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Red Bulls 2-1 Toronto: Barlow and White spoil the party

Opportunism in the box and solid goalkeeping from Meara ends Toronto’s Supporters Shield chances and secures second round playoff spot

MLS: Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls
Tom Barlow’s goal knocks down Quentin Westberg for the win.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls were angry and upset with their performance last weekend in the Bronx, so they decided to make it up by spoiling the party for Toronto FC and their hopes of clinching the Supporters Shield. On MLS Decision Day, the home side won their match by a final of two goals to one to not only ruin the day for Toronto but secure enough points for themselves to avoid a play-in game for the MLS Cup tournament.

Two goals scored within two minutes as both Tom Barlow and Brian White found ways to get the ball into the back of the net. In the 24th minute, Florian Valot flicked the ball towards the back post and Barlow met it with a leaping header. Then two minutes later Brian White trailed a broken play and smashed it inside the 26th minute.

“Yeah, it feels good. You know, like you said, it’s been kind of a crazy year, you know I’ve been getting a bunch of looks, bunch of chances and some of them haven’t been falling my way” said Tom Barlow.

“So it’s nice for this one to fall tonight, especially last game of the regular season before we head into playoffs, against a good Toronto team who were obviously looking to win tonight, hopefully capturing the Supporters Shield.”

“They were coming in ready which was a fun test. It felt good to get the goal and definitely get the win so, that moves us into sixth place and we’ve got Columbus I believe. “

While Tsubasa Endoh pulled one back for Toronto in the 51st minute, the rest of the second half was the Ryan Meara show as he made two solid saves from preventing his side from dropping points. The way the Red Bulls started this match felt like the Meadowlands Massacre back in 2009 when they took down Toronto FC with five goals to nil thumping on the last day of the regular season that spoiled their playoff entrance party.

“Yeah so, obviously really excited, really stoked about the win tonight. We put things on our terms, after a very emotional week, I must say. Losing the game that we did, last game out, last weekend” said Bradley Carnell.

“With a performance like that, I think we all held ourselves accountable and we all wanted this bounce back feeling at all costs. I think the players came out tonight and showed up in one of our best first-half performances of this year. So extremely proud about that, they put us on the board and in a position to succeed.”

“You know we can try and ramp the players up in certain ways at halftime, because we all know how tricky a 2-0 scoreline can be. Listen, we concede one straight off the start again. Not exactly as planned, and certainly a game of two halves but yeah, it just showed how the group is rallying behind each other, showed the spirit within this group.”

“Really proud of the performance and yeah, they make their substitutions and we make ours, and we’re able to rally up and secure the three points and ultimately secure the sixth spot of which I’m immensely proud. It’s been a topsy-turvy kind of a year.”

With this win over Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union defeated the New England Revolution, the Red Bulls have taken over sixth place in the East, and they won’t have to worry about the play-in round as they challenge the Columbus Crew in the quarterfinals following the international break.