Category Archives: New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls

New York Red Bulls Over the Rainbow

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, July 14th: 3-2 Win

After what seems like entirely too long, the New York Red Bulls (11-5-2, 35 points) returned to Red Bull Arena. They welcomed Sporting Kansas City (9-5-6, 33 points) for a rematch of the 2017 Open Cup final. The Red Bulls haven’t defeated SKC since 2014.

THE REAL VIKING ARMY: I had promised the members of the Red Bulls Supporter Group the Viking Army that I would stop by and crash their tailgate at some point. So I made my way to the back end of the vacant warehouse on the gentrification chopping block to where their tailgate party is held.

I snapped some pictures and learned some stories.  They talked about jerseys of players traded and gone. They spoke of the moment they fell in love with the team and the passion of a supporter’s group that stands and sings for ninety minutes plus. They shared the sense of family that makes their gatherings on and between game days so special.

LOVE WINS: Does anyone know why the Red Bulls’ Pride Night is in July? Just kidding– I don’t care. They do it right. The rainbow lasers are straight fire. The scarves and running sleeves they gave away are great. And it’s never a bad time to remind everyone that anyone can play.  There was a discussion panel about supporting all athletes prior to the game, and in a time where it is still difficult for people to be themselves, we do need the reminder.

EVENLY MATCHED: Of course Bradley Wright-Phillips scores the opening goal (5′). He’ll hit 100 goals as a Red Bull very soon. But he was called offside. (Drink every time you read ‘Enter VAR’ in my article… or better yet, don’t.) The Red Bulls’ signature High Press tactic often catches an attacker offside, but that wasn’t actually the case here, and the Video Assistant Referee corrected the call. “Goals after VAR, it’s annoying, you don’t get to celebrate,” BWP lamented after the game.

And celebrate, the team could not. Johnny Russell (8′) leveled the match and both sides held each other at bay the rest of the first half. Then Roger Espinoza practically started off the second half getting SKC the lead (51′). Something had to change for the Red Bulls to not let history repeat.

RBNY IS FOR THE CHILDREN: Battling back from injury and fighting for minutes, RB Salzburg exchange student Marc Rzatkowski was subbed in for “Kaku” Romero-Gamarra in the 60th minute. Fans, knowing what Kaku is capable of, were surprised by the move from newly promoted head coach Chris Armas. After the match, Armas explained:

“Marc, he had a great week of training. In every session, he brought energy… Going into the game we thought that he would be a guy we’d rely on in some capacity.”

And boy, did he seize the day! He tallied a brace that leveled and then put RBNY ahead (72′ & 79′). He was named man of the match, and took home the game ball. And yet…

I was part of the huddle of reporters who went to RZA (so nicknamed by fans as a reference to a member of NY hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan) in the locker room after the game. Usually, Rzatkowski ducks out of the locker room as soon as he’s changed while we speak with captain Luis Robles or BWP. He had turned towards his locker to get something and looked genuinely shocked when he turned back around and saw us all there. A real team player, he shared credit with Tyler Adams and Sean Davis, the midfielders who assisted his goals.

(If you don’t catch the reference in the heading, click here)

So: same time, same place, same chance for revenge when the New England Revolution come to Harrison and face RBNY for the second time this season.

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New York Red Bulls Giving Off Sparks

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 23rd: 3-0 Win

Is there such a thing as too much soccer? For ten days now, we’ve been fed three square matches a day thanks to the World Cup. And while the rest of the world’s clubs rest and prepare for transfers and tournaments of their own, Major League Soccer got back to it with ten games this weekend.

So is there such a thing as too much soccer? Um… no. Let’s get this party started.

ROCKET’S RED GLARE: The fireworks began right at the beginning. Literally. There are those who say “no pyro, no party,” and the flashpots and sparklers during the walkout and the National Anthem were proof of that. And while I didn’t get to see the post-game fireworks myself, fans were quite pleased.

BABY, YOU’RE A FIREWORK: The game started a little messy. There were a number of scrappy battles for the ball. But then Tyler Adams won a ball from Kellyn Acosta and crossed the ball to Bradley Wright-Phillips for a tap-in (23′).  This was his eleventh goal of the season, one step closer to 100 career goals.

