Tag Archives: Luis Robles

New York Red Bulls Get Into the Groove

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Friday, June 28th: 3-1 Win

Twenty days after a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Union in league play –and following an even more disappointing loss to the New England Revolution in the Open Cup– the New York Red Bulls welcomed the Chicago Fire. 

I’m Waiiiiiting

Thanks to the Gold Cup, the majority of MLS took some time off so group stage games could be played in our soccer-specific stadia around the country. The tournament isn’t over yet, but since it’s down to the semi-finals, league action is back. While Aaron Long (USA), Derrick Etienne, Jr. (Haiti), and Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica) are still away as part of this biennial event, Michael Amir Murillo and Panama have finished their run. Perhaps he’ll just meet the team when they get to Houston this week. I don’t expect him to go out against the Dynamo in their midweek clash.

Let the Music Set You Free

This was the official Pride Night for the club. They really did it up, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Rainbow-numbered jerseys will be auctioned off, ticket sales will benefit Pride Live. But what really made the night was how fun it all felt. People these days are tense. Like, really tense. But the atmosphere was markedly less so…unless you were on the field. That’s really how it should be.

Such a Revelation

I mean… it speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Alejandro “Kakú” Romero Gamarra picks off Kenneth Kronholm on a pass back and scores the first goal just eight minutes in. It wasn’t so long ago that people were grumbling that Kakú wanted out in the worst way. Seems to me that he was in a bit of a dark patch and is on the other side of it now. I remember having two little kids and trying to do my job… wasn’t easy. And I didn’t have to be several countries away from my family and traveling regularly. I can only speculate, but at least things are working well.

If the Rhythm’s Right

Maybe I don’t give goalkeeper Luis Robles enough credit. I wouldn’t be the only one, mind you. He has just three US National Team Caps, and has never been selected for the MLS All-Star Game. The RBNY Ironman made a whopping seven saves against Chicago. SEVEN! The single Fire goal, from Nemanja Nikolic, only came after he collected one of those Robles saves. I can’t even be mad about it. I’m sure Robles can be, but that’s his job. All Robles can do is his job, and he’s damn good at it. I just wanted to make sure I said as much.

I Hope This Feeling Never Ends

Three goals, three goalscorers. This is a regular thing for RBNY. Brian White tallied his fifth goal for the season, sliding between two defenders to peg the ball in at the 59th minute. White was then subbed out to allow for the return of Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has been out with a soft tissue injury. In his 23 minutes on the field, he made the second assist pass to Kyle Duncan, who crossed the ball to Daniel Royer in the 93rd minute for a final goal.

The Red Bulls hit the road against the Houston Dynamo and Atlanta United before returning for (only) the first Hudson River Derby of the season back in Harrison. If the Red Bulls can continue to feel this free, we’ll all be dancing this season.

(PS: I was the Kindergartner singing Madonna songs in the 80s. Sometimes I have to look up the lyrics to make sure I have them right– not so with this one. Enjoy!)

Featured image:  @NewYorkRedBulls

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New York Red Bulls Feeling Blue

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 6: 1-2 loss

One loss against Orlando: Well… okay.

Another loss against Chicago: Um.. what?

A third loss in a row, against Minnesota: Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m sitting here looking down my nose, saying, “Ugh– but it’s Minnesota!” I know things have been looking up for the Loons this season. No team can be in charge of another’s success. But RBNY has been so confident. And for what? To have four points out of a possible fifteen?

You look like you haven’t felt the fire:

Overall, the Red Bulls had a lackluster performance. There were, of course, the flashes of brilliance: Luis Robles and his three saves. Tim Parker‘s full-body ball clearance. Mathias Jørgensen and his half-dozen or so runs on goal that hint at exactly why he’s in a Red Bulls kit.

Then there was Cristian Casseres Jr. His goal in the 70th minute was the phenomenal moment that fans are looking for each week. But ninety-plus minutes is a long time to watch a match and only see momentary flashes. There’s frustration at Red Bull Arena, even if maybe it can’t be found on the pitch.

