Royer’s brace keeps RBNY in Shield race; LAFC winless in 4

Photo credit: @NewYorkRedBulls

The game in 100 words (or less): If you thought that losing head coach Jesse Marsch around the halfway point of the season would derail the New York Red Bulls’ bid for trophies in 2018, you were sorely mistaken. Marsch departed for an assistant’s job at RB Leipzig on July 6, and all the team inherited by Chris Armas has done since then is go 4W-0D-2L and stay within touching distance of Supporters’ Shield leaders Atlanta United. Following Sunday’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC, the second-place Red Bulls are just four points back of Atlanta with two games in hand. Daniel Royer has four goals in four games after bagging both goals (his 7th and 8th of the season), one in each half, for the home side. For the second time this season, LAFC are winless in four games and have taken just two of a possible 12 points during that period. Due to Sporting KC’s win over Houston on Saturday, they fell to fourth this weekend and trail first-place FC Dallas by six points.

[ MORE: Atlanta, TFC each blow a lead, settle for testy 2-2 draw ]

Three moments that mattered

39′ — Royer sweeps it home from the seat of his pants — Before we get to Royer’s cleanup job, let’s take a second to admire marvel at Kaku’s wonderfully floated diagonal ball into the box, with which Michael Murillo connected solidly. Tyler Miller couldn’t hold the ball, and Royer contorted his body to poke it home.

53′ — Vela picks out Rossi with X-ray vision, and it’s 1-1 — By my count, Carlos Vela splits four defenders with his cut to the left and the ensuing arrowed through ball for Rossi, who would have had to walk back to Southern California if he didn’t finish this one.

80′ — BWP sets up Royer for a tap-in — Marc Rzatkowski has very quietly been very good for New York the last month (he scored twice in a comeback win over Sporting Kansas City on July 14) and added another highlight to his reel with a visionary ball over the top for Bradley Wright-Phillips, who settled the ball with ease and roll it into the path of Royer for the winner.

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Man of the match: Daniel Royer

Goalscorers: Royer (39′, 80′), Rossi (53′)