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Red Bulls remain unbeaten with a little luck in draw against Galaxy


Photo by Noah K. Murray/ USA Today Sports


HARRISON, N.J. – As the saying goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

On Sunday, the New York Red Bulls were a little of both, as they controlled the game before benefitting from a fortunate bounce in a 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy, which extended their season-opening unbeaten run.

Through six games, the Red Bulls are now 3-0-3 – the longest undefeated open to a season in club history. They also sit just two points behind the New England Revolution and D.C. United, which lead the Eastern Conference, with games in hand.

The Red Bulls’ bit of good fortune came while trailing 1-0 in the 58th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips appeared poised to equalize from inside six yards after a low cross from Sal Zizzo. Instead, the English striker’s shot was blocked by AJ DeLaGarza, which sent it back into play, off the head of an unsuspecting Felipe and into the back of the net.

“We have been working on the midfield going to the offensive part and I was lucky to follow the action and the ball went right to my head,” Felipe said. “That was the goal, I had to look again but I was completely lucky.”

Though it was far from conventional, the goal was a just reward for the Red Bulls’ performance. They consistently dictated the play throughout the evening, to the tune of 61 percent possession, and logged the majority of the scoring chances.

“For me, I thought that we controlled the game from the opening whistle,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “And for 90 minutes I thought that we were on top of the match.”

Despite sitting back in defense for much of the game, Bradford Jamieson IV managed his first career goal to put the Galaxy on the front foot in the 9th minute. The 18-year-old forward picked the ball up about 30 yards out, then beat Red Bulls’ right back Chris Duvall one-on-one before finishing with a left-footed shot across goal from 15 yards.

Following that goal, the Red Bulls had several chances to equalize before Felipe’s strike, the best of which came in the 13th minute. That’s when Sacha Kljestan found an unmarked Wright-Phillips six yards out, but the striker’s opportunity was a near miss, as Jaime Penedo’s left leg managed to keep the ball out.

After Felipe put the Red Bulls back on level terms, the Galaxy were pushed further into their shell.

Wright-Phillips forced Penedo into action yet again in the 74th minute, when he took a touch, turned an fired from the top of the box. The shot was destined for the top right corner of the net, but the diving Galaxy goalkeeper managed to palm it over the bar to preserve the result.

“Getting the early goal for them really changed the match a little bit,” Marsch said. “We were pushing and they were sitting back. But overall I thought that all the little tactical details we needed to do to be on top of the match were good. You know, the guys pushed and pushed and got the equalizer and we were a little bit unlucky not to find the lead.”


  1. I don’t see how the defending MLS Cup winners should be happy with this result. They basically played defense and hit long balls to Gordon; not really stuff to brag about.

  2. The harping from LA folks about the players they were missing yesterday and the retirement of LD is quite funny, when you consider that RBNY were also missing two defensive starters and are dealing with the departure of not one but two DPs, including, um, Thierry Henry.

    • True, they’ve been without Zubar and Miller since the first game of the year but Miazga and Lawrence have stepped in and they haven’t missed a beat. Those guys have both played really well.

      • True. I think the best take-away from this game, though, is that a good LA team didn’t really punish RBNY’s high pressure with sharp counterattacks. It gives me some more confidence that even as opponents come to expect it, the new system will — pardon the pun — have some legs.

  3. Billy? When u day Keane is an old forward, what are u getting at. When he’s on the ball, I’d stack him up with any other forward in MLS. He’s still a top shelf player.

  4. Kudos to the Red Bulls for remaining unbeaten,….but they really should have taken three points in this one. LA was without Keane (Cienfuegos, Ruiz, Jones and Donovan 😉 ) and really made Red Bulls earn the point. It will be interesting to see what BA does with this team when Keane is healthy and receiving balls from Steven Gerrard. Oy!

    This is the type of game I would have hoped to see Klestjian step up and make an impact,….but he was once again a bit of a bystander instead of a game changer. So be it,…it looks like he is a decent facilitator, keep it simple, stay in position, square and back, square and back,…a latter day Mike Sorber.

    I suppose the real credit do Marsh is with the back line. After six games, he has earned his salt pulling the back four together,…though a very steady Robles helps a that cause tremendously.

    Looking forward to Wednesday.

    • SK has been singularly unimpressive to date. I am afraid that’s about what we can expect for the season. All-in-all, a disappointing acquisition.

      • I disagree. Kljestan is a key part of the best midfield in the league. I never expected him to be a transformative influence, along the lines of, say, a Higuain, but he has been a steady and creative presence — surely a big upgrade from Alexander. His run down the right yesterday should have produced a goal from BWP.

