The New York Red Bulls wanted to finsih this paticular week in style after a solid one goal clean sheet against Atlanta United, while down to ten men, to a subpar draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps. They knew that this particular game was going to be difficult as FC Cincinnati was desperate for points, after the firing of their former Head Coach Alan Koch.
But after some brilliant goalkeeping by the Captain & timly goals converted, this New York Red Bulls side came up huge, to earn the full three points and finished this week with a two goal clean sheet victory and seven points out of nine.
It was the Luis Robles show as he stood his ground and made sure that FC Cincinnati didn’t get a sniff of the net. It was in the 6th minute where Robles stopped Fanendo Adi, as he got a great ball from Roland Lamah to split the defenders. Yet all Robles did was make a beautiful sliding leg save.
Then in the 12th minute, Robles denies Frankie Amaya with his chance. Amaya wh ohad three Red Bulls defenders around him, dribbled the ball towards the top of the area, rips a hard dipping shot, that the Captain decided to make a right handed save.
40th minute Robles denies Adi again, after a free kick was sent from distance. Great delivery towards Adi who tried to head the ball into the net, but Robles waived his right arm, to parry the ball over the crossbar.
“In the first half we were under the gun a little bit, I was able to make some saves, keep us in the game.” said Luis Robles “Then in the second half, we had the game under control and that’s how Chris (Armas) drew it up perfectly.”
The first half ended with no score, but in all honesty, that was the advantage for the Red Bulls who were looking to steal three points on the road. they did so by playing solid defense, timely runs, then a little bit of luck to steal the ball and convert their chances.
Kaku converts his first of the season as he took advantage of a mental error by left fullback Mathieu DePlagne in the 78th minute. As he got the pass back from a teammate in the midfield, DePlagne lost the ball between his feet, that was the moment where Kaku, took advantage and slotted the ball underneath Spencer Richey for the late lead.
“Happy to get the result tonight, as it was difficult to play on this pitch.” said Kaku “You always have to be ready, you never know when it’s your time to get called in and make your impact to play in the game, and I was happy to do it.
“me and my teammate were starting to gain our confidence, it was the same feeling now as it was last year, and we believe we will be a force to be reckoned with in the league this season.”
The dagger came in the first minute of four inside second half stoppage time, as Michael Murillo dribbled into an attacking run and passed it to the near side at Brian White. As soon as White got just inside the Cincinnati area, he crossed the ball to Omir Fernandez and with his diving header, he beats Richey to the back post and earns his first league goal.
“As a sub you always try to make an impact, you always try to make the team win. with that extra goal within the dying moments when you needed the most, it feels really good to get a win.” said Fernandez “I feel like it would’ve been better to do it at home in front of our fans, but it’s away and it’s a feeling that I will never forget.
“We always said we have a deep team. It doesn’t matter if it’s the usual eleven that starts, we are all committed to be a winning team. We always come in and win, Brian (White) got the assist and created a lot of chances, Kaku comes in and scores the opening goal, it’s big time.”
What’s the feeling from Chris Armas, who has lashed out against the media for their negative reports against his side, which he will now earn plenty of praise for his managing of a tough injured roster, as well as having that next man up mentality.
“That locker room is energized right now, and I believe part of it is winning on the road, part of it that we continue the momentum, part of it that, there’s a lot of players contributing and other players who are growing/” said Chris Armas “Luis made some big saves that were game changers, it’s another game that he does this for us. When you pull the right strings to make these subs help us convert, we as a staff are looking at the game and we needed to see when we have to do it.
“So with the last sub we didn’t want to burn it too early, that’s why we hung on to it for so long, but when you use it on a guy like Omir (Fernandez) we know in the final third he is so cleaver and Brian White gets an assist.
After a hot and sticky night on field turf, while challenging on aerial balls against a team like this, this win is satisfying and we are so happy for the guys who battled out there all match long.”
Right now the Red Bulls have earned four wins in six matches, while earning points in five of their last six, these big wins and sweeping FC Cincinnati for the first time, has put the Red Bulls from the bottom of the playoff line, to third place in the Eastern Conference, with two matches remaining in league play before the CONCACAF Gold Cup break hits, as well as the US Open Cup begins on Wednesday, June 12th.
Take a bow Chris Armas, right now your side is doing a job without your heavy hitter in Bradley Wright-Phillips who continues to suffer with a groin injury, but the talent keeps improving out on the pitch.