Connor Lade

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MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-2 NY Red Bulls

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The games in 100 words (or less): Aside from the opening 10 minutes, New York Red Bulls dominated up and down the field, peppering Joe Bednik and easing to a 2-0 win on the road. Connor Lade became the unlikeliest of scorers, and Felipe finished it off smoothly with a free-kick. Once they took the lead, the visitors defended well under pressure. RBNY moved into third in the East with the win, ending a skid, their first win in nearly a month.

Three moments that mattered

32′ – What…just…happened? A lofted ball across the box came to Mike Grella, who ripped a first-time volley. The ball slammed into a diving Seb Hines, and the referee pointed to the spot for a handball. Hines’ went full-stretch into the block, and it appeared the ball hit his outstretched arms. However, after conferring with the assistants, the referee changed his decision, giving a corner kick and leaving New York players and coaches flabbergasted. It appears the officials decided the ball came off Hines’ face instead of his arms, something which replays confirmed.

37′ – Five minutes after the controversy, the Red Bulls took their lead with authority. A Red Bulls corner popped out to the top of the box, and Connor Lade charged it down overtop the sliding challenge of Cristian Higuita, ripping the ball into the upper corner for a 1-0 lead and Lade’s first MLS goal.

59′ – RBNY put the game away with a beautiful set-piece. Brek Shea brought down Felipe right outside the box, and set the visitors up. With Felipe behind the free-kick and Dax McCarty standing in front to shield it, the former curled it through the wall and into the back of the net.

75′ – The visitors needed one big save from Luis Robles to seal the victory. Cyle Larin came off the bench with Orlando City down two, and he almost brought the home side back in it. With a perfect feed from Kevin Molino, Larin was free, but he took a bit too long to pull the trigger, and Robles closed him down enough to save the eventual shot.

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Man of the match: Felipe Martins

Goalscorers: Connor Lade (37′), Felipe (59′)

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 23

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Week 23 of the 2015 MLS season has come and gone (where has it gone so quickly?), which means it’s time once again to break down the latest Major League Soccer Team of the Week.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 23 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

While goalscoring was down considerably from Week 22 (29 goals in 11 games, compared to 41 in 10), Week 23 still provided the thrill of watching the 2015 MVP-in-waiting, Sebastian Giovinco, bag his second hat trick in less than a month. We were also treated to the fifth brace of the season by goalscoring king-in-waiting, Kei Kamara.

Also delighting our eyes in Week 23: Cristian Techera’s first MLS brace; the continued maturation (and dominance) of Matt Miazga; Robbie Keane’s free-flowing play alongside new running mate Giovani dos Santos; and the save-our-ship heroics of Bill Hamid.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 23

Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid (D.C. United)

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Defenders: Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Kevin Ellis (Sporting Kansas City), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)

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Midfielders: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Cristian Techera (Vancouver Whitecaps)

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Forwards: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)

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Red Bulls snag veteran Spanish defender Armando

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After using consecutive draft picks on defenders, the Red Bulls continue to address their back line with the addition of well-traveled Spanish defender Armando Lozano.

The 29-year-old is a former captain of Barcelona’s B side, for which appeared 51 times from 2009-12, scoring twice.

Known just as “Armando,” his arrival comes from Cordoba in Spain’s second division. He’s also spent time at Malaga, Levante, and Cartagena playing seasons mostly in Spain’s second and third divisions, with some time in La Liga.

“Armando provides us with another experienced option at center back, and we are delighted to have agreed to terms with him,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a club statement. “He has played at a good level for many years, serving as the captain for Barcelona’s B team in the past, and we are excited to bring his leadership and technical qualities to our club.”

Armando joins a relatively-old backfield, with 33-year-old Ugandan defender Ibrahim Sekagya (eight matches) and 32-year-old Colombian defender Jamison Olave (27 starts). Kosuke Kamura, Roy Miller and Connor Lade are also in the fray, while New York drafted Wake Forest’s Chris Duvall and Akron’s Eric Stevenson last week.

One easy New York Red Bulls fix: left back

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Interesting thing about the Red Bulls as we draw a tighter circle around the cascade of folly and error that turned a potential road win – and what a rather fashionable one it would have been, at the home of the current Supporters Shield holders – into a loss that remains the talk of Major League Soccer this morning:

Sunday’s chief culprit mans a position where the Red Bulls have option aplenty.

No, left back Roy Miller was not solely responsible for the 10 minutes of mayhem that saw San Jose score twice. (Very “San Jose 2K12” by the way; we’ll get to the Earthquakes and what all this means for them later …)

Obviously, there is blame to go around. Goalkeeper Luis Robles could have possible done better on the Earthquakes’ 83rd minute equalizer. And the flagging possession out of the back that really got this kettle boiling … well, that’s on pretty much everyone.

(MORE: As problems arise, we’ll learn more about Mike Petke)

But left back is a relatively easy fix. And who doesn’t love an easy fix?

That’s because Connor Lade is available. You might remember him as the talented, energetic presence Thierry Henry spoke so highly about last year. Or, you might remember Lade (pictured) as the young man called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s January camp.

If Lade doesn’t reveal himself as the answer, I remain convinced that Heath Pearce will immediately be a Top Five left back in Major League Soccer – just as soon as soon as some manager moves him back to the spot where the 28-year-old veteran has made 35 U.S. national team appearances.

That would mean putting Markus Holgersson alongside Jamison Olave in the middle of the back line; Holgersson is a veteran, so that gets a little more experience on the field, too.

(MORE: Highlights as the Red Bulls fall apart late against San Jose)