The New York Red Bulls earned another shutout at home on Wednesday night, as they beat Orlando City SC, 2-0.
This increased the Red Bulls shutout streak at home to an incredible 546 minutes. They have not allowed a goal at Red Bull Arena since Orlando City’s last visit on April 24, when they scored in the 86th minute of a 3-2 Red Bulls win.
We’ve got a shutout string at home”, Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “That’s pretty good right now. I feel like the more that we are defensively sound at home, and that’s been a little bit of a shift we’ve made this year, I think last year we kind of almost attacked all out trying to find a way to get goals. This year we’ve been a little bit more cautious to protect ourselves from the counter.
“It means we’ve managed to give up fewer goals. We always have faith that the goal will come for us. We have enough quality in the attacking part of the field that if we can get shutouts, we feel like we’ll get wins.”
Red Bulls goaltender Luis Robles earned his seventh shutout of the season, and he made seven saves, including on a point-blank shot from Cyle Larin on a breakaway in the 76th minute.
Robles made his 126th regular season start in goal for New York, passing Tony Meola for most starts and appearances in goal. All of Robles’ appearances for New York have been consecutive. He is the league record holder in that category.
The Red Bulls’ defense has been in flux all year, as Marsch has tried many different units due to injury and performance. In this one, he used Ronald Zubar, Chris Duvall, Connor Lade, and Aurelian Collin.
“I would say in general this year has required resiliency, Marsch said of his defense and Robles. “It has not been easy. We’ve demanded a lot out of ourselves in tough moments to figure out ways to get results. The last four games I think in the league we weren’t able to get a win. But there were a lot of good moments in those games. We’ve managed not to give much away.
“So we’re close. I really feel like that. We’re really close to turning a corner and now starting to have results pile up for us. It’s just a matter of executing a little bit more on the field and having a few more good performances, making big plays in each box.”
Lade also got it done on offense, as he scored his first-ever goal in MLS competition.
In the 37th minute, Lade stepped into the box to grab a loose ball off a Sean Davis corner kick and fired a strike by Orlando City goalie Joe Bednik to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead.
“Connor’s goal is really good,” Marsch said. “He just slows down a little bit. It’s something we’ve been talking about, our outside backs, something that we’ve been talking to our outside backs about, is in the attacking part of the field slowing down a little, having a little bit more poise, coming up with more quality and final plays.”
The Red Bulls had a corner kick in the 58th minute, and Felipe fired a shot to the left of the “wall” formed by the Orlando City defense and out of reach of Bednik to make it 2-0.
“I saw the keeper moving a little bit toward, towards the middle and that would be great if I can hit it and I was glad that I could hit well,” Felipe said.
The Red Bulls improve to 8-9-3, 27 points, and move into third place in the Eastern Conference, just three points behind NYC FC (8-6-6, 30 points) for first place.
The Red Bulls’ next home game will be July 24 against NYC FC in the third and final installment of the Hudson River Derby.
That will be a big test of their shutout streak at Red Bull Arena.