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MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

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That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

MLS Three Things: NY is red, Piatti is good, Vancouver is unlucky (video)

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A busy early afternoon in Major League Soccer has put three results in the books, and it’s fair to say at least two of the three score lines will raise eyebrows around the league.

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New York is red

Kaku scored a goal and registered two assists as the New York Red Bulls worked New York City FC 4-0 in the New York Derby on Saturday.

Patrick Vieira will be livid with his NYCFC squad, who was totally outplayed at Red Bull Arena. Kaku scored in the second minute and assisted on Florian Valot’s fourth minute goal.

Bradley Wright-Phillips nodded home in the 35th minute before Derrick Etienne Jr. rounded out the scoring with 11 minutes to play. The Red Bulls pull five points behind first place NYCFC with the win.

Check out BWP’s goal: It’s a passing and crossing drill.

Piatti stems the bleeding

Maybe it’s his station in Quebec, but Ignacio Piatti has oh-so-quietly become the most overlooked superstar in Major League Soccer.

As bad as Montreal has been this year, Piatti grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and dragged the Impact to a 4-2 win over a very decent New England Revolution side on Saturday.

Piatti had a goal and three assists, all of them primary helpers, and Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored twice in Montreal’s 4-2 win.

Jackson-Hamel was called out by coach Remi Garde earlier this week for his performances in the absence of Matteo Mancosu, and he did quite well in the wake of his boss’ criticism.

Shuttling the door

Vancouver Whitecaps are one of the best teams in the West, and Minnesota United is… not quite there yet. But Miguel Ibarra scored a 60th minute goal and veteran backstop Bobby Shuttleworth was on his game to steal all three points at home on Saturday.

Minnesota was down a man for 40 minutes, and scored their goal with 30 minutes to play. The Caps  outshot Montreal 19-4, but Shuttleworth was there with seven saves in the win.

Check out this one!

A(nother) Giovinco free kick helps TFC to 1st leg (video)

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The match in 100 words (or less): New York Red Bulls have the steel and experience to trouble most teams in MLS, and weren’t rattled when Victor Vazquez helped the visiting Reds to a 1-0 lead. An unfortunate but very legit penalty against Drew Moor sent the defender to the sidelines injured and RBNY to halftime level. The Red Bulls very much had the run of play until Felipe fouled Sebastian Giovinco about 25 yards away from goal. At this point, we can just leave that sentence there and know you know the score went to 2-1. The Supporters’ Shield winners now have two away goals heading back to Toronto for the second leg.

The moments that mattered

8′ — Vazquez gets the favorites an away goal — Clumsy defending from the Red Bulls allowed Jozy Altidore to the right flank, and the American striker walked around Damien Perrinelle before crossing into the six. Red Bulls backstop Luis Robles parried it back into the 18, and Victor Vazquez had ages to line up his shot. He did not mess up.

Sacha Kljestan had a chance at the other end, but Toronto resumed control. Marky Delgado headed a shot off the cross bar in the 36th minute.

45+1′ — BWP goes down under Moor challenge — Wright-Phillips took the ball off Delgado on the edge of the 18, and then hit the deck when he caught Drew Moor off guard with a short touch. Daniel Royer stepped up and cruised his effort down the middle.

All game long’ — Bono stands up to the task at hand — The penalty, halftime break, and injuries to Drew Moor and Victor Vazquez, seemed to shake up TFC. Fortunately for the Reds, goalkeeper Alex Bono was up for the call.

74′ – Giovinco free kick — Some time this summer, our own Andy Edwards and I had a discussion about how Giovinco free kicks from a certain area are either free throws or penalty kicks. Either way, boom.

Man of the Match: Plenty had arguments, including Vazquez, Giovinco, Wright-Phillips, and Bono. We’ll go with the free kick man, and let this stat be our tiebreaker.

Red Bulls knock off host Chicago behind BWP goal, assist (video)

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The match in 100 words (or bit, it’s the playoffs): In the MLS Cup Playoffs, sometimes you gotta go to the dirty places and get a little bit of luck from your opponent: An injured Michael de Leeuw and unfit Bastian Schweinsteiger qualify as the latter for the No.3 seed Chicago Fire. The New York Red Bulls got in close to apply the former, with Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan sliding into the box to give RBNY a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes of their first round playoff match-up at Toyota Park.

BWP also recorded an assist, and Daniel Royer and Gonzalo Veron scored late goals to salt away Chicago’s resurgence at one playoff game, ruining ex-teammate Dax McCarty’s Fire playoff debut. Now the Red Bulls earn two legs against the team with the best record in MLS history: Toronto FC.

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The moments that mattered

7′ — Lampson freezes, BWP goes BWP — Chicago Fire goalkeeper Veljko Paunovic rested his starting keeper on Sunday, and who knows if that played a big role in this moment here?

11′ — Kljestan goes to the dirty places — Sacha Kljestan is not going to be afraid of the big stage, and the former Anderlecht man did what was needed to give the Red Bulls a surprising 2-0 lead.

70′ — Royer puts it to bed — Chicago turned to Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 65th minute for his first run since early September, and the Fire also went to three at the back. That backfired quickly.

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MLS Snapshot: RBNY trounce VAN, clinch East’s final playoff spot

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The game in 100 words (or less): Just when we were oh so sure the Vancouver Whitecaps had solidified themselves as the cream of the Western Conference crop, Carl Robinson’s side lands flat on its collective face in suffering a 3-0 defeat away to the New York Red Bulls a week later. A win would have put Vancouver seven points clear (for the time being) of everyone in the West. Instead, Sporting Kansas City feature in one of two games in hand later on Saturday with a chance to close the gap to one. New York, meanwhile, needed just three more points to clinch the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference, which they did thanks to another standout, two-assist performance by Sacha Kljestan. The 32-year-old set up goals scored by Daniel Royer and Felipe to take his average to 17 assists per season for the last three years. Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged the other goal (assisted by 18-year-old stud Tyler Adams).

[ MORE: USMNT routs Panama to boost WC dreams in a big way ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Kljestan feeds Royer to make it 1-0 — Kljestan tallied his 50th assist in just under three seasons since returning to MLS, which positions him among pristine company. Royer still has plenty of work to do after getting on the end of Kljestan’s ball.

58′ — BWP dinks it past Ousted for 2-0 Wright-Phillips should be lauded for the cheeky finish after carrying the ball 40 yards, but the real story here is the ball from Adams. Watch it and feel safe in knowing he’s ready for the call, USMNT fans.

72′ — Felipe hits a laser for 3-0 — Make that 51 assists for Kljestan, who still had lots of work to do once inside the penalty area. The ball back for Felipe looks simple enough after all he did to keep it in bounds and create a bit of separation for himself.

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Man of the match: Sacha Kljestan

Goalscorers: Royer (33′), Wright-Phillips (58′), Felipe (72′)