The weekend’s most awaited Major League Soccer match lived up to the hype, as the New York Red Bulls impressively collected a 2-0 victory over league leaders Atlanta United to leave just a one point gap between the two teams.
The Red Bulls went ahead through a 39th minute penalty. Atlanta’s Chris McCann committed a handball on a set piece, giving referee Robert Sibiga little choice. Daniel Royer easily finished from the penalty spot as Brad Guzan dove the wrong way for his 11th goal of the season.
It was a deserved lead for the hosts, who had perhaps played their most impressive half of soccer this season. Their well-known press was as effective as ever, leaving Atlanta with few opportunities to do anything with the ball. They managed a few opportunities on the break, as Miguel Almiron managed to make some important runs. However, they ended the half with just a single shot, compared to the Red Bulls’ seven.
The visitors fared much better to start the second half, limiting the Red Bulls in possession. However, they still had difficulty breaking through the Red Bulls midfield pairing of Sean Davis and Mark Rzatkowski, who were backed up by an equally strong center back pairing of Aaron Long and Tim Parker. Eventually, though, the Red Bulls got back into it and put the match to bed.
The insurance goal came in via Parker in the 75th minute, pairing up well with Alex Muyl. Rzatkowski cleverly found Muyl wide in the penalty area, and Muyl quickly placed the ball to Parker in front of goal. From there, it was a simple finish for the center back, who scored his first goal of the season.
The Red Bulls had an opportunity to go 3-0 up in the dying minutes of the match, though Kaku failed to convert a penalty. Referee Sibiga awarded the Red Bulls another penalty for a handball, but Guzan managed to make a fairly simple save on the midfielder’s attempt.
Still, it was perhaps one of the most impressive matches the Red Bulls have played all season, particularly considering their absences. They managed to shut down one of the best attacking trios in the league, and did so without the suspended Bradley Wright-Phillips and the injured Tyler Adams.
With this victory, the race for the Supporters’ Shield is still in full effect as the MLS regular season nears its end.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The Red Bulls managed impressive individual performances almost across the board, but Davis deserves a special shout. Paired with Rzatkowski, he and his partner proved tough to beat for one of the league’s best attacks, effectively playing the Red Bulls way.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Parker’s goal capped off a great day for himself and his team, and was an impressive collective effort. From Rzatkowski’s smart pass to Muyl to Muyl’s well placed cross, it was a goal that encapsulated the strong team effort.
MATCH TO FORGET
Josef Martinez has enjoyed one of the most impressive seasons in MLS history, but he was entirely inactive against the Red Bulls. Credit belongs to the Red Bulls, but from delivery to finishing, it was not a strong day for the Atlanta attack.
Tata is overrated. Marsch clowned him in ATL and today was scarcely a contest. But everybody and SBI will still get a big throbbing nevermind because he once coached Barcelona.
When you’re out coached you should man up and shake your opponent’s hand.
who thinks mls looks like english football league one (third tier; premier league is first tier, championship is second tier and league one is the third tier of english football)?
on the field, i mean. the quality of play of mls looks like the efl league one, do you guys think so?
Yes, generally speaking the overall caliber of MLS is probably somewhere in between the high end of League 1 and the bottom portion of the Championship. The inclusion of older but still skilled European players and young talented South American players is why I would put it somewhere in between.
Physically and athletically, it is the same as the EPL. However, tactically it is English League One level.
in the final game this weekend, i wouldn’t mind if peter vermes’ side claimed all three points. if they want to lock up a top four seed in the west, that would be fine with me. at the other end of the playoff race in the west, real salt lake have been up and down and at this point i’d be much more interested to see what the galaxy can do with it if they can claim the #6 spot in the west in their final three games of the regular season.
nice piece, pardeep. enjoyed reading it, thanks for writing it.
red bulls injuries, suspensions & call ups:
Suspended: F – Bradley Wright-Phillips
Suspended after next caution: M – Kaku, D – Michael Amir Murillo
International duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: M – Florian Valot (torn left ACL), D – Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL), M – Vincent Bezecourt (right MCL surgery), D – Tommy Redding (shoulder surgery), M – Ben Mines (broken left clavicle surgery)
42 F Brian White
31 G Luis Robles
62 D Michael Murillo
26 D Tim Parker
33 D Aaron Long
92 D Kemar Lawrence
90 M Marc Rzatkowski
27 M Sean Davis
19 M Alex Muyl
10 M Alejandro Romero Gamarra
77 M Daniel Royer
18 G Ryan Meara
5 D Connor Lade
29 D Fidel Escobar
9 M Andreas Ivan
7 M Derrick Etienne
23 M Cristian Cásseres Jr
16 F Anatole Bertrand-Abang
where was tyler adams? in the article, pardeep says he was injured. he was not in line up. not listed on injury report. not on bench. so where was he???
He was supposed to play but during warms up he was experiencing back spasms. Was scratched shortly before the start of the game.