The New York Red Bulls are starting to get on a roll. After a big win at the Galaxy and a complete destruction of NYCFC at home, they traveled to the Rocky Mountains in Commerce City, Colorado and took home another three points by defeating the Rapids by a final of two goals to one.
It was another early goal being converted as Daniel Royer got himself on the score sheet in two of this three game streak and the set up was fantastic. The Red Bulls earned a throw in along the near side touch line and Michael Murillo quickly gave the ball to Bradley Wright-Phillips.
After a quick turn around BWP decided to cross the ball towards the middle of the Rapids area and out of nowhere came Daniel Royer sprinting down towards the Rapids net and stuck out his right boot to bunt the ball past Tim Howard for the early one goal lead.
An amazing stat popped up during the broadcast as the Red Bulls lead the league scoring goals within the first fifteen minutes of the match once the opening whistle blows and with Royer’s 2nd of the season, that is the seventh time the club has converted within the opening moments of the match which leads the league.
But after that goal was scored the Red Bulls played sloppy within the remaining forty minutes they used for the entire first half. Passes weren’t sharp, runs were held back and timing was completely off trying to get that second goal.
But when the second goal came it was flagged for offside as Derrick Etienne Jr. might have looked slightly ahead of the pass from Alex Muyl in the 77th minute but Ismail El Fath had his finger holding his ear piece and was getting instruction from the Video Assistant Referee who was Baldomero Toledo.
After many replays and views El Fath was informed from VAR Toledo that the goal was good. Originally the thought was that Rapids Center back Danny Wilson put the ball into his own net, but later on in the broadcast the league informed MSG Network that the flag for offside was incorrect and that allowed Etienne Jr to keep his third of the season.
“I believe the ball went to Kaku and he found Alex (Muyl) out wide in an early spot and when we talk about especially with me and Brad whoever goes up top for final plays to be ready for a cross.” said Derrick Etienne.
“So I knew Alex was going to put a good ball in and just be ready to tap it in and stay on side and I believe I was and VAR said I was so at the end of the day a goal is a goal, so that’s what was going thru my mind was to beat the last defender.”
While Jack McBean did pull one back to make it interesting towards the end of the match, the Colorado Rapids couldn’t get the equalizer to save a point and for the Red Bulls it’s their first win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since John Wolyniec converted in 2007
Hopefully the club has come out of the game unscathed as Michael Murillo injured himself in the 49th minute and it looked very scary. He was bringing up the ball along the far side of the field when he tried to stutter step or looked to make a play with the ball.
He dug his right foot into the ground and after he played the ball, he fell straight down on the pitch and was holding his right ankle and in a lot of pain. While he limped around, he was able to walk normal and continued to play.
Sadly he went down again later in the second half, but was able to get back up. It looked as though he stepped wrong and went down in a heap. Hopefully he will be fine and it would be a shame if he couldn’t represent his country in this summer’s World Cup.
But at the end of the day the Red Bulls are currently on a three match winning streak and it must feel very good for the boys in the locker room.
“Elevation wise they become a huge opponent whenever you come here because you never have enough time to adapt and you have to find ways to dig in and make plays.” Said Jesse Marsch
”First half the way it got the best of us was that mentally and fatigue got to us and then our ability to see plays and move off the ball and connect plays was almost impossible so we were on our heals a bit in the first half.
In the second half we made a formational change and I think that helped the game. It meant that we didn’t have to do many dirty running side to side, we can lock down the wings a little bit more, force them to play through the middle which was good for us to turnover balls and then go the other way.
If we were a little bit more sharper on the day we could’ve made it more than two, but it was good to get the second goal and you felt that was going to be important as they were throwing stuff at us.”
So now the Red Bulls will head back home to celebrate this win and get ready for their next opponents as they will travel back to Atlanta, Georgia and face Atlanta United but this time it will be at their new home of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.