He’s stealing your thunder:

Of all the soccer clichés that get on my nerves… actually, “it’s only halftime” is the one that makes me want to thunder-punch someone the most. And “the calm before the storm” is obnoxious, but ubiquitous in sports (and we send along all infractions to Pablo Maurer). But after that, “defend our fortress” is rising in the power rankings for triteness. Because what happened when fans were told the team would defend the fortress?

Abu Danladi and Romario Ibarra: that’s what happened. Anyone watching on TV sees goal celebrations equally from either side: play stops, teammates hug, the players reset. But when a visiting team scores and you’re there to see it live, it’s almost surreal. The home team resets and the din of the crowd remains level. Very often, if not for the change on the scoreboard, I wouldn’t actually believe a goal occurred. The team can get back to fortress defending any time now. Immediately would be best.

Blue ain’t your color, baby:

Because, after all, NY is Red. It might be easier to cry over the sky falling, kiss the season goodbye, and find another sports venue for your entertainment. But sports fandom is not built for ease; rather, it’s a way to be show what you’re made of. So instead, let us demand the team dust off the past, forge ahead together, and bring it to Sporting KC in their Blue Hell of Children’s Mercy Park.

(P.S. Because I’m a little bit country, and I’m a little bit rock n’ roll…)

Featured image: Bill Twomey

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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 Red Bulls: CONCACAF’ed

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

By Sylvana Budesheim // @SylvanaSoccer

CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals
Leg 1: 1-0 loss
Leg 2: 0-0 draw (CD Guadalajara advance on aggregate)

So.

Here we are. Again.

Tired. Cold. Hungover (perhaps in more ways than one).

Leaving for home with no prospect of a trophy in sight. The New York Red Bulls crash out of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League in the semifinals, losing on aggregate to CD Guadalajara, aka Chivas.

And not because the team we love was thumped. Not because there were own goals and fouls in the box and those thousand natural shocks that soccer is heir to…

But because there was so much… nothing. Those horrible scary things I just mentioned… well, they’d be *something.* But this was Nothing. Capital N. Like those traumatizing-movie-readers of a certain age will remember.

Twenty total shots for the Red Bulls, nine of them on frame. Chivas managed ONE. Of the 13 players who were on the field in the 2nd leg, only 3 were not credited with a shot– including goalkeeper Luis Robles. There were six corners by midfielder Sean Davis, and several powerful throw-ins by defender Kemar Lawrence that made it into the box as if they had been kicked from the corner.

But the ball never found the back of the net. It sailed over, breezed past, and got scooped up or kicked away.

Did Chivas do so much more? Perhaps not. But what they did was enough. They were physical. They ate the clock. They intercepted passes and won challenges and cleared balls going towards the net. And now they will face Toronto FC for the final. And while their current form in Liga MX has been less than stellar, they just might give TFC a real fight. Or they might roll over.

As a fan, I certainly have the urge to throw some stuff and grouse and be all–

And then…like the team must… I move on.

The only thing I can do is go back and continue to work, continue to give it my best, and know that there’s a group of great guys, great character guys, that are going to do the same. –Captain Luis Robles

There are brilliant things happening at Red Bull Arena. There is an entire season to fight for, as well as the Open Cup. And I am ready to be there for it.

Featured image courtesy: Sylvana Budesheim

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Feeling a Little Blue

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

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 24th: 0-2 Loss

When NYCFC (9-5-3, 30 points) began their run in MLS, I was intrigued but not concerned. It was easy for me to wish them well in any game that wasn’t against the New York Red Bulls (7-8-2, 23 points). I had only recently come back to soccer myself, so it wasn’t strange to see a new team and new fans feeling their way around MLS. That season, RBNY went 3 for 3 in what was being dubbed the “the clash of the crosstown rivals.” HOLD THE PHONE.

Rivals? This is a rivalry? The Red Bulls have had a long-standing rivalry with DC United, dating back to the beginning of MLS when the New York/New Jersey Metrostars had to make the trek down I-95 to RFK Stadium. Rivalries are about history, not necessarily proximity. In the three seasons and now 8 games since (in league play), both sides have done a good job of making this a chippy and rousing battle.

