This was the cure after a poor performance at Real Salt Lake last week. Jesse Marsch and his crew came home to Rd Bull Arena against a Minnesota United FC side that strung two consecutive wins, but downed them with a three goal clean sheet victory.
Alex Muyl caught Matt Lampson out of position in the 15th minute to give the red Bulls the early lead. Along the far side Kyle Duncan just passes the ball to Muyl and he did all the work. Muyl dances around two defenders, then got inside the Minnesota area and with a hard shot towards the back post, Muyl scores his first of the season.
“It feels good and it’s good to start off my MLS season this year. It’s a good way to start but it’s all about the team and getting three points after slipping up at Real Salt Lake.” said Alex Muyl.
“From my position to take that shot? I was clipped a little bit just outside the box and I decided to stay up and fight through it, came inside and saw a lane. I decided to take the shot and it went right into the net.”
Head Coach Jesse Marsch was very happy for Muyl’s performance tonight. “Everyone respects Alex so much for all the hard work he putts in and what an intelligent player he is and he’s one of the best tactical players we have. He’s hard on himself that he doesn’t put together enough final plays and I keep saying to him, relax. That part comes and I’ve seen him enough in training and watched him enough over the last few years to know that he has quality.” said Marsch,
“For him, it’s a lot about some confidence and belief in himself and slowing himself down to make some of those plays. Yeah, a very good goal and a very, very good assist. So you know, if Alex can continue to putt that piece together, then he can become a real complete player, which in many ways he already is.”
But as usual Bradley Wright-Phillips is on another level. Especially to the start of this season as he had to change up his offseason workouts to be physically and mentally sharp to start the league season as well as international club competition in the CONCACAF Champions League.
BWP was in perfect position to beat keeper Matt Lampson twice on the night to earn his 2nd and 3rd league goals as well as his 88th & 89th career league goals since his arrival back in the summer of 2013. Late in the first half it was trickery and a great set piece.
Marc Rzatkowski dummied his free kick at the ball which led to Sean Davis floater towards the near post. Then Tim Parker got into position to head the ball towards goal and out of nowhere it was BWP who lifted his right leg and flicked it off his right boot and over Lampson’s head.
The second goal came in the 78th minute and the two player who each scored in the first half worked together to end the night on an exclamation point. Along the near side Muyl delivered a fantastic cross that sprung bWP away from his defenders and forced Lampson to come off his line.
When Wright-Phillips caught up to the ball he saw plenty of room to the back post and when he hit it, the ball floated towards the back post and splashed it inside the side netting for the three goals to nil victory.
“On my first goal, great ball by Sean (Daivs) and a great flick header by Tim (Parker) and I tried to get everything I could to get on that ball. The second it was Alex who was in a great position and I felt I had to make a run and give him an option.” said Wright-Phillips.
“It took a perfect pass to get the ball in that area and just happy the ball went in. After the match at Salt Lake that didn’t go our way we needed a result like this.”
Once again head coach Jesse Marsch is in BWP’s corner. “You know, it was tricky on him lasted year because he had the baby in the beginning of preseason and didn’t really get to get himself going. This year, he came in really fit, ready to go. Obviously we’ve had to put some high demands on him early in the year in some big games and he’s responded. We all know how good Brad is.” said Marsch
“So it’s obviously a very good sign that this early on, he’s so sharp and so lethal and now the key for me is trying to always get the balance right so that we’re not running him into the ground and make sure that he’s fresh week-after-week, so you know, Brad always wants to play, he always wants to train. He’s one of the most amazing people to be around.”
After a night like this the Red Bulls have three clean sheets at home in all competitions, four wins in all competitions at home and are 5-1-1 to start this season. A strong start for the club and let’s hope they can continue this fantastic start.