      • Brain — We’ll agree to disagree then. I’ve been underwhelmed. I was expecting a high value target in the off-season transfer window and they missed on that. SK is not, in my opinion, a high value acquisition. Serviceable/journeyman at best. Nothing to write home about. He’s relatively tall so might be ok on aerial balls but I haven’t really seen any evidence of that so far. I’d hardly call him a dead ball specialist given his Roy Milleresque free kick yesterday and he certainly doesn’t appear to be a threat to run by anybody since he does not appear to have much speed. His passing has, in my opinion, been just OK. Albeit they play vastly different roles but SK suffers in comparison to Dax.

    • I’ve been a little underwhelmed by SK so far but it’s too early to evaluate this move. RBNY dominated this game and had a few pretty good chances to get a second goal. On another day maybe they go in although they were admittedly lucky with the goal they did score.

  5. Jamieson looked good – scored, worked hard and generally looked threatening – nice performance for an 18 year old. Miazga had a good game as well – nice to see some young American guys playing well.

    RBNY dominated the possession in this game, outside of the first 15 minutes or so of the second half but didn’t create a ton of chances. Fortunate on the goal but RBNY definitely deserved at least a point and arguably all three. LA will be a handful once Keane returns and Gerrard settles in.

  6. Not sure what billy is talking about when he’s calling Omar overrated. He has been rock solid for us and the Nats. LA is playing without 2/3 of their DP’s, Starting an untested frontline and is still managing to get results. Only thing that prevented us from getting the W was a lucky bounce of felipe. Ill take this result in this early in the season any day of the week.

    • Yes, my point is that galaxy could of won the game even though they don’t have keane, no more Donovan and Gonzalez is a normal defender that is paid too much cash.
      Red bull fans on the other hand are happy to see their team is good without Henry and Cahill and their fans were waiting for this match to see how good Red bull is but in reality red bull tied a half team galaxy.
      If you look down the road, galaxy will be a whole different team, while red bull might run out of energy.

      • Several teams in Mexico, Germany and some other Euro countries were willing to pay DP money for OG before he was given a DP contract by the Galaxy for this “normal” defender This normal defender also played in more games in the last WC that the other “normal” defenders on the USMNT.

        Both teams are in transition from losing key players from last year, but both teams are playing well.

        It’s no secret that success in soccer has always been win at home and get a result on the road. So I think the Galaxy can be a bit happier about the outcome today.

      • So who’s a better center defender.
        I say Ventura is ready to take over as he gets comfortable with kilns and he actually plays for a real league and real big club.
        He might just win champions this coming Wednesday and represent USA.

      • ventura has looked good, but he has only played in a couple of friendlies. He is still untested while the others have played in both qualifiers and the World Cup. Until he plays in a high pressure game against a tough opponent, I don’t see how you can say he’s the best. He looks to have good potential. Omar’s game against Germany was probably one of the best ever by a US center back in the World Cup (And I think I’ve seen every US World Cup game since 1990). I’ve been critical of Omar in the past, but you seem to be one of those who fall in love with the “flavor of the month.:”

  7. C’mon guys, to be fair to billy the kid, LA are also playing without Messi, Ronaldo, Courtois, Zlatan, etc. So can you really blame them?

    • What I mean is that the galaxy are starting a new era without Donovan, it’s like the lakers without Kobe when he retires.
      If you ask me, galaxy are doing pretty good without Donovan and keane is an old forward and Gonzalez is overrated and best of all, galaxy play in the crazy Wild West conference.
      By the way, aren’t you red bull fans crying about pretke and talking about life without Cahill and Henry?
      The best team right now is fc Dallas and revolution in the east.

  8. Well, I think galaxy did way better than red bull.
    They didn’t have keane, and gonzalez is not a real dp, just a normal defender.
    Galaxy is also playing without Donovan and the way it looks, they need gerrard just as bad as nycfc needs lampard.
    Dont forget the long distance ride, and red bull don’t play in the west.

    • If you’re going to dump your bag of excuses out on the table, at least have some plausible ones. “Gonzalez is not a real DP”? “They’re playing withoit Donovan”? Sheesh.

    • As a long time Galaxy fan I can say that I wasn’t happy with how they played, I’m sure Bruce Arena wasn’t happy, and I hope the players weren’t happy. They got thoroughly outplayed. They couldn’t handle the pressure, made a lot of bad passes and a lot of bad decisions because of the pressure. Although the Jamieson goal was a beauty, about the only other highlights were a couple of good moves by zardes, one a great cross that came to nothing. I have to agree with Twellman that they really miss Sarvas. At the time I didn’t understand the move and voiced displeasure at the move and I think my skepticism has proved to be justified.. The only justification in my mind was for salary cap reasons to allow for getting Steven Gerrard. As a result, the Galaxy has a lot of trouble holding their own in the midfield and you see the result in today’s game.

      • I share your opinion. Honestly, this season is going just about as expected for me…. they are doing just well enough to give hope that when Gerrard arrives, they will have the requisite talent in midfield to be a competitive playoff team. I honestly am skeptical that things will come together that fast, but who knows. I’m actually impressed that Arena has coaxed a few fairly encouraging performances out of the group thus far (though this was not one of them)

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