The New York Red Bulls' 3-1 win over Montreal Impact was important in many ways. It was three points against an Eastern Conference rival breathing down RBNY's neck in the standings. It was proof positive that the banged-up Bulls can still be competitive. And it also provided opportunity for one of the squad's new additions to make his debut.
Welcome to RBNY, Omer.
Three more thoughts on the Red Bulls' big win over Montreal:
1. Take a bow, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Not just for two goals. Not just for the nerves-settling equalizer and the match-winner. But for the fact those goals brought BWP yet another RBNY scoring record.
Congrats, BWP: simply the greatest goal scorer RBNY has ever seen.
(Congrats too to RBNY, for seeming to finally learn the difference between its own all-competitions scoring record - which BWP already holds - and its MLS regular season scoring record, which BWP broke with his two most recent goals.)
2. Take a bow, Sean Davis
Concerns about the team would fare without its captain - Dax McCarty is gone til September - are rapidly being replaced by concerns about how Sean Davis will fit into the lineup once Captain Dax is fit again.
For the second consecutive game, RBNY's stand-in starter in midfield scored a goal.
And he contributed to both of BWP's strikes.
Picking out a 5' 8" striker - even one who moves as well in the box as BWP - with a cross is not easy.
But perhaps his greatest asset to this team in this system is his all-around instinct to keep the ball moving forward. He showed three highlight-reel examples of that in this game: his goal, his assist on BWP's second goal, and the arrowed pass to Sacha Kljestan's feet that initiated the sequence that brought RBNY its equalizer.
3. Now we have to worry about Aurelien Collin
The last thing the Red Bulls need right now is another injury on the back line. Collin was withdrawn in the 60th minute after taking one hit too many in a match where he felt a lot of contact. The threadbare defensive resources of the squad were illustrated by the fact he was replaced by Sal Zizzo - a full back - with Chris Duvall sliding over from right back to cover Collin's place in the center of defense.
The Red Bulls currently have two fit specialist center backs on their MLS roster: Collin and Ronald Zubar. Now we must wait for the club's assurance that is still the case.
Early reports are encouraging:
No concussion for Aurelien Collin. #RBNY— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) August 14, 2016
Hopefully, Collin sits out the team's midweek trip to El Salvador for CONCACAF Champions League, and is ready to start against D.C. United on August 21.