Red Bulls Shut Out Minnesota, 3-0
Bradley Wright-Phillips (2 goals) and Alex Muyl (1 goal, 1 assist) led the way last night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ in the Red Bulls 3-0 home win over Minnesota United FC.
New York is now 2-1-0 on the season in MLS, and 5-1-1 overall including CONCACAF Champions League play.
The Red Bulls are on the road next weekend, at Orlando City SC on Saturday, March 31 before heading to Guadalajara to face Chivas in the semifinals of the SCCL.
NY - Alex Muyl 1 (Kyle Duncan) 15'
NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips 2 (Tim Parker, Sean Davis) 42'
NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips 3 (Alex Muyl) 78'
NY - MarcRzatkowski (caution, not retreating) 38'
MIN - Collen Warner (caution, unsporting behavior) 39'
MIN - Ibson (caution, unsporting behavior) 75'
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Connor Lade, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Kyle Duncan, Marc Rzatkowski, Sean Davis, Daniel Royer (Stefano Bonomo, 89'), Alex Muyl, Florian Valot (Carlos Rivas, 84'), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Derrick Etienne, Jr., 80')
TOTAL SHOTS: 21; SHOTS ON GOAL: 9; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4
Minnesota United FC: Matthew Lampson; Brent Kallman ©, Carter Manley, Marc Burch, Wyatt Omsberg, Collen Warner, Ethan Finlay, Ibson, Miguel Ibarra (Franck Pangop, 72'), Sam Nicholson (Mason Toye, 71'), Christian Ramirez (Abu Danladi, 63')
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 4; FOULS: 14; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 6
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Jonathan Johnson
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
The New York Red Bulls (2-1-0, 6 pts) used a total team effort to down Minnesota United FC (2-2-0, 6 pts), 3-0, on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena. New York is a perfect 4-0-0 at Red Bull Arena across all competitions this season and have outscored opponents, 12-1.
The Red Bulls are unbeaten at Red Bull Arena in their last 10 MLS regular-season matches (6-0-4). In those last 10 MLS matches, New York has outscored opponents, 26-6 with six clean sheets.
Alex Muyl found his first goal of the season in the 15th minute, curling his shot from the right corner of the 18-yard box to the far post.
In the 42nd minute, Sean Davis began a set play that was a perfect tic-tac-toe. Davis, from 35 yards out, lofted his pass into the box for Tim Parker, who flicked the ball with his head towards net and Bradley Wright curled the ball in mid-air over Matt Lampson's shoulder to double the lead, 2-0.
Midway through the second half, Muyl, from his own half, sent a perfect curling ball behind the Minnesota backline to Wright-Phillips, who finished with a chip over Lampson to the far post to complete his brace.
BWP raised his career MLS regular-season goal total to 89 and 106 across all competitions.
From 2014 to present, Wright-Phillips has scored 88 MLS regular-season goals, which is the most goals over a five-year span in MLS history. The Red Bulls striker surpassed Chris Wondolowski, who had 86 goals from 2010 to 2014.
BWP moves into a tie with Carlos Ruiz for 11th all-time in league history with 89 career MLS regular-season goals.
Wright-Phillips recorded his 19th career multi-goal game, moving him into sole possession of fifth place all-time in league history. BWP now has 15 career MLS regular-season braces.
New York has scored at least two goals in five of the last six competitions (4 SCCL, 2 MLS).
Captain Luis Robles recorded four saves to tally his second MLS regular-season shutout this season and fourth across all competitions.
Of Robles' 51 career clean sheets, he has recorded 35 of them at Red Bull Arena. He has a career 1.01 goals-against average at home.
Muyl not only scored his first goal of 2018, he tallied his first career multi-point game with a goal and an assist.
Kyle Duncan tallied an assist on Muyl's goal in the 15th minute to record his first career MLS regular-season point.
In just two MLS regular-season matches as a Red Bull, Parker tied his season-high in assists with one.