CIVILITY IN THE PARK

After seeing the standard—and sometimes harsh—banter between “red” and “blue” fans on social media, I was slightly concerned about what would ensue on the day. What I found was the usual pre-game atmosphere– red and blue jerseys everywhere, games on the BULLevard, and conversation in the beirgarten. NYCFC was given a special tailgating area separate from the parking lots where Red Bull fans congregate. Then it was time to let the game itself do the talking.

LOVE FIGHT PASSION GLORY

At the start of the game, the Red Bulls honored longtime fan Wendy Herm, who lost her battle with a brain tumor. At the team walkout, the starting XI wore tribute t-shirts and armbands, and a moment of silence was observed.

Following the national anthem, the South Ward raised a pride-inspired tifo. The official pride event for RBNY is scheduled for August- but there’s nothing wrong with showing pride any time!

Defensive midfielder Tyler Adams officially graduated HS the same day as the game, but chose the kit & boots over the cap & gown. He played 82 minutes, with one shot on goal. He, like striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, was too easily contained by NYCFC.

A WELL-MATCHED MATCH

Both teams opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, both teams utilized all their subs, and both teams hit double-digit fouls (including 3 yellow cards each: Murillo 11’, Muyl 77’; Lawrence 90+5’; Chanot 20’, McNamara 28’, Ring 84’) RBNY midfielder Felipe, known for suffering a lot of fouls, was cautioned early on for drawing fouls.

NEVER GET TIRED OF CALLING HIM IRONMAN

Goalkeeper Luis Robles, during his 157th straight appearance, put up 4 saves but was not able to keep a clean sheet. His save in the 54th minute that has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week, his third nomination of the season.

CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE

It’s one thing to get scored on by the opponent at home, but it’s a special kind of disappointment to be scored on by the team RBNY has been able to outscore 18-5 over the course of the “rivalry”. But, as coach Jesse Marsch said in the press conference following the game, “you have to give them credit”. The NYC goals (Harrison, 33’; Sweat 65’) were solid, the result of strong possession and attack. The fans, while more a fan of the f-word than this soccer mom would like, had a good showing and were heard chanting “we can’t hear you” following the first goal.

WANING MINUTES, RISING FRUSTRATION

The yellow card for Alex Muyl (77’) for diving was met with bottles and cans being thrown onto the field from the South Ward. I’ve never seen that before, and with the immediate ejections of the perpetrators, I’m confident it will not happen again. The pace of the game grew frantic by RBNY in an effort to save the game, and the substitutions (Gonzalo Veron, Sal Zizzo, and Connor Lade) didn’t calm the team. When the final whistle blew, NYCFC had made New York **slightly** more blue. They’ll only have to do this five more times to really level the rivalry.

Featured image courtesy: New York Red Bulls facebook

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This Win is So Metro

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

By Sylvana Budesheim // @whitezinwench

Wednesday, June 14th: 1-0 Win

Derby.

Dar-bee.

New York Derby.

Metropolitan Derby.

Hudson River Derby.

I’d pay NBC Sports anchor Rebecca Lowe five bucks to record the words “Hudson River Derby.”

I was in the press box for this New York matchup. The press access is a completely different experience than any I’ve had at Red Bull Arena. The only rule was that I couldn’t be a fan– business casual dress, no fan gear, no asking for autographs or selfies. A fair trade for the view. There was food and drink available, as well as a workspace for taking notes during the game. I fully enjoyed the game from my unique vantage point, and I look forward to having the opportunity to visit the press box again.

The New York Red Bulls (6-7-2, 20 points) took on NYCFC (7-5-3, 24 points) in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup, a tournament open to professional and amateur soccer clubs throughout the US. It’s a time for Cinderella stories (like Christos FC and the LA Wolves, coached by US Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda), but it’s also an opportunity to get in some extra battles between regional rivals.

