This matchup was penciled into the minds of the New York Red Bulls, as they were looking for any form or redemption, to get back some revenge when they got eliminated by Atlanta United in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Well when you don’t have Bradley Wright-Phillips and Aaron Long due to injury, then you go down to ten men in the middle of the first half. You get an unexpected gift from one of your young prospects in the USL Championship league and steals the full three points.
It was in the 65th minute where the Red Bulls found the back of the net, for the only tally of the match. Sean Nealis subbed in for an injured Andreas Ivan in the first half, he sprung Daniel Royer on a great ball down the near side.
When Royer moved into a good position near the Atlanta area, he crossed it high in the air, to the lanky Tom Barlow who leapt hi and was behind the ball. Found a way to turn his head on it, then it crossed in front of Guzan who watched it harmlessly roll inside the back post and in.
“Dream come true. I couldn’t picture a better day. A perfect moment. Happy we got the win and happy I scored my first goal. So, it was awesome.” said Barlow “I just remember it popping out wide and Danny making the run. When I came on, coach told me to try to get in behind and I was lucky to get behind the center back. He played a perfect ball and I was able to get my head on it. So, it felt good.
“Yeah, definitely. Scoring goals, your confidence starts to build. When I came up here, I just tried to keep doing the same thing and not change too much. The guys have helped me a ton and I’m just happy I was able help the team.”
But the Red Bulls found themselves down a man in the 35th minute, as it looked like the play was allowed to have advantage by referee Robert Sibiga. A nice ball was played to Josef Martinez and Tim Parker had to make a big run back defensive move.
When Parker reached Josef Martinez he was tugging at Martinez shirt and then let it go, a shot was taken by Martinez as he never went down inside the area, Luis Robles mad ethe save and by all accounts it looked like Atlanta United was going to get a corner.
It all went differently as Sibiga went to his back pocket, and showed Tim Parker a straight red card and sent him off. For the five seasons Tim Parker has played in the league for both the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Red Bulls, this is his first sending off of his career.
But after the final whistle blew, the New York Red Bulls were victorious, then some pushing and shoving was going on between Hector Villalba and Kemar Lawrence, as both men were battling it out hard against each other all game. How did Chris Armas feel about this performance?
“t feels great. It feels great to win. It feels great to win at home in the fashion that we did.” said Aramas “It’s great to see our guys commit the way that they did on every play for the entire game.
“Set pieces in tough moments, and so I’m really proud of the guys, the guys that started the game and the guys that came into the game, the guys at halftime that weren’t even playing, supporting each other. So it’s really, really a great win.”
So now that this match is done and dusted, the Red Bulls are about to get ready within a few days to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps, as they will see the return of Felipe Martins, as he returns to Red Bull Arena for the first time since the trade.