(The Red Bulls had a great road trip – Photo by Mike Lawrence)
The Red Bulls tied the Montreal Impact 1-1 on Wednesday night, concluding a road trip in which they got four out of six possible points.
The Red Bulls beat Philadelphia 3-1 on Saturday night in Shaun Wright-Phillips’ debut with the team. Shaun and his brother Bradley both had goals in that one, showing immediately what having them together will do for the team.
On Wednesday night, Montreal broke through in the 40th minute, when Dominic Oduro ran onto a loose ball just inside the penalty area and fired one by Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles on his first touch.
The Red Bulls tied it in the 52nd minute, when Lloyd Sam made a secondary run behind Bradley Wright-Phillips to get on the end of a long cross from Mike Grella. Sam just got a touch on the ball to redirect it inside the left post, leaving Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush no time to react.
The game-tying goal was the sixth of the season for Sam, breaking his previous MLS season-high of five, which he had back in 2013. It was also the 15th of his Red Bulls career, putting him in elite company as just the seventh player in team history to record 15 goals and 15 assists for New York. It was also the fourth assist of the season for Grella.
Montreal would strike first in the 40th minute, when Dominic Oduro ran onto a loose ball just inside the penalty area and fired one by Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles on his first touch.
The Red Bulls gained a man-advantage when Impact center back Laurent Ciman was ejected in the 79th minute after being shown a second yellow card for a tackle on second-half sub Sal Zizzo, who entered the game at right back for the start of the second half.
The game was still tied in the 93rd minute, just at the end of extra time, when the Red Bulls were awarded a free kick. Felipe took it just outside the box, and he fired it to the right of the “wall” and it went off the right post, preventing the Red Bulls from grabbing a stunning win. The final whistle blew around 30 seconds later.
The Red Bulls are in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, with 33 points and a 9-6-6 record. They are playing some of their best soccer of the season, with an unbeaten streak in MLS play of four games.
They are looking strong heading into the third installment of the New York Derby, as they will host New York City Football Club on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls won the first two matches between the clubs, on May 10th in Harrison and June 28th at Yankee Stadium. NYC FC is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Impact this past Saturday at Yankee Stadium, and they are kind of in a transition mode at the moment. In the last month, NYC FC has added Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard up front, and Andoni Iraola, Angelino, and Jefferson Mena to the back line.
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of the team’s performance on Wednesday night, “I’m very proud of our team tonight. This has been a tough place for teams to get results. I thought we came in here and we pushed the game in a really good way, and in the most part we were the better team on the day and a little unlucky not to get the win.”
Marsch said of Lloyd Sam, “I thought Lloyd on the day was extremely impressive, very confident going after Toia a lot, getting crosses over and being on the move. Obviously scores a good goal, did all the things we talked about in terms of being dynamic. Being a multi-dimensional player, I thought he showed a lot of that tonight.”
Felipe said of his side’s performance, “I was really hoping to score in the last minute. But I think we played well, from the first minute we played the game we’ve been playing. We pushed the game but at the end it was 1-1, maybe a little unlucky but now it’s on to the next one.”
Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette said of the game’s intensity, exhibited by his getting into a shouting match with captain Dax McCarty, “I think right now everyone needs points in the East. It was an intense match with a lot of individual battles. The Montreal players are all really technical, so constantly having individual duels against them creates a lot of tension, and we saw that tension throughout the entire game.”
MARSCH RETURNS TO MONTREAL:
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch coached the Impact in their inaugural season in 2012, and they finished with 42 points. Despite the successful season, he left due to philosophical issues with upper management. Ironically, that’s how he kind of got the Red Bulls job, as Marsch was brought in after new management dismissed Mike Petke and wanted to take the club in a new direction.
Marsch said of coming back to Montreal, “This game was not about me in any way, it was about our team. Coming in here, in a big game against a good team, and making sure we gave everything we have. It was a little weird to be back, and to sit on the other bench and everything. Other than some of the familiarity, it was about the team today.”
Marsch was not the only one returning to Montreal, as two of the players he coached up there, Karl W. Ouimette and Felipe, also made their returns. Both Ouimette and Felipe played there from 2012 through 2014.
Ouimette said of coming back to Montreal, “It was a little bit weird in the beginning when I first came out. Coming out of the tunnel, going to the other side, when I was so used to sitting on the home side. I’m not going to lie, I got shivers like if it was a home match. But we forget all that when the game starts and need to give it all we got.”
Felipe said of returning to Montreal, “It’s always nice to come back and it was my first time. The fans were good to me, and I think it’s because they know that everything I can do, I did for this club. Now it’s a new team, new fans, but I really enjoyed this game even though we didn’t get two more points.”