“Aaron is always a threat. He’s so good in the air. He’s very athletic and so he’s always good on set pieces. We run a lot of things to try to free him up and try to get him opportunities, so great for him to get a goal.” —Coach Jesse Marsch

CHERRY BOMB: Well, this was a little awkward… Danny Royer, who we know is a very passionate player, appeared to stomp his opponent. He was given a yellow card in the 25th minute. Enter the Video Assisted Referee, and the yellow becomes a red. Royer is sent off for the first time ever. Here- I’ll do the math for you: that’s SIXTY-FIVE minutes (before stoppage) down one player. Yikes.

BOOM BOOM BOOM: The team seemed to take Royer’s absence and let it fuel their attack. A corner kick from Sean Davis (40′) connected with Aaron Long for a goal. Enter VAR once again.  There was a question that FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was fouled upon. But after review, Long was indeed awarded the goal, his second of the season.

SHOOT ACROSS THE SKY: When the second half began, the 9 field players remaining lined up in two rows of four and put one up top. Since they were up by two goals, it wouldn’t have been much of a shock if they just did what they could to hold on.

Nobody told Kemar Lawrence that. In the 48th minute, a pass from Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra found Lawrence, who popped the ball into the net to effectively sew up the match.

“You know, I’m not one that is all about the goals, I’m more about clean sheets, my team getting three points but getting the goal was fun. The guys created a great play, snuck me in, I got a good touch and nobody was in the box for me to pass to so I decided to shoot.” —Kemar Lawrence, describing his goal

The Red Bulls head to the Great White North and BMO Field to face a faltering Toronto FC, who just lost to NYCFC in Yankee Stadium this weekend. There were different fireworks last time they met there…

Featured image: Sylvana Budesheim

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Red Bull Rewind

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Well!

Where has the time gone?

At first, I just thought to myself, “Self, let’s just take a few minutes to breathe. You’ll get those recaps on the games against the Colorado Rapids and Atlanta United in a day or two.”

It was Mother’s Day weekend, the New York Red Bulls were on the road, and I was watching the games as a fan, the first with the darling gents of the Seeing Red podcast at a sports bar, the other from the comfort of my bed. Both games were wins (1-2 and 1-3, respectively).

And… well… I got complacent. I tossed aside the analysis and the critiques. Because hey! They won! This is what they’re supposed to do. And they’re just gonna keep on doing it! No big deal.

But then the road got a little bumpy. A loss in Foxborough. Then a resounding win against NYCFC (again). A draw in Columbus. A scrappy win against Seattle (I missed that game entirely– thanks, life!). And then a devastating fall in the Open Cup to… the Philadelphia Union. The same team that was able to keep RBNY down in league play really got their number in the single elimination tournament.

While the Red Bulls were called the favorites of the tournament after making it to the finals last year, the heavy roster rotation and intensified schedule got the better of the team. Five games in eleven days is just not the norm. The team seemed frazzled, disjointed. Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra was back, as were Tim Parker and Tyler Adams. But it was like they were all carrying an albatross through the first half. They buckled under the weight. The Union were not so encumbered by expectation. The result, in hindsight, was inevitable.

There are two awards left to claim: the Supporter’s Shield, which RBNY have claimed twice before, and the MLS Cup, which has eluded the Red Bulls even since they were the New York/ New Jersey MetroStars. But is their confidence shaken? Have tempers flared? Has the team philosophy taken a hit?

Oh, and did I mention the rumors? With the semi-surprising departure of NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira for OGC Nice in France, the rumblings that Jesse Marsch will be called to RB Leipzig in Germany have grown to a dull roar. Or is it Tyler Adams, who impressed in Ireland and France during the International Friendlies, who needs to brush up on his German? Either (or both) is fine with me. It’s a credit to the organization.

This week has seen a much-needed break for the team as the World Cup began in Russia. It is a source of pride to see Fidel Escobar and Michael Amir Murillo represent Panama. But MLS shall march on. This Saturday is back at home against FC Dallas. I heard there will be fireworks. And empanadas. Frankly, I’m stoked. Back to business, everyone!

Featured image: @NewYorkRedBulls

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New York Red Bulls Are My Jam

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 9th: 1-1 Draw

It was too perfect.

The New York Red Bulls are the Boys in Red. Yellow is Columbus Crew‘s signature color.

It didn’t take long for the dream I didn’t know I had to be realized:

SECRET FAMILY RECIPE: This is the first Red Bull/ Crew matchup since Mike Grella was traded to Columbus. A healthy Grella is a dangerous Grella, and he was looking quite stong against his former team. This is also the first game back from injury for RB goalkeeper Luis Robles. He took a cleat to the chest in the first half, which did not look pretty. But the Ironman played on, with five saves on the day.

