The New York Red Bulls have finally picked up win number one of the MLS season as they dominated San Jose in a 4-1 victory.
Still in only their second league match of the season due to CONCACAF Champions League play, the Red Bulls went into the break trailing 1-0 thanks to a very early score by Christian Espinoza, but they rallied with a monster second half to earn all three points.
Alex Muyl started the second half party just six minutes after the break after Bradley Wright-Phillips took a shot from distance that Daniel Vega saved, but the rebound fell to Daniel Royer at the byline who crossed to Muyl for the tap-in. He grabbed a brace to put the Red Bulls in front with 20 minutes to go, another tap-in after Royer did hard work down the right and his deflected cross fell to the far post where Muyl was waiting.
Wright-Phillips put the game to bed in the 85th minute as a brilliant touch at the near post poked in Sean Davis’s cross, and Royer grabbed a deserved goal four minutes later as he crashed home Michael Murillo’s cross at the far post. The win pulled RBNY up to four points on the very young season, with Columbus leading the Eastern Conference on seven.
Also of note, 18-year-old Danish youth international Mathias Jorgensen made his MLS debut in the 86th minute, coming in after BWP picked up his tally. Jorgensen was acquired this winter from Danish top-flight club OB.
The New York Red Bulls’ comeback effort came up short in Mexico, as Santos Laguna rallied to defeat RBNY 4-2 in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals to produce a 6-2 aggregate score line.
Santos Laguna held a 2-0 lead after the first leg in New Jersey, but Chris Armas’ men flipped that on its ear within 10 minutes of kickoff. Nine minutes, actually.
But before we go any further, look. at this. goal:
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Daniel Royer had a fourth minute goal and a ninth minute assist for the Red Bulls, who got the match to halftime deadlocked on aggregate.
It all fell apart late in the second half, as a Santos Laguna goal forced the Red Bulls to push even harder for another goal.
Brian Lozano scored twice and Deinner Quinones had a pair of assists as the hosts hit the board four times in nine minutes. Diego Valdes and Jose Abella scored the other goals.
The first goal came courtesy of true Homegrown midfielder Omir Fernandez, as the 20-year-old Wake Forest product cut to the near post to slot Royer’s pass.
Fernandez was with the RBNY Academy from 2011-16, and played for the U-23 side and New York Red Bulls II.
Royer scored his goal five minutes later, running across the 18 to collect and finish a Bradley Wright-Phillips pass after Florian Valot started the move.
The New York Red Bulls didn’t need to leave it late (like DaMarcus Beasley and Houston), nor did the MLS side forget how to play (like Toronto FC).
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RBNY scooped up a 2-0 first leg defeat of Dominican Republic side Atlético Pantoja in CONCACAF Champions League play in Santo Domingo on Wednesday.
Daniel Royer inspired a first half Pantoja own goal, but it was Kaku’s looping assist to Royer that stole the show with an insurance marker in the 67th minute.
Academy product and former Wake Forest midfielder Omir Fernandez, 20, made his senior debut off the bench in the 75th minute.
The New York Red Bulls did the impossible. They held Atlanta United scoreless for a full 90 minutes.
The hosts kept their Supporters’ Shield hopes alive by beating visiting Atlanta United 2-0, ahead for good on a first-half penalty by Daniel Royer. The penalty was given after Chris McCann clearly handled the ball on a set-piece as Aaron Long looked to nod in a corner with his head. Royer sent Brad Guzan the wrong way from the spot to give New York the advantage.
They would kill the game off with 16 minutes to go as Alex Muyl timed his run perfectly and slid to chip the ball over a charging Guzan, leaving Tim Parker to tap in on the doorstep.
Atlanta struggled mightily against New York’s defense, holding 55% possession but only managing one lone shot on target out of seven attempts on goal. Meanwhile, Guzan had plenty of work to do, needing a big save to keep Kaku out late with Atlanta already down 2-0.
The result marked the first time since a May 9th loss to Sporting KC that Atlanta United was held without a goal in Major League Soccer play. It also means New York completes the double over Atlanta this season, although head-to-head record is not a tiebreaker used by MLS in the standings. The result does, however, push New York within two of Atlanta on goal differential, with Atlanta at +27 and New York at +25.
The win pulls New York within one of Atlanta, and each team has three games remaining. Atlanta has home games against New England and Chicago before a visit to Toronto to end the season. New York, meanwhile, has road trips to San Jose and Philadelphia before finishing at home against Orlando City.
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.
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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′)