When the first day of October came the Red Bulls knew they were starting a brand new chapter in their 2017 regular season. September has come and gone with all the heartbreak and pain it showed them all month long.
Finally after going thru the draws and losses that plagued this side thru nine straight matches, they defeat one of the tougher sides in the Western Conference and defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps by a final of three goals to nil.
The Red Bulls struck first in the 33rd minute as Daniel Royer converted his 12th of the season with some quality play. Tyler Adams attacks along the far side and he finds Sacha Kljestan with a nice pass to the near.
Then Royer makes his run and Bradley Wright-Phillips sees him make that run so he dummied the ball thru his legs allowing it to get to Royer, who bent that ball around David Ousted and converting his 12th of the season to take a lead into halftime.
Everytime the Red Bulls face the Whitecaps in league play, as well as the CONCACAF Champions League earlier this season in the Quarterfinals, David Ousted has been giving Bradley Wright-Phillips a lot of issues, this time in two straight league games, that isn’t the case.
58th minute and Tyler Adams once again is involved in a goal scoring opportunity as he sprung BWP down the far side and went into an attacking run. As soon as BWP got inside the Whitecaps area he caught Ousted coming off his line and chipped in his 17th of the season, 86th career league goal as well as his 98th in all competitions.
The final goal that would seal the playoff clinching would come from Felipe in the 72nd minute as he was served a good ball by Kljestan who attacked the net, but when he got to the end line was stopped from advancing to the net.
So all Kljestan did was push the ball away, sent it back to the top of the area and Felipe with a low blast splashed in his second of the season with some help of a deflection to end the evening on a positive. A nine match winless streak was also snapped by the Red Bulls and a relieved Jesse Marsch showed it on his face after the match was over.
“September was difficult for us and disappointing. We were all disappointed with the results, but we continued to feel that we were playing well. It was just a matter of time before we started to get a positive result.” said Jesse Marsch.
“It’s good to get the result now because it releases some anxiety about reaching the playoffs, but the key for us is to have urgency and hunger to improve and play meaningful matches once the playoffs come. So now for us it’s do or die time and that would be key for us in the next few weeks.”
In past matches in league play the Whitecaps have found ways to get ahead of the Red Bulls and dominate at the right time. Even though last season was the clubs very first win against this Western Canadian Side and some form of relief did come, this was the first victory at home where this club beat them handedly.
So officially this is the eighth straight season the club has reached the playoffs and since Red Bull Arena opened in 2010. This is also the fourteenth out of fifteen seasons the club has reached the playoffs since the final season at Giants Stadium in 2009 where they failed to get to the post season.
But with two matches remaining a possible playoff preview next Sunday as the Red Bulls host Atlanta United for their first trip to Red Bull Arena and if the standings remain the same, that means a trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Wild Card Round.
We shall wait and see what happens when the club that represents the Peach State heads up to take on the Red Bulls and try to finish off the season in style.