HOT SAUCE: Apparently mid-day in June is pretty flipping hot in Columbus. Eighty-seven degrees, but felt like ninety-one.  A hydration break was imposed in the 32nd minute. Players were dripping with sweat and dousing themselves with their water bottles. The sky in the second half grew overcast and the wind increased as a summer storm brewed and threatened the end of the game.

SAUERKRAUT: Ugh. The Crew’s Gyasi Zardes scored in the 26th minute. It was the result of a strong effort from Harrison Afful and Federico Higuain. Combined with a momentary lapse from the Red Bulls defense, “Mustard United” pulled ahead.  Bradley Wright-Phillips was called offside on his goal in the 39th minute. So while the first half wasn’t terrible, it isn’t something I’d want regularly.

RELISH: In just his second start of the season, homegrown midfielder Alex Muyl scored a header off a Sean Davis free kick. This was also his second goal of the season. But rather than cup his ears to hear the fans, this time he plugged his ears and closed his eyes. He doesn’t want to hear the noise. Critics have been saying plenty, smug when he is not in the Starting XI, flippant when his chances yield no results. But when he came through, after 57 minutes of putting the pressure on, he took a moment for himself.

A quick trip home to host the Seattle Sounders, then a jaunt down I-95 for the next round of the Open Cup against the Philadelphia Union. I’ve gotta get the hot dogs and burgers ready.

Featured image of Alex Muyl: Sylvana’s Media

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New York Red Bulls Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, June 6th: 4-0 Win (Lamar Hunt Open Cup, 4th round, RBNY advances)

It was Deja Vu all over again* when the New York Red Bulls hosted New York City FC in the 4th round of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup.

IT’S OUR PARTY: Last year, the New York Red Bulls defeated NYCFC 1-0, with Daniel Royer scoring the only goal in the 67th minute. There were cheers and jeers, the usual banter, and a hilarious halftime takedown of a pitch invader. So when the cup draw was announced, making for the fourth Hudson River Derby of 2018, the reaction was mixed. RBNY did fine in the last meeting, but they were missing key pieces this time around.

WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT: It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin. In just the second minute, midfielder Vincent Bezecourt blasted the ball past backup goalkeeper Brad Stuver. From my vantage point, I could see coach Jesse Marsch tell the bench not to get too excited.  A clever combination of moves from Derrick Etienne Jr., Alex Muyl, and Royer (9′) saw nearly a second goal by Danny’s heel flick. But Stuver was able to grab the ball.

Later in the half, a messy and violent advance up the field for RBNY ends with Muyl sending the ball way over the crossbar (28′). The crowd cried out in pain, but Alex was definitely the one feeling it most of all.

That second goal had to wait until the 2nd half. A corner kick from Marc Rzatkowski found Aaron Long‘s head, and then the back of the net (52′). While a 2-0 lead was plenty good for RBNY to advance, Royer was able to really finish off the game with not one but TWO goals at the end of the second half (84′ & 89’).

WE RUN THINGS: For as much as I talk soccer, I’m still kind of new at the lingo… a lot has changed since I was playing. But I have learned about assessing a player’s workrate. It’s kind of an intangible– not like passing accuracy or shots on frame. It’s something you feel as you watch them play.

Not having watched Red Bulls II (I know, shame on me), I was previously unaware of Hassan Ndam‘s or Ethan Kutler‘s workrate. But they are thoroughly impressive. It’s the best testament to the Red Bulls system: slot in any piece and the team is still a cohesive unit. Not bad for their first time out with the first team.

WE CAME TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN NOW: Even Marc Rzatkowski, coming halfway around the world from Red Bull Salzburg, plays as if he grew up across the street from Tyler Adams. Both on and off the field, his ease with his teammates makes for a positive experience. When asked about his effect on the team, Royer said, “You can see he’s a great soccer player. Without the ball, he’s so aggressive he can win a lot of balls…and then with the ball he’s so smooth and creative.”

RBNY travels to Columbus for league play against (Save) the Crew this Saturday, and then to Chester, PA for the next Open Cup round against the Philadelphia Union. Don’t stop now, you boys in Red.

*That’s a Yogi Berra saying. He played for the Yankees. What– you thought the South Ward singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the 70th minute is the only baseball dig we can come up with?