There was no doubt this game was going to be chippy. I don’t think the fans would have it any other way. Having a colleague who is the official reporter for NYCFC, I can appreciate a healthy amount of banter. This is not the first time I have been to Red Bull Arena for a matchup against NYCFC. It was electric even then, the hottest day of summer 2016. But this was a much more comfortable evening in more ways than one. Gathering up my gumption, I applied for a media pass and got approved. So, on a much cooler evening, I got to see the game from the press box just above the Red Bulls bench. 

Biggest news of the evening is the end of the Iron Man streak: Goalkeeper Luis Robles did not take his place in goal after 155 straight matches. Ryan Meara, GK for the USL-trophy winning RBNYII, took his place in the net. While he had his work cut out for him, Meara was up for the challenge, making 3 saves throughout the game. Most notably was in the 16th minute, when NYC midfielder Tommy McNamara nailed a shot at Meara, who caught enough of it to send it bouncing off the crossbar and the ground a couple of times before getting cleared. I can’t help but wonder if the moment will be used in the argument for VAR. Then in the 40th minute, NYC striker hit the far post and Meara grabbed the ball as it bounced out again. The goal frame proved a formidable member of the RBNY defense.

During the entire first half, RBNY was capable of breaking up the counterattack but they were subsequently running more than playing (a common complaint in MLS).

After a scoreless first half, Dani Royer was subbed in for Grella at kickoff for the 2nd half. The expected chippiness of the rivalry continued to grow, with a total of 29 fouls committed by both sides.

Tyler Adams, fresh off his run with USMNT U20s, continues to amaze in the defense. Adams’ frustration was visibly increasing in the attacking third. From my vantage point, I could see what Adams was trying to create, but his teammates just weren’t cooperating.

Finally, the stalemate was broken by a goal in the 67th minute from Royer following an assist from forward Bradley Wright-Phillips. BWP lured NYC GK Sean Johnson off his line and allowed Royer to tuck it home. RBNY were able to hang onto that lead for the rest of the match and advance to the Round of 16, where they will face the Philadelphia Union. As for NYC, they’ll be back for league play on the 24th, the game following RBNY’s next league match on Sunday the 18th, against…. the Philadelphia Union.

I guess that’s what is known as the “magic of the Cup”.

Featured image from press box courtesy: Sylvana Budesheim

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No Joy in Harrison

Sylvana - NY Red Bulls
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Sunday, May 14th: 1-3 Loss

So here I am again, having watched the New York Red Bulls (5-6-1, 16 points) lose to a non-conference team that has been suffering this season (LA Galaxy, 3-5-2, 11 points), and feeling the urge to explain what is going wrong for the Red Bulls. But I also insist that the answer is above my pay grade. So I can’t explain. I can only guess.

Watching the team in action, it’s almost as if no one is showing the necessary initiative. Sure, Sacha Kljestan was a natural successor in the role of team captain, and he takes the role seriously enough. The roster is full of players who have been a part of the system for a long time, from veterans Felipe and Bradley Wright-Phillips to Homegrown players Connor Lade and Alex Muyl. But it seems that everyone is more willing to let someone else take the lead in the moment.

The back line, with its near-constant rotation, isn’t taking charge of the space in the defensive third while opponents are on the attack; Bradley Wright-Phillips seems to be aiming for the assist rather than the goal; Sacha Kljestan spends several touches squaring up the ball for someone who just isn’t coming.

When Galaxy DP Roman Alessandrini scored a brace in the first 10 minutes of the game, it’s not because he was waiting for the injured Jermaine Jones to return, or depending on just the right pass from Gyasi Zardes. He just went for it. This evening, I sat closer to the field than I had ever been, and could hear Luis Robles screaming to his teammates to “wake up”. But they never did. There isn’t the explosiveness on the field that made them Supporter Shield winners in the past.

On a more positive note, Mike Grella made his return from injury in the 2nd half. He tried to help turn things around for the team, and the fans were happy to see him back on the pitch. The frustration levels were rising, leading to a penalty in the box in the 78th minute that was converted by Giovani Dos Santos, bringing the Galaxy to a 3-0 lead.

