It only took roughly thirty seconds for Bradley Wright-Phillips to answer any questions anyone may have had about his recent injury dampening his amazing scoring streak. The answer was no, with an exclamation point. After just half a minute of play, Lloyd Sam, along with the rest of the New York Red Bulls, charged down the right side of the field where he passed the ball off to Chris Duvall. Duval quickly got the ball back to Sam, who found Wright-Phillips sitting open just outside the six yard box. Unable to find his shot, BWP dished off to rookie defender Ambroise Oyongo who unleashed a bullet straight at Seattle Sounders' keeper Stefan Frei, who parried the shot away only to have a perfectly placed BWP slot the rebound home. Red Bull Arena exploded and wouldn't quiet down for the remainder of the match. The tone had been set early, and it would ring to the beat of BWP for the majority of the night.
It can't be ignored that the Sounders were playing tired. They came into Red Bull Arena just three days after playing a full, 120 minute thriller of a US Open Cup final in Chester, PA. Their decision to prioritize that match paid off insofar as the USOC, but cost them last night in Harrison. Still, the visiting side wasn't without their chances. One time Red Bull Kenny Cooper had a clear opportunity on goal in the eleventh minute, but instead of putting the close range shot on frame, he decided to deliver the ball up to the second level seats. Cooper would have another close call in the twenty-eighth minute after heading a corner kick off of woodwork and out of of play.
After going into the half with the Red Bulls up 1-0, it was clear that the scoring wasn't over. Wright-Phillips proved that point in the fifty-fourth minute and then again in the fifty-sixth. The first, a penalty kick, came after Lloyd Sam torched Dylan Remick on the right side. Sam made his run into the penalty area and Remick decided to drag him down. The ref pointed at the spot and BWP converted for his second on the night. The hat trick would be completed just two minutes later, when Roy Miller put a perfectly placed cross right in BWP's sweet spot. The league leading scorer easily put the shot away and earned his third hat trick on the season.
Minutes after his third goal, Bradley Wright-Phillips was subbed out for Tim Cahill. The Sounders made some subs of their own, deciding to put in power duo Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. The substitutes for both teams would make their marks.
Dempsey would pull one back for Seattle just minutes after entering the game. The United States captain found himself unmarked close to goal in the sixty-second minute. If you give someone of Dempsey's quality that much space, he's going to punish you.
Fortunately, Tim Cahill would bring the lead back to three when his low shot to the bottom right corner would bounce off woodwork and into the back of the net.
The final whistle blew and the New York Red Bulls walked off the pitch with their third home win in a row. All three against top teams in the league. The streak greatly improves RBNY's chances of making the playoffs and the confidence gained couldn't have come at a better time in the season. Next up, the Red Bulls will face CD Fas in El Salvador on Wednesday night for their second meeting of the CONCACAF Champions league. Then the team flies to Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy on Sunday night.