The Red Bulls got some much-needed revenge against the Montreal Impact on Saturday, trouncing them 4-0 while maintain a whopping 70% possession. The win all but erased the memories of last year’s losses to the Canadian outfit in the MLS Cup Playoffs and ended a three-game losing streak against them.
In the last three MLS games the Red Bulls have outscored their opponents 12-1. Five of those goals have been scored by Daniel Royer, who finished the month of July with six goals and an assist to make for one heck of a case for MLS Player of the Month (*knock on wood).
The Austrian winger passed the double-digit goal mark with a brace against the Impact, one on a penalty and one in the 90th minute off a Derrick Etienne Jr. assist. Michael Amir Murillo got his first MLS goal in the middle of the second half during a superb defensive effort. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Red Bulls blowout victory without Bradley Wright-Phillips getting in on the action, netting in the 85th to seal the victory.
The Red Bulls now have a week to prepare for a trip across the Hudson River for a derby rematch with NYC FC in what will be a crucial match for playoff positioning.
But for now, we rejoice in the beauty that was Saturday night.
Here are the RBNY player ratings vs Montreal:
GK Luis Robles - 8
Per MetroFanatic.com, Robles is now just 75 minutes away from passing Dax McCarty as the all-time minutes leader in all competitions for the Red Bulls.
DF Sal Zizzo - 7
It may be nitpicking, but nearly all of Montreal’s best chances came on a mistake from Zizzo.
DF Aaron Long - 8
Long will be waking up in a cold sweat for days thinking about that wide open goal he could have had that got deflected.
DF Michael Amir Murillo - 8
In his first start since returning from the Gold Cup, Murillo got a goal and helped preserve yet another clean sheet.
WB Alex Muyl - 7
Muyl’s recent form has been solid, but one has to wonder if he’ll be the first starter to get dropped in favor of Aurelien Collin, Connor Lade, Fidel Escobar or Keita once those four are ready to play.
WB Tyler Adams - 8
CM Felipe - 7
AM Sean Davis - 7
Will the minor knock Davis got in the second half be enough for Jesse Marsch to justify starting someone else at midfield against NYC FC? Perhaps Veron, Etienne Jr, or even Keita?
AM Sacha Kljestan - 8
AM Daniel Royer - 9 (Man of the Match)
It’s been six years since Daniel Royer appeared on the Austrian national team. With crucial WC qualifying games against Wales and Serbia coming up this Fall, perhaps Marcel Koller should take a look at Royer’s recent highlights package.
FW Bradley Wright-Phillips - 8
Complain about his declining speed all you want, but his goal came so quickly neither MLS nor the Red Bulls have a still frame of which body part hit the ball...
Gonzalo Veron - 7
Correlation may not equal causation, but every time Veron sees the field the Red Bulls’ goal total seems to double or even triple.
Damien Perrinelle - n/a
Derrick Etienne - 8
The Haitian Messi had less than ten minutes on the field but he made the most of them, finding Royer for the team’s 4th goal of the game and getting his second assist in as many appearances.
The month of July saw the Red Bulls playing even better than they did at any stretch of 2016, but not one of the teams they beat during that run sit above the red line.
That will not be the case in August as the Red Bulls play the final two home and away legs of the Hudson River Derby, home against Orlando City, and away against Portland - all of whom have beaten or tied the Red Bulls in their most recent matches. There’s also a TBD match against Miami FC or FC Cincinnati in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup sandwiched somewhere in between.
The Red Bulls got the points they needed to get back in the playoff hunt. Now they need to start avenging some more bad results from earlier this year to start making a real run of things.