Galaxy defender Bradley Diallo was issued two yellow cards which resulted in a sending off in the 90th minute, and that opened the door for Daniel Royer to make the consolation goal in the 93rd. It was a welcome celebration, but too little too late. As the rain was falling in the waning minutes of the game, disappointed fans began to pour out of Red Bull Arena. Like the sad fans of Mudville, they had no choice but to admit that the mighty Red Bulls had, in their own way, struck out.

The team faces Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC this coming Friday, giving them only a few days to regroup. Who will be the team’s lightning rod? And how soon can they get the team charged up?

Featured image courtesy: @NewYorkRedBulls

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On the Road, Out of Order

Sylvana - NY Red Bulls
Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Wednesday, May 3: 2-0 Loss

Mid-week. On the road. Non-conference. Apparently, it was time to change things up a bit.

The New York Red Bulls (5-4-1, 15 points), coming off a successful home stand, hit the road with their first stop in Children’s Mercy Park to face Western Conference powerhouse Sporting Kansas City (5-1-3, 19 points).

Having started a run of three games in 8 days, RBNY coach Jesse Marsch made significant changes to the lineup. Sacha Kljestan gave his captain’s armband up to Luis Robles. Defender (and reality TV star) Sal Zizzo made an appearance at center back, since Aurelien Collin is week-to-week with a groin injury. Panamanian international Michael Murillo made his long-awaited debut for RBNY. Bradley Wright-Phillips took a well-deserved break, making way for Designated Player Gonzalo Veron and Frederik Gulbrandsen to lead the team in a 4-2-2-2 formation.

On the other hand, SKC was not interested in making significant changes. Captain Matt Besler, USMNT notables Graham Zusi & Benny Feilhaber, and the ever-popular SKC striker Dom Dwyer were ready for a fight in front of the KC Cauldron. It’s worth noting that a win for either side would have put them in 1st place in their conference. In hindsight, that doesn’t seem to have been the priority for New York.

The starting whistle was more like a starting pistol for both teams: pace and passing were intense in the first 20 minutes.  Both sides were held scoreless in the first half, despite the solid chances for Gulbrandsen and Zizzo. Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia made several saves to keep his side in the game.

Then the second half happened. Sporting KC decided they wanted it more and acted on it. In the opening minute, Feilhaber made a shot into the NY box that Zizzo couldn’t clear and Dwyer sunk the ball into the back of the net. Although the rest was over for usual starters Klejstan, Wright-Phillips, and Dani Royer, it proved to be too little too late: in the 68th minute, the combination of Feilhaber and Dwyer caught the defense sleeping and scored a second time. The game ended in a 2-0 loss for the Red Bulls, and fans were left questioning the lesson that was meant to be learned.

Was it a night for experimentation? If so, Marsch had the right idea putting in Murillo and Derrick Etienne, and starting Gulbrandsen, to see what they could do in unfamiliar territory. Was it worth losing? No one is happy to lose, especially when the chances were there for the Red Bulls. Honestly, this is the first write-up I’ve had to make with a RBNY loss. It’s not fun.

Next game for RBNY is this Saturday, away at Philadelphia Union, who must be very hungry for a win. How will the Red Bulls handle this very different situation?

Featured image courtesy: @NewYorkRedBulls

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East or West, Home is Best

Sylvana - NY Red Bulls
Official New York Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 22: 2-0 Win

I live by the notion that it costs me nothing to be nice, and indeed it makes my life infinitely better. Thanks to a particularly generous season ticket holder, I was able to take my 9-year-old son to the New York Red Bulls (4-3-1, 13 points) game against the Columbus Crew (4-3-1, 13 points) and sit in a none-too-shabby location (lower level, above the corner flag to the right of the goal). I’ve been to Red Bull Arena a few times before, enough that I didn’t need my GPS to get there or to find the arena from my rather distant parking spot.

With the increasing popularity of soccer broadcasting, it’s easy to watch a game at home or in a bar. But nothing beats being in Red Bull Arena. We sat near the Supporter’s Section, full of shirtless screamers and flags and smoke. We yelled out “RED!” during the bridge of the National Anthem, the only color mentioned in the song. We sat with our fuzzy throw blankets and cheered the team on. And my son looked at that field and said, “Someday, I’ll play out there.”

