New coach, last match of the year requiring a win, and that win has to come against Chicago. For the second time in three years the New York Red Bulls have done it on the final night of the season. This time, they did it in a house of horrors, Toyota Park, where they had not won in 10 years.
Bradley Wright-Phillips started the Red Bulls off right with a goal in the 8th minute. He was left alone near the back post on a corner kick. Sal Zizzo headed on a ball right to the open striker, and it looked like the Red Bulls might roll easily to victory. Sacha Kljestan added a penalty kick goal in the 35th minute after Kemar Lawrence was ran into from behind, and it looked even more assured that the final regular season game would be easy to get through.
Of course, nothing with this team is ever really easy, regardless of the season. The Chicago Fire made it 2-1 in the 78th minute when Gilberto put in a shot from the middle of the box where he put it in after a Patrick Nyarko header.
To make matters even more tense, while all of this was going on, FC Dallas, against a then 10 man San Jose Earthquakes side, took the lead in their match 2-1. This meant for the Red Bulls to win their shield that they had to hold on for a win, as a draw would leave them behind on points.
While the last two minutes and stoppage time were nervy, the Red Bulls, with the assistance of a Damien Perrinelle block, held on for the 2-1 win, and there 2nd Shield in 3 years.
Buddy, look, I get that you are good with the ball, but a few tips.
1. Don't take too long on the ball, no matter the defense, you won't win.
2. Towards the end of a game you need to kill off, go to the corner flag, don't go for a goal.
Right place, right time, you keep proving why we fall in love with you so much.
I guess we should play you guys at the end of the year more often? We seem to have a good place in the standings when that happens.