Featured image: @NewYorkRedBulls

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New York Red Bulls: Twisted and Shouted Down

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 2nd: 2-1 Loss

The New York Red Bulls keep it colonial, heading north to New England to face the Revolution.

OVER THERE: On Tuesday, Tim Parker and Tyler Adams were called to the US Men’s National Team for their remaining friendlies against Ireland and France. That takes the International absence count to four (Michael Amir Murillo and Fidel Escobar, Panama). Derrick Etienne Jr. just came back from a match against Argentina, and Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra will be heading for his first call up for Paraguay this week. Having them missing is unnerving, but shouldn’t be devastating.

PRIMETIME: I think this is the first MLS game I’ve watched from the vantage point of my TV at home. Plenty comfy, but just not my favorite view.  You can put in all the microphones and get all the views of the crowd, but there’s no way to really replicate that feeling of being there. Even the camaraderie of a watch party at a bar is only part of the experience.

STRONG START: It was all going so well. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 95th goal as a Red Bull, a header in the 8th minute. And that was about as good as it got for the rest of the game. Diego Fagunez was able to blast one past Ryan Meara just before the end of the first half. Then Teal Bunbury tapped in a cross from Cristian Penilla. The Red Bulls could not pull one back and they had to leave Foxboro empty-handed.

SHAKE IT OFF: But the team cannot wallow in the defeat.

                                                                   (via Giphy)

And by “Rex Manning Day,” I mean the start of the run for the Lamar Hunt Open Cup. RBNY made it to the finals last year, knocking out NYCFC, the Philadelphia Union, The New England Revolution, and USL Cinderella story FC Cincinnati. But they came up short against Sporting Kansas City.

Fans have had enough of that. The team comes back home to Red Bull Arena and faces familiar opponent NYCFC this Wednesday.

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New York Red Bulls: Not Always Sunny

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, May 26th: 0-0 Draw

Aaaaand we’re back.

The New York Red Bulls were able to flip the script and win both road matches (I’ll write on those separately… I’ve been remiss) and were looking to keep the streak going back home. Alas, it was not meant to be. Fellow eastern conference side Philadelphia Union held the team to a scoreless tie, their first draw of the season.

GONNA FLY NOW: Just before the game, goalkeeper Luis Robles was honored not only for his “Ironman” streak of 183 consecutive MLS games played but also for his work with Tackle Kids Cancer. As happens before every home game, a childhood cancer patient was recognized and cheered by fans. And the streak is memorialized in Red Bull Arena. Robles begins training again this week, but there is no set timetable for his return.

PHILLY FORGET ME NOT: Red Bull fans have an interesting name for the time leading up to matchups with the Union: Philly Indifference Week. The New York/Philly sport rivalry is common, but… is one-sided in this case. “I think they look at us as a big rival,” said striker Bradley Wright-Phillips after the game. “[T]hey want to beat us and it’s a big deal to beat us.”

But as I have said before: The natural enemy of RBNY is DC United. Regional stuff is fine, and giving into it can be fun. Keep it lighthearted, and it’s even better.

IT’S NINETY DEGREES: Okay, 87. But if you’re reading this, you likely live on the east coast, where this past winter lasted 2 years or something. It’s been cold for so long, no one knew what to do with themselves.

Coach Jesse Marsch admitted the game was affected by the temperature: “we’re going to have to acclimatize to the heat… and then use more guys at different times.”

Compounded with the Open Cup starting up again, as well as Michael Amir Murillo and Fidel Escobar going to Russia, team depth is going to be tested. Getting Carlos Rivas back with the first team as well as others (Ben Mines is old enough to vote now) should help with that.

NOT TOO HARD, NOT TOO SOFT: I’ve been looking at my recent articles (this one included), and it’s almost like I skip the actual game part. Well… it’s kind of warranted here. A scoreless draw by definition means not much really happened.

The team that trounced Portland and NYCFC couldn’t make much happen against Philly. There were a couple of breakaways by Wright-Phillips and Florian Valot, but Union centerbacks Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie were able to squeeze them to the point where they couldn’t get the shot. (Both of them are 19 years old. Hmm, it’s almost as if MLS games should be played by young men…)

A call on Kemar Lawrence for a handball in the box (52′) resulted in a kick from the spot for the Union. The most tense moment of the match quickly became a non-issue when CJ Sapong shot the ball wide right. This is especially fortunate, as GK Ryan Meara dove the opposite direction of the shot. After the game, Meara shared his relief: “sometimes things
have a way of working themselves out.”