Unfortunately, there was a false start of sorts when midfielder Artur went down in the first minute. (It was later confirmed that he suffered a broken wrist.) But the Red Bulls were riding the wave that comes with a very comfortable 18-game undefeated streak at home.

In fact, it only took 11 minutes for Alex Muyl (pronounced “M-wheel” — reporters and analysts are pronouncing his name incorrectly; that should be changing very soon) to find the back of the net following a cross by Kemar Lawrence. This was Muyl’s 2nd goal in as many games.  Goalkeeper Luis Robles was able to keep a clean sheet once again, most notably against Crew striker Justin Meram—any Red Bulls fan can tell you it’s not fun to see that Audi Player Index commercial where Meram gets past Robles, no matter how long ago it was.

Then in the 38th minute, RBNY striker Bradley Wright-Phillips was brought down in the box by Crew defender Alex Crognale, who was injured in the incident. Another Crew injury, another forced substitution. Austrian winger Daniel Royer converted the Penalty Kick and doubled the lead. Both teams were held scoreless in the second half, even though some great chances came to subs Frederik Gulbrandsen and Derrick Etienne Jr.

Gulbrandsen, on loan from Red Bull Salzburg, actually did find the back of the net but was ruled offside. When the final whistle blew, the home team was victorious and the sizeable crowd made their way back to their cars or the train station. My son promptly fell asleep in the backseat on the ride home, happy to have been in the arena for another Red Bulls win.

Same time next week, guys? I’ll be sure to let you know.

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Red Bulls Get the Job Done Against DC United

Sylvana - NY Red Bulls
Official New York Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, April 15:  2- 0 Win

It’s a holiday weekend.

I have 4 kids, not to mention a family that traditionally goes big for this holiday.
So I couldn’t go to iconic Red Bull Arena for the latest installment of the Atlantic Cup.
And I wasn’t the only one with this problem.

But thanks to the miracle of modern soccer broadcasting, the game was available in the comfort of my (parents’) home.

The New York Red Bulls (3-3-1) began a welcome run of home games with their first meeting against DC United (2-3-1) for this season. RBNY stumbled at the beginning of the season, albeit an improvement from the slow start in 2016, and injuries plague the team (Mike Grella and Gonzalo Veron are still on the Injured list), but they have been determined to turn things around.

And try they did. The Red Bulls dominated the first 45 minutes of play, keeping the ball in the attacking third. They had plenty of set pieces (plays that re-start action, such as corner and free kicks), which have become their signature goal-scoring plays. But they just couldn’t finish. DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid made some great saves during the first half, but RBNY just kept knocking at the door…

It took until the 1st minute of the second half to finally make a breakthrough. Sacha Kljestan, wearing the captain’s armband emblazoned with the logos of the three official supporter’s groups for the club, found the head of Alex Muyl on a corner kick and suddenly it was 1-0 for the home team. The team was able to relax a bit with the lead, and even though it resulted in more time in the defensive end of the field, the confidence was noticeably higher. Then in the 80th minute, thanks to a perfectly-placed pass from Felipe Martins, lead goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips nutmegged Hamid, sending a shot between his legs and doubling the lead. Red Bull GK Luis Robles, known as the Ironman, made some great saves to maintain the clean sheet at home.

A rivalry is always a great place to find even more than the usual physicality on the field, and this match was no exception. The head referee’s book was opened plenty, with a total of 5 yellow cards issued between the two teams. There were plenty of tackles and 1v1 plays, and players could be found on the ground nursing a sore shin or knee following these plays. Unfortunately, DC’s Steve Birnbaum had to be stretchered off the field in stoppage time following a head-to-head clash with RB defender Damien Perrinelle, and hopefully he is well. Also, it was nice to see Lloyd Sam again, who was traded to DC United last season. I always hope he does well… unless he’s playing against the Red Bulls.

This coming weekend is not a holiday weekend.
I hope I can make it to the game.
And I hope plenty of others can make it as well.

Featured image courtesy: @NewYorkRedBulls

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