The New York Red Bulls scored three goals in the first four minutes on their way to a 4-1 rout of the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
This comes after a week in which the other soccer team in town, the one that plays in The Bronx, made a big splash introducing new players and making big signings. This win by the Red Bulls was a statement that they are still the best team in the New York area and should not be forgotten.
With the win, the Red Bulls made some noise in the standings, as they jumped from sixth to second place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings. The Red Bulls improved to 7-6-5, with 26 points, and they passed Orlando, Columbus, and New England, who all have 24 points. DC United leads the East with 35 points and a record of 10-6-5.
The Red Bulls wasted no time in this one. Just four minutes in, Lloyd Sam found himself along the end-line to the right of the goal, and flipped it to the center of the crease, where Bradley Wright-Phillips was, and BWP buried it to make it 1-0.
In the ninth minute, Wright-Phillips was at the top of the box, and tapped it to Mike Grella, who was not too far off, and Grella passed to to his right to Sam, coming down the right side, and Sam buried it to make it 2-0 Red Bulls.
The onslaught continued just three minutes later when Dax McCarty got it to Wright-Phillips at the top of the box, and Wright-Phillips took it to the right as he moved in and drilled it to make it 3-0.
The Red Bulls had plenty more chances after that, as they notched 8 shots in the first half. New England goalie Bobby Shuttleworth did a great job keeping them in it. The Revolution did get on the board in the 35th minute when Andy Dorman got a pass in the center of the box and got one by Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles.
In the second half, the Red Bulls got the insurance goal they needed when Anthony Wallace shot one that found its way in for a goal in the 56th minute. This was Wallace’s first goal in just his second game with the Red Bulls.
In the 88th minute, New England’s capatin, defender Jose Goncalves, got a yellow card for taking down a Red Bulls player in the box. This was his second yellow, which equals a red card, so that was it for him. Sal Zizzo took the penalty kick that resulted, and Shuttleworth made an amazing save on the point-blank opportunity.
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch was suspended from this one as punishment for the red card he received last Saturday in Columbus, so Assistant Coach Denis Hamlett took the reins for the night.
Hamlett said of the game, “I thought our guys came out with the right mindset from the get-go. We were aggressive, in attack mode, and the game’s first 15 minutes were probably the best we played all year. We weathered the storm a little bit in the second half, got a goal, didn’t finish the game well. We talked about getting three points, that was important for us to get, and we got it.”
On stepping in for Marsch on short notice, as the suspension was handed down on Friday morning, Hamlett said, “We kind of had a feeling he might be suspended. I was just surprised it came out on Friday morning. We had a good week of training. We talked about it, the message was to our guys was, you know, ‘you guys take over.’ We’ve been together now 17 games in. We know who we are, what we’re about.”
One difference watching Hamlett work this one, in comparison to Marsch, was how hands-off he was, barely leaving the bench throughout the game. It seemed to allow the players to relax and take the game into their own hands.
On the first three goals, Hamlett said, “I think it’s the credit to the guys. My message to them, and from Jesse, this week was we wanted to make sure that at home we’re in attack mode. We want to take the game to the team. Tonight, those guys were really good at it. I think, once they get going, then it’s just we finished our chances.”