A near 90 minute weather delay didn’t stop Bradley Wright-Phillips from becoming the fastest player to reach the 100 goal milestone in the MLS. His 100th came in the second minute of last night’s game against D.C. United. The Red Bulls did a good job all night of finding Wright-Phillips with passes that synced up with his runs, it was Kaku with the early assist. Bradley timed his run, splitting the center backs and finding himself with Ousted in front of him. Fredric Brillant was closing down on him, Wright-Phillips calmly cut the ball back, and fired a shot that went through the defender’s legs and off the keeper for his historic goal. He reached the 100 goal mark in just 159 appearances, Taylor Twellman previously held the record by doing so in just 174 games. That one goal would hold up for the night, allowing New York to hand D.C. United their first loss in their new home.
As for the Black-and-Red, their first half performance was certainly lacking and Ben Olsen said as much during his post game presser. They just seemed to be a bit off all night. One of the biggest issues that stood out was the late passes or hesitation to make a pass on time. Runs would be made but the ball was either late or never sent. The Red Bulls had no issue with that at all, their midfielders were making life tough on D.C. United. Wright-Phillips best attribute may be the timing of his runs, he exploited the space between Brillant and Birnbaum nearly all night. The activity from his teammates drew enough attention at times, that he was able to slip by unnoticed.
“We didn’t come out ready enough. It’s a rivalry and we have to come out faster. We got it together after 15 minutes, but we’re gonna learn from it and bounce back.” – Chris Durkin
Despite the poor first half of play, the Black-and-Red had avoided a few scary situations in which the Red Bulls could have extended the lead by a couple of goals. The game also could have been tied in the 28th minute when Zoltan Steiber found a running Paul Arriola for an apparent goal, but a video review would take away with the goal.
The Black-and-Red definitely showed a bit more life in the second half, but they couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities they created. There were also a few controversial moments as well. In the 52nd minute, it appeared as if a handball could have been called on New York. It was in the box and if called would of resulted in a penalty kick. Wayne Rooney would come on during the 56th minute, Russell Canouse came on in the 67th.
Oneil Fisher was one of the few players for D.C. United that had a good game from start to finish. He was active in both defending and attacking. Luciano Acosta found Rooney with a nice ball that gave Wayne room to bring the ball down and fire a shot, but outstanding defense by Red Bulls midfielder Kemar Lawrence took that chance away. He tackled Rooney cleanly to deny D.C. United that quality chance, but they would create others. The crowd didn’t like that play as something similar happened a few minutes earlier and no call was made, that one should have resulted in a penalty kick as Rooney was taken down in the box.
Steiber would get an opportunity in the box, but one touch too many allowed the defense to close in and block the shot. Wayne would get the ball in the box late in regulation, evade two defenders before playing a ball to Yamil Asad. The shot was absolutely lacking, from there the Red Bulls stalled things and secured the win.
The yellow card Paul Arriola received in the 32nd minute means he’ll be suspended for Saturday’s match against the visiting Colorado Rapids.