes later. Sean Davis found Kaku, and Kaku sent a perfect through ball to an unmarked Daniel Royer. Royer calmly slid the ball in the far post past an onrushing Rimando.
The offensive assault was in full effect. In the 64th minute, Sean Davis sliced open the RSL defense, finding Royer down the left side. Royer shuttled the ball to Alex Muyl, before Muyl sent a cross to the right side of the box. Michael Murillo received the ball, cut back onto his left foot, and fired a shot through traffic to find the net.
Omir Fernandez found a fourth goal for the Red Bulls in the 83rd minute. Andreas Ivan made a strong run to the right side, then sent a low cross back across the box. Fernandez ran onto the ball and sent a strong shot into the net. Fernandez had entered the match just five minutes earlier before scoring his second goal in as many matches.
The Red Bulls improve to 7-5-3 on the season, wracking up a 6-1-1 record on the verge of the MLS CONCACAF Gold Cup break. Next up is a trip to Talen Energy Stadium to face the Philadelphia Union.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography