Resuming their league campaign one week after elimination in the U.S. Open Cup, the New York Red Bulls defeated FC Dallas by three goals to nil on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena, despite being down a man for the majority of the match. The win jumps New York to second in the Eastern Conference.
The Red Bulls felt good with their press early, forcing FC Dallas into mistakes. Then, in the 23rd minute, New York took advantage, with Tyler Adams beginning the run toward goal.
Adams intercepted the ball and ran straight to the end line, making a quick pass to the middle of the area to an open Bradley Wright-Phillips, who only had to do poke the ball past FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez for the opening goal.
The goal was Wright-Phillips’ 11th of the season and 97th career goal in MLS league play. He is just three goals shy of reaching the triple-digit milestone, and in only a five-and-a-half-year span, making him potentially the fastest player in the league to reach that marker.
But while it was a good night on offense, the defense was equally solid, following a 25th minute challenge from Daniel Royer, which was originally deemed a yellow card by referee Robert Sibiga, but two minutes later changed to a red card by VAR official Dave Gantar.
Royer, who was trying to get to the ball planted, caught the studs from his right boot into the right leg of FC Dallas midfielder Jacori Hayes, who was lucky enough to remain in the match. When Sibiga came back from the VAR Video Monitor to change the color of the card, Royer knew and did not complain.
With the defense needing to remain resolute, Aaron Long stepped up in more ways than one, scoring a goal that brought back memories of his first MLS goal against FC Dallas on September 3, 2017.
The goal came off a corner kick on the north side of the arena. Sean Davis delivered a good ball into the middle of the area, and Long came out of seemingly nowhere to side foot the ball, falling down awkwardly while managing to strike the ball in the back of the net.
When the ball was struck, it hit the ground hard and bounced right at the net, which surprised Gonzalez, who could not get to the shot. Down a man, the Red Bulls were up two goals at the half. When the second 45 began, they got their third and ended the night victoriously.
In the 48th minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips was hit hard and went down to the ground. Not getting the foul call from Sibiga, he decided to play the ball to Alejandro Romero Gamarra, who said after the game he heard Kemar Lawrence screaming for the ball.
So, Gamarra decided to give the ball to Lawrence along the far side of the field, and when Lawrence got close to the net, he surprised Gonzalez by shooting it short side. The shot caught Gonzalez while he was cheating a bit to cover the far-post, and the Red Bulls took a three-goal lead.
After the win – in which the Red Bulls thoroughly handled one of the top sides in the Western Conference, scoring three and down to ten – Marsch believed the game was a statement win from his side.
“I think what it was, was a show of our character,” Marsch said. “We talk a lot about our style of play and our tactics and all the different things we try to be about from a soccer technical perspective, but this was more about the character of the group, and their commitment, and their mentality and their will on the day and what it was going to take.”
“I told them that I think this may be – out of all the great wins we had at home – this could be the best win ever,” Marsch said. “You call it a showcase? Yeah, it’s a nice moment when you can see a team that is so together and so committed and is going to do whatever it takes, can make a coach proud.”
Next for the Red Bulls will be two games on the road, as the club will travel north of the border to face Toronto FC on July 1, before a quick trip across the Hudson River to face NYCFC at Yankee Stadium on July 8.