Also of note was Tim Parker‘s massive defense at the goal in the 18th minute. Epps was charging at Meara, who came off his line to stop the attacker. The ball sailed over Meara, but was deflected by Parker right at the goal. It was “make your momma proud” stuff.

(love ya, Mr. Watterson)

RBNY stays regional and faces the New England Revolution Next Saturday Night. It’s a date.

Featured image courtesy: Sylvana Budesheim

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New York Derby Day: Oh Baby!

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, May 5th: 4-0 Win

Well! Once again, the New York Red Bulls are facing their rival! It caught up with me way quicker than I thought it would. I honestly thought it happened in July.

Fellow original MLS squad DC United, currently in last place in the Eastern Conference, comes to Red Bull Arena to… um… wait…

(Kerissa clears her throat and whispers in my ear…)

Oh. Not our rival. My bad. Our “regional opponent.”

RBNY faces NYCFC, who are… currently in first place in the Eastern Conference (6-2-2). Going into the match, they had… twice the saves. A higher goal differential. More shots overall.

They’re a strong team. I’ve never denied it. I just don’t want them to do well against the Red Bulls. That’s true of every team. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mean a tiny bit more to face down a team that wants to be the Kings of Queens and all the other NY boroughs.

But the fans have a collective nickname for the Red Bulls: they’re “our large adult sons.” It’s a nod to their youth, their exuberance, and their physical presence. Sometimes they’re frustrated; sometimes they make mistakes. But they wear their hearts on their sleeves and they make their fans proud.

YOU CAN’T CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE: Kaku opens the scoring in the 2nd minute– Bradley Wright-Phillips had the initial shot, but NYC goalkeeper Sean Johnson deflected it to Romero Gamarra to bring the fans to their feet.  Then came the 4th minute– Valot chips his shot over the defender and Johnson, who was expecting it to stay on the ground.

And then, of course, Wright-Phillips makes it three (35′). And that was just the first half. Derrick Etienne Jr, subbed on for Danny Royer in the 65th minute, dodged Johnson and angled the ball in for the final goal in the 79th minute. They were all spectacular.

PLAY NICE: The first meeting of the NY Metropolitan area teams for the 2018 season was, of course, met with the usual online banter. NYC forward Jo Inge Berget pondered his first Derby leading up to the match. But the match itself was not much different.

Proximity allowed for a larger away support section than there was for, say, Portland. And of course, there was cheering and jeering that could be heard from my little corner of the press box. Sure, a ton of extra free t-shirts were being hurled, but there’s no such crime as assault with a deadly cotton. But no extra chippiness on the field. And that’s okay. Save it for later in the season.

IT’S PINK FOR THIS RED BULL: Defender Connor Lade shared with the crowd an important moment: the gender reveal for his baby, due in September. This mom couldn’t pass up a chance to see this event. He kicked a ball that was filled with colored chalk: a cloud of pink exploded to the cheers of the team and the fans. Now to supply Connor with a lifetime of Dad Jokes…

WHEN YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE FAMILY: Prior to the reveal, the entire team walked right up to the South Ward to receive high fives and sign jerseys, having to hop over the signboards to get to them.

It’s amazing to watch the interaction that happens between an MLS team and their fans (I don’t purport it to be exclusive to RBNY). It’s what makes soccer special. As the weather continues to heat up, and the school year and spring youth soccer season come to a close, more families will come to visit “all their sons” at Red Bull Arena.

Featured image courtesy: Kerissa Ward

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Red Bulls and That Old Hollywood Magic

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 28: 2-3 Win

I’ve seen this movie.

The New York Red Bulls, smarting from their home loss, traveled to sunny California to face a team (LA Galaxy) that is growing desperate for a win, especially one at home.

So: was I going to see a classic Hollywood fairytale ending? Or a gritty and harsh plot resolution?

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

The big news this week was the re-signings of Homegrown player Sean Davis and Austrian International Daniel Royer to new MLS contracts. Both players have proven themselves integral to the team’s style of play, and fans are pleased with the move. Not that it was weighing on their minds, but it must be nice to know that at least your near future is secure.

Davis executes many of Captain Luis Robles‘s directives, the main reason people have issues with goalkeepers having the armband. And although Royer was yet to score this season, it was definitely not for lack of trying.

