Once again, you could have called it deja vu. You could have called it the same old situation. After coughing up another early goal to an opponent (in the 3rd minute of the match, this time around), you could even have said there's no way they'll break a jinx like this. But the New York Red Bulls finally figured out a way to fight through their problems, taking a 3-2 win and finally bagging another three points in 2016.
Cyle Larin, who scored hat-tricks against both NYC sides last season, got his fourth in two games when he beat Luis Robles off a nice cross from Rafael Ramos in the third minute. It looked much like RBNY was sticking to the script it has been following this season: concede early; lose. But this time things worked out differently.
As it happens, head coach Jesse Marsch confirmed the plan was to stick to the script: "What I told the team at halftime is that it was a similar halftime speech that we've had lately. Don't give the second goal away. It's coming, it's coming, it's coming," he said. " And actually, I believed it more at this halftime than ever because it was just impossible for us to continue to create such quality chances and for the ball not to go in."
If at first you don't succeed...
RBNY caught a lucky break in the 63rd minute and never really looked back. Karl Ouimette felled Larin inside the NY area, but referee Hilario Grajeda didn't see it that way: what should've been a red card - and quite possibly a penalty - wasn't given. Two minutes later, the Red Bulls had the ball in the net: a fantastic pass from Sacha Kljestan gave Mike Grella space and time to beat Bendik and level the match.
We all know that goal scorers can be streaky, we all know strikers have their good moments and bad moments. Bradley Wright-Phillips finally snapped out of his scoring slump, converting two on the night to put the club ahead.
The 69th minute saw Felipe send the free kick from the far side to the near side of the field and it dropped for Dax McCarty. The Captain made a quick pass to Grella who chipped the ball towards the far post and, seemingly out of nowhere, BWP got a boot on the ball for his first of the season - and you know how good that must have felt for the Englishman who couldn't buy a goal in the last seven matches.
He would earn his second of the night in the 75th minute. It came from a familiar source: his partner in crime on the right flank, Lloyd Sam. Kljestan, who was very active in this game, freed Sam into space, and the winger dropped a fantastic cross in front of goal. All BWP had to do was tap it home.
"Yeah I feel like I'm back as a player. When I'm not scoring, I'm not scoring." said BWP, " I go on the worst runs and I don't want to jinx myself when I do score. I manage to just get luck and they all start going in; so hopefully that's what happens now."
Even though Karl Ouimette accidentally put in an own goal in the 84th minute and allowed Orlando City to cut it to a one-goal deficit, the Red Bulls played solid throughout the second half and have jumped out of the Eastern Conference basement and hopefully this will kick start a winning streak.
Perhaps the lift the team needed came from one element of the club that wasn't willing to stick to the script: the fans. The South Ward has taken to singing Twist & Shout after every goal is scored by the home side, but there haven't been many goals to celebrate so far this year - so the supporters decided to sing it anyway. Before RBNY scored its first goal, fans could heard singing the familiar goal celebration: the team obliged by providing those fans with goals to celebrate.
"Yeah, well, what I heard when guys came in, the assistants came in and said during warm-ups that the South Ward was packed." Said Marsch, "They were cheering them on basically at shooting practice in warm-up. Basically saying, come on, we've got your back. Put it in the net, put in the net, put it in the net."
So now the club will have a short period of rest before FC Dallas arrives this Friday night. Let's see how the Red Bulls will react against a red-hot side with some of the most promising young talent in the league.