The New York Red Bulls were coming off a big win at home against the New England Revolution and they knew with a short week and a lot of games that roster rotation was going to be huge when they took their very first visit to Audi Field.
But with an early goal and a hard fought defensive effort towards the end, the New York Red Bulls took home the full three points and defeated DC United by a final of a goal to nil. The magic came quick and somewhat easy for Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 2nd minute.
After a solid save by Luis Robles the Red Bulls started to make an attacking run. History was made quickly as Alejandro Romero Gamarra brought the ball up the field and slotted it into an area that BWP can get to.
As Frederic Brillant was setting up to defend the shot, BWP quickly shot the ball thru Brillant’s legs and just past the outstretched right arm of David Ousted to give the Red Bulls the early lead and become the fastest player in MLS history to score 100 league goal in his career.
“What a day to celebrate Bradley Wright-Phillips. He’s obviously a club legend but we’ve all been privileged, whoever’s spent some time around him-- this is my fourth year with him.” said Chris Armas.
“To just be part of his 100th goal, that it comes in a derby match and a meaningful one on the road, it’s a big win for him. So I’m really happy for Brad.”
But right after he scored his 100th career league goal BWP decided to pull off his red matchday shirt for a special white jersey that had #100 on the back. Sure he got booked for it in the 3rd minute but what a great evening it was to celebrate this milestone and do it against their most hated rivals.
“It was an idea that was brought to me and I liked it. I wanted to show the traveling fans the jersey underneath. It was kind of warm under there honestly. I got my chance and it was great. As soon as I got it I was relieved.” said Wright-Phillips
It looked as though DC United equalized the match in the 28th minute as Paul Arriola found his way to break through the Red Bulls defense. But VAR had other plans for that goal as Fotis Bazakos contacted Armando Villarreal to look on the monitor.
When the ball was played Arriola was already half a body offside and ahead of Kemar Lawrence. As soon as Villarreal walked away from the video screen, he made the VAR motion and wiped it out.
In the second half, Wayne Rooney subbed into this historic rivalry for the very first time and he tried to give an edge to DC United against the Red Bulls. But every time Rooney tried to make something happen, the Red Bulls defense was there to stop him or a save by Luis Robles.
The seemed to be exhausted towards the back end of the second half, but they continued to play hard defensively and Wayne Rooney had nothing to answer for. It was a fantastic job by the backline.
“I mean, we were already really tired at that point so fatigue was setting in and you bring on a world-class striker, it is always going to be tough. He makes good runs, he causes a lot of problems but we were able to keep him off the scoresheet.” said Aaron Long.
While it was a solid first half, the real work was done in the second half to keep the clean sheet and that’s where head coach Chris Armas was really proud of his side when they kept the clean sheet.
“At halftime we talked about them throwing a lot of numbers, naturally, 4-1-4-1. They got a lot of numbers up the field and we had to make some adjustments but for the most part we were able to deal with it.” said Armas.
“Inevitably, they sneak through a few times, a couple of giveaways on our end, a couple of plays they put together and a couple of random balls in behind. But our guys stuck with it.”
For Armas he is 3-1 as a head coach and tonight he earned his first win on the road. Another challenge is coming his way as Greg Berhalter and his Columbus Crew will be coming to Red Bull Arena and that means the return of Mike Grella.
It should be a fun time within a few days, but for now let’s enjoy the win and congratulate Bradley Wright-Phillips who scored his 100th career goal in MLS.