YER A WIZARD

From a logical standpoint, it wasn’t a very big deal. There are a lot of players who haven’t scored a goal this season. But Danny Royer is a certified goalscorer, only hampered by injury last season. In league play, Royer had been thwarted time and again. Until now: all the frustration has finally yielded a goal for Royer (7’).  (Same expletives came out of his mouth, but at least they were celebratory this time.)

And let’s not ignore that Bradley Wright-Phillips was credited with not one but two assists. For someone who is usually getting the pass, he’s giving pretty good as well.

VAR AND AWAY

Romain Alessandrini thought he had leveled the game in the 9th minute, but goals are automatically reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee. It was VAR that ruled Ola Kamara offside on the pass that became the assist.

I’ve never really given my opinion on VAR… because I don’t really have one. It’s too easy to hate it when it goes against your team and like it when it helps your team. So basically it’s a wash. RBNY coach Jesse Marsch was cautiously pleased with VAR as well:

I am used to not getting VAR so it was nice to get it. I don’t know enough about what happened so it is hard to make any comments on it.

COMEBACK KID

It was all going according to plan. The second half saw midfielder Florian Valot double the Red Bulls’ lead (49′). And then the old curse of “the most dangerous lead in soccer” reared its ugly head. Back to back Galaxy goals (Ola Kamara 59′ and Giovani Dos Santos 66′) brought the game level.

But it was a handball called in the box that provided the Red Bulls with the opportunity to seal the deal. The job fell to Kaku, who nailed it right where Galaxy GK David Bingham was diving to get the third goal and bring home three points.

THE LAST ACTION HERO

What? Did you think I was going to ignore Zlatan Ibrahimovic altogether? That might result in a yellow card for me!
Embed from Getty Images

Of course, he was awesome and intimidating. He had words with defenders Kemar Lawrence and Aurelien Collin, not to mention the assistant referee. He played the full 90 and was present throughout the game, credited with the assists for both Galaxy goals.

In fact, I give him a lot of credit for being caught offside 4 times– that’s a man who is going after the game. I expect no less from Zlatan. His impact in MLS will only grow, and all of MLS will benefit from it.

The New York Red Bulls travel home to prepare for the latest installment of the Hudson River Derby.

Featured image courtesy: @NewYorkRedBulls

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New York Red Bulls dance into the Fire

Sylvana Budesheim - NY Red Bulls/mlsfemale
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 21: 1-2 Loss

The expectation was simple: the team wins at home. Red Bull Arena is a fortress, built on clean sheets and comeback wins. The team looked oh-so-awesome in the Parley kits made from recycled ocean plastics with the blue numbers for their annual Autism Awareness Night. The weather was great, the crowd was hopping.

I guess I was spoiled.

The New York Red Bulls (3-3-0) fell for the first time at their home pitch to the Chicago Fire (2-3-1). I had expected a view to a kill. All I got was a bittersweet symphony.

FACE TO FACE: Let me be clear: I love Dax McCarty; I do not miss Dax McCarty. He was out there doing what he did for the Red Bulls, *to* the Red Bulls. And that’s understandable- that’s his job. And I have to point out there were moments where homegrown players Sean Davis and Tyler Adams did that same job just as well, if not better.

TO FATAL SOUNDS OF BROKEN DREAMS: Damn, Daniel.
I’m serious. Daniel Royer finally… FINALLY!… finds the back of the net in the match, only to have it called back because Derrick Etienne was ruled offside. You don’t need to be an expert lip reader to know what Royer’s response was… especially when he had cause to say it more than once.

Meanwhile, the Fire took their chances, few and far between as they were. A ridiculous rebound off a defended corner (Aleksandar Katai, 30’) and a penalty kick brought on by a moment’s panic (Nemanja Nikolic, 69’).

THE FATAL KISS IS ALL WE NEED: Eleven shots in each half, but with a single goal to show for it (Wright-Phillips, 81’). Murillo attempted a shot on a free kick that sailed wide. Misses from Kaku, Florian Valot, and Tyler Adams. Fire goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was credited with 9 saves, the majority of which came right to him. Once again, the team dominated the clock, the ball, the field, and the goal frame, but the goals are what matter. The team couldn’t get enough of those.

(Okay, so I know I said I’d pick songs from this century… but if you can’t get behind Duran Duran or Bond theme songs, we can’t be friends.)

Featured image courtesy: Colin Rosen

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