Red Bulls Outlast Orlando City For Season-Saving Win

The New York Red Bulls got a much-needed victory on Sunday night, as they outlasted Orlando City SC 3-2. Bradley Wright-Phillips led the way with two goals for the Red Bulls.

This was just the Red Bulls’ second win of the season, and came at the right time as they entered this one with a record of 1-6-0 and this is the first of two at home this week, so they can make up some ground.

The Red Bulls also desperately needed to score some goals, as they only scored once in their prior four games, all losses.

The Red Bulls came out firing, and had some good chances in the opening minutes.

One of those chances came in the third minute, as they tried for a goal on a cross from Sacha Kljestan. That led to an odd-man rush for Orlando City, and Cyle Larin scored off a feed from Rafael Ramos to make it 1-0.

Orlando City goalie Joe Bendik makes a save on Lloyd Sam. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.
Orlando City goalie Joe Bendik makes a save on Lloyd Sam. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

Despite pouring in 15 shots, four on target, in the first half the Red Bulls couldn’t convert.

As they have so many times this season, they went into the half down a goal.

Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of what he told the team at halftime, “Actually, what I told the team at halftime is that it was a similar halftime speech that we’ve had lately. Don’t give the second goal away. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming. And actually, I believed it more at this halftime than ever because it was just impossible for us to continue to create such quality chances and for the ball not to go in.”

In the second half, around the 60th minute, Larin was in on a breakaway and was taken down in the box by Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette. There was no call on the play, which should have been a red card for Ouimette and a penalty kick for Larin.

Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said of that play and how it affected the rest of the game, “Well, I think of games that are really tight, decisions went against us, again. I think the biggest decision of the night was Cyle fouled. If he was, is it a red card? Yes, it is. It could have been a big turning point in the game.

“I’m not saying that they (Red Bulls) didn’t deserve to win the game, because they did. But once again, me and Jesse (Marsch) were just talking. He’s of the same mind to me. It’s another game where the officials (indiscernible). It was disappointing because I thought we were on the counter attack. I thought we were dangerous all evening, and I always felt that we were one pass away from getting in on two or three occasions, but it wasn’t to be.”

Heath said of the officiating, “I said before, goals change games. After we got a penalty and they scored, at two-nil makes it a completely different game. Even if you don’t score the penalty, it changes the whole complexion of the game. Big decisions change games.”

Marsch said of the officiating on that play, “I can’t comment on it, unfortunately. That’s just the way that this works is that I have to be respectful. Not sure what to say about that play. Could have certainly, you could have seen it given as a red card, but it didn’t, and fortunately for us that’s a moment where it’s good for us and we catch a break which I feel like we haven’t caught a lot of. So, yeah, that’s all I really have to say about that.”

The Red Bulls followed this up by finally breaking through in the 65th minute. Mike Grella, coming down the left side, scored on a feed from Sacha Kljestan to tie it at 1.

In the 69th, Kljestan took a free kick from the left side just outside the box, fed it to Dax McCarty on the right, tapped it back to Grella, who launched it to the left corner of the net to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who got his first goal of the year to make it 2-1 Red Bulls. Wright-Phillips scored again in the 75th on a feed from Lloyd Sam to make it 3-1 Red Bulls.

Orlando City made a late push, and they crashed the net in the 84th minute, and it went off Ouimette, who was charged with an own goal that cut the Red Bulls’ lead to 3-2.

New York Red Bulls fans celebrate the win. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.
New York Red Bulls fans celebrate the win. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of sensing that this performance was coming, “We made reminders to the attacking players to be on the run, to be on the move, and not just want balls to feed. I think they all did that tonight. Sacha (Kljestan) tilted the bar a really good way tonight where he was on the move a lot, and I think that added pressure on the back line. It opened holes up and opened up gaps.

“Then, again, it’s just about training better, pushing harder, and then even at the end of it all, they kind of said to me after the game, you know what? Once we got the lead, we kind of, it felt like us. It felt good to be ahead and it felt like we had more confidence, and we weren’t forcing things as much. Again, that continued to create the danger, and the confidence, and the poise around the goal. So we need to use this in all the right ways to make us a good team.”

Marsch said of the big effort in the second half, “So on that note, I think it was Bradley’s best game of the year, Sacha’s best game of the year, Mike’s best game of the year, and Lloyd’s (Sam) best game of the year. Right? So they really dictated how we did things in the attacking part of the field, and they were dangerous all night, and they all contributed to the goals. So that was really good to see.”

Marsch said of the difference in his team in the later stages of the game, “Yeah, I mean, listen, when you’re part of this game for a long time, you see certain moments that I try to be true to what I’m looking at, right? And try to remove opinion and try to remove self interests, and now just try to identify exactly what we’re looking at and how to make things better and move forward. When I’ve been looking at things it’s not like I look at a bunch of attacking players that have lost their way or have lost their work ethic or desire or commitment or anything, which then leads me to believe that people believe in luck, destiny, and fate and all these different things. But for me I believe in what’s real and what I know is real is those four guys are real, and they’re dangerous, and I see it every day, and they’re quality guys, they’re quality players, and I knew that they’re going to be dangerous players in this league and get us goals. So did it take reminders at times for all of us? Yeah. But that’s normal when you go through stretches like this. It’s just that you continue to do the things that we all value and we’re going to come out on the other end in a good way.”

Marsch said of Bradley Wright-Phillips, “Really, all I said to them all was don’t look at me like here we go again. Look at me like we’ve got this, no problem, let’s keep going. And I think trying to reassure them that we were in a good place. With Brad, I believe in that guy. You know, I told him I believed in him. He will score goals, and that’s that.”

Wright-Phillips said of the win and scoring, “It was good man, I don’t want to sound too cliche, but it’s all about the three points. We’ve been struggling to get three points and today felt good. It felt really good.”

On if his first goal opened the floodgates, Wright-Phillips said, “Yeah I feel like I’m back as a player. When I’m not scoring, I’m not scoring. I go on the worst runs and I don’t want to jinx myself when I do score. I manage to just get lucky and they all start going in so hopefully that’s what happens now.”

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media