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New York Red Bulls End Winless Run on the Road Against Vancouver Whitecaps

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


The Red Bulls, led by head coach Jesse Marsch, were forced into making changes to their lineup with Kemar Lawrence and Sacha Kljestan on national team duty for Jamaica and the United States, respectively. Sal Zizzo entered the lineup in Lawrence’s place, and the remaining spot went to captain Dax McCarty, back after spending the month of August out with a tibia fracture. Defender Damien Perrinelle, who was injured a month ago, recovered from his ankle and meniscus injuries to make the bench.

The teams battled in a first half that saw New York edge their opposition in possession, 56% to 44%, but still remain level. The Red Bulls earned multiple opportunities off free kicks in the early part of the first half, which Sean Davis took to no avail. Vancouver managed a few shots of their own, including an attempt from Cristian Techera, who found the ball yards from goal after his goalkeeper, David Ousted, sent it forward. Davis, though, was able to make a smart recovery run that prevented the home side from capitalizing early on. The teams ended the half level goalless, level on shots with three each, and not a save to either goalkeeper’s name. The Whitecaps, though, lost their coach, Carl Robinson, as he was sent off in stoppage time of the first half.

The second half, though, quickly distinguished itself from the first half. The home side had been dominating the match early on, testing the Red Bulls defense. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the ball ended up on the other side of the field. The ball bounced in front of Bradley Wright-Phillips as he was on the edge of the penalty area, who scored from close range for his 17th goal of the season, keeping pace with New York City FC’s David Villa atop the Golden Boot standings. The ball, though, seemingly hit Wright-Phillips’ hand before he scored; nonetheless, the goal stood, and the Red Bulls were up again on the road.

The Whitecaps, though, had 40 minutes to score an equalizer, and they made every attempt not to waste that time. Vancouver’s front line kept surpassing New York’s defense, launching ten shots at goalkeeper Luis Robles. Yet, the Whitecaps, who had only scored once in their six previous MLS matches, could not find the breakthrough. Their efforts were personified in particular by forward Erik Hurtado, who found himself with the hard work done to grab the equalizer for his team. However, on each of his six attempts at goal, he managed to land each shot a seemingly impossible distance from the net.

Marsch, for his part, changed tack from the usual Red Bulls away game. Instead of trying to preserve an away lead by making a defensive sub that would oftentimes backfire, he instead made three attacking subs in Omer Damari, Daniel Royer, and, in a lesser sense given he came on just minutes before stoppage time, Gonzalo Verón. Damari himself had an opportunity to send the team up 2-0, but the offside flag went up despite Ousted making a brilliant save.

Despite all of the positive, the Red Bulls walk away with suspensions to Mike Grella and Alex Muyl. Both players were booked against the Whitecaps, and will miss New York’s next match, at home to DC United on Sunday, September 11.

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Pardeep is the New York Red Bulls Beat Writer for while also covering other soccer teams and events.
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