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Home Sweep Home! - New York Red Bulls player ratings: vs Chicago Fire; MLS 2017, Week 9

The fortress stood firm against one of the better midfields in MLS, allowing the Red Bulls to claim all nine points from a three-game home stretch.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

By the time the Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena on May 14 for a showdown with LA Galaxy, it will be a full 13 months since the team last saw defeat in an MLS regular season home game.

Saturday night's match against the Chicago Fire promised to be their most challenging home match so far, and it took a big effort from the defense to keep the net clean as long as it did.

After a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal in the 37th minute, Dax McCarty (naturally) gave an assist to Nemanja Nikolic to equalize early in the second half - ending the Red Bulls' four-game streak of clean sheets at Red Bull Arena. But Kemar Lawrence, like the star he's been for the team all year, reclaimed the lead with a goal in the 71st minute

All of the signs were there for another blown lead though: Dax McCarty playing his former team, infamous referee Hilario Grajeda officiating, missed opportunities left and right, close calls on defense, and more. Yet, in what has been the Red Bulls' recent fashion for the first quarter of the season, they managed to retain the lead and leave with a win - their third straight at Red Bull Arena - and extended their unbeaten home streak to 19 games.

Here are the RBNY player ratings vs Chicago:

Luis Robles - 6

He needed a lot of help from other players when balls slipped past him in the box.

Kemar Lawrence - 8

Easily the MVP of the team so far. The team will need to shell out a lot of cash to keep him in Harrison next year.

Aaron Long - 7

Damien Perrinelle - 6

Connor Lade - 7

Tyler Adams - 7

BWP really needs to take Adams under his wing and start teaching him how to shoot properly.

Felipe - 6

Daniel Royer - 6

Sacha Kljestan -5

Kljestan seemed a lot slower on Saturday, rarely winning any fights for the ball in the second half and becoming a liability in the final third.

Alex Muyl - 5

Muyl's hot streak seemed to come to an end on Saturday. Perhaps that will open the door for Gonzalo Veron or Fredrik Gulbrandsen to reclaim a spot in the starting XI.

Bradley Wright-Phillips - 7

One has to wonder if this team might be undefeated if they had kept BWP in the 4-2-3-1 all season...

Subs:

Gonzalo Veron - 4 (for Muyl)

Aside from some clever ball control tactics with Felipe in added time, Veron didn't look good at all in his first MLS appearance this season.

Fredrik Gulbrandsen - 5 (for Wright-Phillips)

Sean Davis - n/a (for Kljestan)

Came in at stoppage time to replace Kljestan, didn't get a chance to do much.

*

The coming week will be an entirely new challenge for the Red Bulls this year, as they go on the road to take on Sporting KC this Wednesday, followed by a trip to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Sporting is unbeaten at home this season and Philadelphia will be desperate for its first win of the year. With a lot of travel and limited recovery time between games, RBNY is expected to lean heavily on its squad depth to get through this tight spot in the schedule.

But with the way the team has played since returning to the 4-2-3-1 - six goals scored, two goals allowed - getting points on the road should not be as difficult as it was last season... hopefully.