Coming off of the midweek loss to the Chicago Fire, fans of the New York Red Bulls could be forgiven for being a little worried. They were exposed by the speed of a Chicago team that is one of the worst teams in 2015. D.C. United were still without Fabian Espindola and goalkeeper Bill Hamid was nursing an injury. The settings were ripe for a "trap game", except the Red Bulls would not fall for it.
The Red Bulls came out flying in the first half, looking to get an early goal on a D.C. that leaks goals in the first 15 minutes. The visitors were able to hold off, but not long enough. Kemar Lawrence put in a 30 yard pass to Bradley Wright-Phillips who spotted a streaking Lloyd Sam. Sam put one past Hamid to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Bradley would make it 2-0 minutes before halftime when he volleyed a Mike Grella cross into the near top corner. It was a shot that Hamid had no chance in stopping. The 2nd half was a little calmer with the Red Bulls only scoring in the 64th minute when Bradley Wright-Phillips beat an offside trap and was basically unchallenged in scoring his second goal of the game.
Bradley Wright-Phillips' 2 goals and assist tonight put him at 20 combined goals and assists on the season (13 G, 7 A). This is his second straight year reaching the mark after he hit 29 last year (27 G, 2 A).
This was probably one of Sacha Kljestan's best games for the Red Bulls. He didn't score or record an assist, but he was a play maker tonight. It was the most complete game for him this year and a sign of what the Red Bulls can have at the center of the midfield if he stays healthy.
When Miazga leaves to join the United States U-23 camp ahead of Olympic Qualifying, the Red Bulls will miss him. He's taken over (probably) as the leader of the back line. He's the rock in front of Robles and the Red Bulls will have a hard time replacing him.