It took some late magic once again from the Red Bulls to get the full three points, as the home side took down the New England Revolution by a final of one goal to nil. This time the winner would come in the 89th minute as the central defenders combined for the only goal of the match.
The Red Bulls earned a late corner along the far side. Kaku delivered a solid ball that was headed down by Tim Parker but coming out of nowhere was Aaron Long as he smacked a hard shot point-blank and scores on Matt Turner for the only goal of the match.
Captain Sean Davis was extremely proud of his players as they continue to find ways to earn goals late and cement the points they have earned.
“Yeah, I would even rewind a little bit to that Atlanta game. We’re coming off of two tough losses and we had a good group discussion about where we’re at, and how we are in control of our own destiny.” said Davis. “We took accountability, we took more responsibility and we said we know we can be better. Since then it’s been a strong commitment from the group. A lot of guys understand their role, and when to step up, and when they’re on the field, to give absolutely everything they’ve got.”
“And that goes a long way in terms of us getting results and that connects to the culture that we’ve been able to build here. So, you look at these last few weeks and you know, on one hand we leave a little disappointed in not getting three points in some scenarios after playing well, but at the same time I think it says a lot about the character of the group that we can grind out results and there’s no better time than that mentality than now, heading into the playoffs.”
This match was even for the majority of it, but there were some physical moments as Aaron Long took a flying elbow from Adam Buksa, who earned a yellow card in the 48th minute. Henry Kessler and Brian White clashed heads very hard, which forced interim manager Bradley Carnell to make a sub as he brought in Tom Barlow in the 79th minute.
For Ryan Meara, this is his second clean sheet of the season as he made two saves on two shots. His contribution in goal has the Red Bulls on a five-game unbeaten streak with nine points. Carnell was pleased with his team’s performance and their belief in earning late results.
“I am proud of the performance, but I’m extremely proud of the resilience of this group, you know, and just grind out a game, get a shutout, and really hang a lot on the line in terms of defending in our box and in terms of defending set pieces.” said Carnell. “So yeah, very proud of this team. It is a crucial three points and the right time to win a home game. We know that this Arena deserved more in terms of whether the last 10 years.”
“I think it is the highest record in MLS for wins and points accumulated in the last 10 years, so this was the message to the players tonight. You know we are playing at home and we have to dominate this like our fortress. Yeah, we demanded excellence of ourselves on the night and it was not excellent, but it was excellent defending at certain times, and we made an excellent play at the death, so very happy about that.”