This was going to be a strange evening as the Red Bulls found themselves in a tight pickle, but when it counted the most this side found a way to get the full three points as they earned a comeback victory over Sporting Kansas City by a final of three goals to two.
Marc Rzatkowski has been up and down abit this season when he is a starter, coming off the bench or not making the eighteen man game roster. But on a night where he was truly needed, he came up big and scored two monster goals for the win.
After subbing into the match for Alejandro Romero Gamarra in the 60th minute he started to make some runs and tried to be dynamic. When he saw Tyler Adams getting to the near side of the area, Rzatkowski gets to the top of the area and pounded it home.
He buried the ball inside the far post where Tim Melia couldn’t get to it and Red Bull Arena roared with delight. Then he earned his second of the night as the Arena went banana’s for the match winner.
Seven minutes later Adams and Sean Davis were passing the ball around to each other and were trying to find a good spot to try and get a shot on frame. Davis saw Rzatkowski walking back to the middle of the field and just in front of the area.
All Rzatkowski did was take a step or two towards the area and he ripped a bending ball that was rising to the upper far corner and while Melia did get his fingertips on the ball, he couldn’t get enough on it and the ball splashes the back of the net.
“It means a lot for me and I’m really happy for the whole team, but for sure for me. Without the whole team being there for me it’s not a good night getting those two goals.” said Rzatkowski.
“There were a lot of ups and downs for me this season. I had some good games, but the injuries, was not coming into my game so I wanted to show what I can I know what I can do.”
The Red Bulls were able to get on the score sheet first as Bradley Wright-Phillips was able to convert his twelfth of the season on a chip shot past Tim Melia in the fourth minute. But sadly the original call on that play was offside.
VAR assistant referee Matthew Franz contacted Kevin Stott thru his ear piece and informed him that they are checking to see if there was an error. On the replays there was as the pass by Kaku shows BWP to be behind the last defender so he was onside.
After getting the necessary information and not walking over to the monitor to have a look for himself, Stott made the video motion with his fingers and allowed the goal to stand. Bradley Wright-Phillips is now two goals away from reaching a century of goals.
But Sporting Kansas City came to play and they showed while going thru some injuries of their own this season on the backline, that they are still a dangerous side. Johnny Russell leveled the match in the 8th minute, then a half volley by Roger Espinoza gave the visitors the lead in the 51st minute.
But the first half was not played well by both sides as tackles were reckless, chances were taken poorly and something had to change in the second half. That’s where Chris Armas showed himself to do the right things and quickly made some impact subs.
With Derrick Etienne Jr. Rzatkowski and finally Michael Murillo coming on, you saw the home side looking better and attacking much better. After this victory Chris Armas finally earned his first win as a head coach in MLS.
“Yeah, I think even if you took the goals out of the first half, we got stretched a bit and we were late to some plays. Obviously they are a good passing team, best in the league. Best at switching fields and if we are late to plays, it costs us a lot of running on a really hot and humid day. We had to address that at half time. But yeah, we had a lot of dirty running the first half.” said Armas
(on the Substitutions) “Listen, tonight’s demands were different from last time and the next game will be different from this one. As a staff, we’ll always look at. “what does the game need?” We’ll do our best to try to figure out what it needs and who it needs and when it is needed.”
The Red Bulls needed that win desperately and got it to fix whatever issues they needed to right the ship and quickly. Their next match at home will be another tough one as they face Brad Friedel’s New England Revolution.