Everyone hear that? It's the sound of the New York Red Bulls' coaching staff, players and supporters breathing a sigh of relief. After six weeks of frustrating draws and disappointing losses, RBNY has finally notched it's first win of the 2014 season. Much like last year, it came against the Philadelphia Union. How sweet it is. Now that they've gotten that particular monkey off of their backs, the Red Bulls can look forward to riding a wave of momentum into their next match against the Houston Dynamo, but first, we need to take a look at Wednesday's match and see how the boys performed individually against the Union.
Luis Robles - 7: Having put up more saves than any other keeper in the league, Robles is quietly (to anyone outside of the greater metropolitan area) having a statement season in 2014. From shutting down Andrew Wegner on a break away early in the match, to perfectly reading and saving a Cristian Maidana free kick, New York's keeper has been a rock between the sticks. Luis would have been man of the match had he saved Sebastian Le Toux's penalty kick. Sadly the PK rolled just under Robles' torso after the keeper read the placement of the shot perfectly.
Kosuke Kimura - 5: An average showing for the right back. Kimura had a few defensive lapses throughout the match but, all things considered, filled in nicely.
Ibrahim Sekagya - 5.5: If not for the unfortunate hand ball and subsequent red card/penalty kick, Ibra would have earned a solid 6/6.5. The former Salsburg defender has consistently put in solid shifts when given the nod at center back. Barring some mental lapses, Sekagya has loooked good and his game against the Union was no different.
Jamison Olave - 6: Olave is the heartbeat of the Red Bulls' back line. He continues to be one of the most consistent and important members of this team.
Roy Miller - 6: The early 2013 mishaps involving Roy Miller are getting more and more confusing as this season continues to progress. Miller's overlapping runs on the left side continue to be one of New York's more productive methods of attack. The Costa Rican left back may not be lighting up the back of the net, but his ability to provide an outlet, attack the box and create assists have been monumental to the Red Bulls in 2014.
Lloyd Sam - 6: The internet is running out of nice things to say about Lloyd Sam. He tore up the right side and banked his first goal of the season. So far, Sam is making a damn good case for team MVP.
Dax McCarty - 5.5: Maybe it's the nagging back injury, but Dax McCarty just hasn't looked the same this year. By no stretch of the imagination was this a bad showing by everyone's favorite ginger (sorry, Alexi) but something about Dax's passing game seems a little off.
Peguy Luyindula - 5: Easily the French midfielder's least impressive outing of 2014. Peguy looked like he was running through mud.
Eric Alexander - 7.5 (MOTM): Eric Alexander needed that. In fact, we all needed that. Alexander finally showed the confidence and quality that his coach and all of his teammates have been talking about for the past few weeks. We all knew it was in him, but with an incredibly solid performance out on the left wing, of all places, he proved that he knew it as well.
Bradley Wright-Phillips - 5.5: Now that Alexander has shaken the goat spotlight, it looks like it has landed squarely on the face of BWP. The English forward is starting to draw the ire of the supporters and some media outlets, but we're not so sure it's justified. Of course, we all want our forwards to be scoring machines, but with one goal in the bag, Wright-Phillips has done everything else you'd expect a decent forward to do. Give it time and more goals will come.
Thierry Henry - 6.5: Sure, Henry is looking a little slower....but can you blame him? At nearly 37 years old, Henry is still able to use his vast wealth of experience and "soccer IQ" to be one of the most dangerous players on the pitch. Take a look at the highlights and you'll see Henry working harder than most everybody else. His presence was felt in every area of the game.
Tim Cahill - 6: The rest that Cahill earned during his time out with injury seems to have paid off. Coming into the match in the fifty seventh minute, Cahill made an immediate impact by playing the exact sort of "running through brick walls" we've come to love. The Australian captain didn't hurt his numbers by hitting Lloyd Sam with his best Goldberg impersonation after the second goal of the match.
Armando - N/A: Forced onto the field after Sekagya's red card, Armando didn't do much to stand out during his ten minutes of play. He didn't get any cards, though...so that's something.
Jonny Steele - N/A: Steele played all of forty seconds. He didn't look happy.