The New York Red Bulls remained undefeated after getting a second-half goal to force a tie with the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon in Harrison, NJ. The Red Bulls’ record is now 3-0-3, and the defending MLS champion Galaxy are 3-2-3.
The Galaxy were playing without their star forward Robbie Keane, and they got the scoring started early. Keane’s replacement Bradford Jamieson broke through for a strike from the corner of the box in the ninth minute to give them a 1-0 lead.
The Red Bulls responded quickly, with Bradley Wright-Phillips getting a quality chance in the 15th minute, but Galaxy goalie Jaime Penedo made an outstanding save. The Red Bulls controlled possession for 61.9 percent of the first half, but could not break through, and remained down a goal heading into halftime.
They kept the momentum going in the second half, constantly going to the net. Just over ten minutes into it, there was a scramble in the crease, and the ball wound up bouncing up into Felipe’s face and then into the net to tie it up in the 58th minute. It looked like a header, but the thing was that the ball deflected off Felipe, who was standing still.
Felipe said of the goal, “I was a little bit lucky. I think the good thing is we came back and tied this game…We’ve been working on the midfielders going to the offensive part. This time, I followed the action and the ball came right to my head. That was the goal, I have to look again at the goal. I was completely lucky, but important thing is we scored the goal.”
On if it was the easiest goal he ever scored, Felipe said, “I think so. I don’t score many, but I think it was luck to go.”
Felipe said of what he thinks of this team, “Completely happy to be part of this team. We are family, we run for each other, we play for each other, and everyday we go to training happy to be part of this team, this organization. I think everybody is so motivated and the staff is putting out some of the best situation and the best way to play. It’s a long way to continue playing and we have to keep working hard and in the end, we’re going to see what happens.”
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of what he learned about his team going up against LA, “I mean when you say ‘shorthanded,’ it’s maybe just missing Robbie Keane, and obviously that’s a big piece, but that’s still a very good LA team on the field. And for me, I thought that we controlled the game from the opening whistle, and for 90 minutes, I thought we were on top of the match. Getting the early goal for them really changed the match a little bit, and meant that we were pushing and they were sitting back, but overall I thought that all of the little tactical details for what we needed to do to be on top of the match were good. And then, the guys pushed and pushed and got the equalizer, and we were a little bit unlucky not to find the lead. Overall, I would give it a positive performance.”
Marsch said of what he has seen from his team game-to-game, “I thought our reactions and our awareness and our movement as a group was all good, very, very good. So, in a lot of ways, the first half might be one of our better halfs of the season. These are positives, and I feel like we continue to move ourselves along against a good team. We played really well, and again we’re a little bit unlucky not to get three points.”
On what Felipe put into today’s game, Marsch said, “He does so many little things well. He sees the game fast, his feet are sharp, so in tight spots, he can collect balls and see things quickly and deliver the next play. He covers so much ground, he breaks up so many plays. He’s a connector, he’s an attacker. His engine is at a very high level. I thought another very good performance for him in the middle of the field and, you know, he’s only 24, but he’s wise beyond his years and I think that he shows that every day. He’s grasping what we want to do and he’s growing and I think he’s only going to get better. Very good start to the season for him and another very good night. I know he’ll be happy he got on the board, even if it was a little bit of a weird play, but still, goal nonetheless and an important one.”
Next game: The Red Bulls host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm at Red Bull Arena.