The New York Red Bulls knew that they had to shake off their loss last week against the Columbus Crew after a very poor performance in the first half conceeding three goals and a comeback fell short.
But they knew they were ready to take on a side that was very tough and dynamic at the same time in Los Angeles FC, the Red Bulls were prepared and took the full three points as they defeated the visitors by a final of two goals to one.
Daniel Royer was the hero on the evening as he converted twice as he found ways to get his tallys past Tyler Miller. In the 39th minute he converted in a very awkward way, but none the less it got the job done.
After Kaku was able to cross the ball towards the far side of the field and found Michael Murillo, the next move by Murillo was crossing the ball towards the middle of the LAFC area. Tyler Miller was able to make a save, but he spilled the rebound and that’s where Royer was at the right place at the right time.
It was an awkward scoring play as Royer fell down on the turf and when the ball came towards him, he did a low spinning kick that beat Miller and hit the back of the net. His second goal was a thing of beauty and had help along the way.
The match was in the 80th minute and the Red Bulls kept on pressing to try and get that second goal. Marc Rzatkowski was able to loop the ball and put it ahead of Bradley Wright-Phillips who was onside.
Many were thinking that he was going to add on to his league total, many thought glory was coming to BWP and he was going to get praise showered in front of him. But instead he found Daniel Royer who had the better positioning and scored.
LAFC though did find a way to pull one back as Diego Rossi who was harassed all night long by Michael Murillo found a way to poke home the equalizer. He got a great ball by Carlos Vela and spun Murillo around to bury his chance inside the near post.
But at the end of the day the Red Bulls found a way to defeat Bob Bradley and the high powered LAFC to retake the top of the East thru the Points Per Game Stat. After playing with Bob Bradley for four years with the Chicago Fire, I asked Chris Armas how was it to manage against him for the first .
“What’s it like to manage against Bob Bradley? Managing against Bob Bradley and his staff, we know really well, was preparing against Bob Bradley and his staff.” Said Armas.
“So on the day, there’s little adjustments made and with what they do and some of our pressing, we mixed it up here and there, it was really trying to really understand their team, how they can hurt us and how we can hurt them. There’s a lot to their team. You see how far -- he still continues to teach us as we watch his team play.
I think overall with Bob Bradley and his staff, we go way back. There’s such a love and respect that we have for each other, so just seeing him before the game was the best part of it. Just catching up for a few minutes, so for me, that was the special part about it. The game itself, you know, I was really focused on the game.”
But after the victory it was about one man and one man only. Honoring the fastest man to score a hundred goals in league history as Bradley Wright-Phillips was gifted the match ball he scored at Audi Field to set the record and defeat DC United.
He also earned a cap that commemorated that night as well as a personal Rolex watch that has his shirt number inscribed on the face of it, but most importantly he will be the only player to where #99 as the club will no longer issue it to anyone after him.
So did BWP think he was going to have this type of success when he came over to MLS and the New York Red Bulls.? “No, I can’t lie, no. I didn’t think -- I definitely didn’t think I’d get a hundred goals. I think, me as a person, I don’t think that far forward, anyway, but to have a number retired and Denis and Marc to be saying those kind of things about me is the last thing on my mind.” Said Bradley Wright-Phillips.
So after a big bounce back victory and celebrating an amazing achievement, the Red Bulls will now get ready for their next match which will be on the road at the Chicago Fire as Toyota Field has always been a house of horrors.