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Bradley Wright-Phillips hat trick leads Red Bulls in rout over Dynamo

Bradley Wright-Phillips


The big question surrounding the New York Red Bulls early on in the 2014 season has been who would step up to provide Thierry Henry some support in attack and a real goal threat.

Bradley Wright-Phillips made his case for being up for that role on Wednesday night, scoring a hat trick to help lead the Red Bulls to a 4-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena.

Wright-Phillips tapped home an Henry pass in the 12th minute to open the scoring, then finished off a clever side-footed finish off a Roy Miller pass in the 24th minute to give the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead.

Henry provided the insurance goal in the 65th minute when he raced onto a rebounded Tally Hall save to slot home his third goal of the season.

Wright-Phillips sealed the victory, and secured his hat trick, when he calmly converted a penalty kick drawn by Henry in the 86th minute.

The Dynamo looked like a tired team, having come off a Saturday 0-0 draw at Philadelphia. Houston stayed in the New York area after that match to limit the wear and tear of extra travel, but the Red Bulls still looked like the fresher team, having been off since last week’s 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Union.

Houston struggled to deal with Henry’s movement, and he found gaps in the Dynamo defense on several occasions. He was left unmarked in the 12th minute on the right side of the penalty area, allowing him plenty of time to tee up a perfect pass to Wright-Phillips directly in front of goal. The English striker finished easily to start the romp early.

Henry was at the eart of the attack on the Red Bulls’ second goal as well, hitting a perfect long pass to the left flank, where Miller raced onto it and beat Warren Creavalle before sliding a pass to Wright-Phillips, who side-footed a shot in stride past Hall to make the score 2-0 in the 24th minute.

The Dynamo showed more energy at the start of the second half, and came close to scoring on two occasions, but Will Bruin and Giles Barnes both saw their early second-half chances miss by inches.

The Red Bulls put the match to bed in the 65th minute when Hall punched away a Wright-Phillips cross, only to have it fall to a streaking Henry, who made no mistake with the finish.

Henry helped set up Wright-Phillips third goal after being taken down in the penalty area by Houston’s Tony Cascio. Wright-Phillips blasted his penalty attempt past Hall for his fourth goal of the season.

The win, New York’s second in a row, improves their record to 2-2-4, while the Dynamo has lost four of five matches after a promising 2-0 start to the season.

The Red Bulls return to action on Saturday, with a visit to the Columbus Crew. The Dynamo return to Houston for a Sunday meeting with winless, but dangerous, Portland.

Here are the match highlights:


  1. I think the scoreline may have flattered RBNY a bit, we were certainly fortunate that some really poor Houston finishing didn’t make it interesting. RBNY’s defenders spent most of the game yelling at each other, especially Armando and Miller. I wonder when Miazga will start to get some minutes. Maybe in the US Open Cup.

    • I think that it is very acceptable, Nice to see that a Kinnear team “built for the playoffs” has a real chance of not making them.

      Anyone else like to see more of Ruben Bover? — good to know that there is depth for the CCL.

      • I agree about Bover. His touch and passing, (even in just the minutes), were classy. Who would he replace though? I think they’re happy bringing him along slowly by putting him in the 18. He’s one for the future!

        We gave up a few easy shots, however, and if it weren’t for POOR Houston shooting it could have been a different game. But our possession was solid, creative passing with a purpose, and great finishing! I love my Red Bulls!

        P.S. Henry could play a few more seasons. He looked the most fluid and loose as I have seen him in a Red Bulls jersey!!

      • I don’t think that Dom builds teams just for the playoffs. That would be ignoring all of the statistics that put Houston and LA at the top of the stats for PPG, Wins, etc in the last 7 years. I think that Kinnear has assembled a underachieving squad in 2014. Driver, Creavalle, and Cascio are not playing good football at all, and the two forwards are completely out of form. I find their performances unacceptable. Not being active in the winter transfer window may have cost Houston the season.

      • I worry about some of the backpatting regarding the two runnerup teams since 2007. I think he can drill a veteran team to the playoffs but I’m not sure he knows how to win under the new MLS approach as opposed to the strict salary cap he won under. I think Kinnear underestimates the quality of attack necessary to win in the 3 DP MLS. I also think the defense is now not good at all, and so he can’t get by with fight.

    • Kinnear has a tendency to stand pat in the winter which generally results in slow starts and some years (2010) outright bad teams. I was concerned we didn’t churn the roster enough in the offseason after losing short of the final — surely you don’t expect to go further with the same people — and so I think the summer will be pivotal for us. Our results with Davis out are worrisome, and there’s a possibility he and Boniek miss more for the World Cup. If we want any chance of winning, we need to work the roster this summer….dump Lopez, trade some people, get some better defenders and forwards in.

  2. Just got back, great game. Hat trick energized the crowd. How often do you see that? Yeahhhh… Fans really got on Houston bah. Would love to see our stadium become a place opponents hate to play.

      • Then why not Haceknsack?. They might not be red, but we just love our Bulls! And we don’t worry about NYCFC…. Yankee Stadium is old hat around here!

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