New York Red Bulls II products Stefano Bonomo and Florian Valot made their MLS debuts. Valot made his first appearance and start in a MLS regular-season match and Bonomo made his first appearance in a MLS regular-season match.
Head coach Jesse Marsch recorded his 50th career MLS regular-season win as the Red Bulls head coach. Marsch owns a career record of 50-32-23 at New York.
The Red Bulls deployed their seventh different starting XI tonight in their seventh game. Of the starting XI, New York had four Red Bulls Academy players (Connor Lade, Sean Davis, Duncan, and Muyl) and two USL products (Valot and Aaron Long).
New York is 15-15-9 all-time in the month of March. New York has scored 52 goals in March and allowed 52.
New York heads South for a match against Orlando City SC on Saturday, March 31 at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with coverage on UniMas and Red Bulls Radio in English on TuneIn.
POST GAME INTERVIEWS
New York Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch
Can you talk about Alex Muyl’s play tonight?
JESSE MARSCH: Everyone respects Alex so much for all the hard work he puts in and what an intelligent player he is and he's one of the best tactical players we have. He's hard on himself that he doesn't put together enough final plays and I keep saying to him, relax. That part comes and I've seen him enough in training and watched him enough over the last few years to know that he has quality.
For him, it's a lot about some confidence and belief in himself and slowing himself down to make some of those plays. Yeah, a very good goal and a very, very good assist. So you know, if Alex can continue to put that piece together, then he can become a real complete player, which in many ways he already is.
So he's an important guy here, and he has to remain patient at times because we've used different guys at different times and we'll use him at different moments but he's very important around here and really happy for him.
Q. Bradley Wright-Phillips is notoriously a slow starter and seems like this year everything he touches turns to gold. How do you explain that this year?
JESSE MARSCH: You know, it was tricky on him last year because he had the baby in the beginning of preseason and didn't really get to get himself going. This year, he came in really fit, ready to go. Obviously we've had to put some high demands on him early in the year in some big games and he's responded. We all know how good Brad is.
So it's obviously a very good sign that this early on, he's so sharp and so lethal and now the key for me is trying to always get the balance right so that we're not running him into the ground and make sure that he's fresh week-after-week, so you know, Brad always wants to play, he always wants to train. He's one of the most amazing people to be around.
He's just humble and hard-working, but we've got to make sure that we really equip him physically where everything he needs to have a productive, long season, and you know, I think he's even adjusted what he does off the field and his lifestyle, and he made sure that from every perspective, that he prepares himself to play and be fit. So, yeah, I mean, Brad is special. He's so special. When you see nights like tonight, you see the kind of goals he can score, we're really lucky to have him. Really lucky to have him.
Q. How big was it, that full week to prepare for this game?
JESSE MARSCH: I think from a physical perspective and a tactical perspective, it was good to just be able sort of work through what we wanted to get out of a game and how to prepare for an opponent, and I thought the execution for the most part was very good, very good. And then our team's taken a lot of pride this year on trying to get clean sheets.
So it's something that we have kind of taken from Ranieri when he was at Leicester. When he had clean sheets, they would have pizza parties. So there's pizza and beer in the locker room; so the guys get that for every four clean sheets we have in all competitions.
We're trying to find ways -- you can see at the end of the game, the pride that the team had to make sure that we were not going to give up a goal, Luis with a huge save but guys running back, doing whatever they can to make sure they weren't going to give one up.
Q. The CCL, do you feel that's helped prepare --
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, what it's done is it's forced us to come in, you know, forced the guys to come in fit and get ourselves prepared, have urgency every day and commit to making sure we're getting better every day, and I'll tell you, it has not been easy because the weather has been really bad.
We've had to train on turf at times, cold fields, windy, snowy, whatever. But the concentration from every guy has been at a really high level so it's kind of allowed us to continue to squeeze as much out of every day as we possibly can.
You know, we like our group, okay. We've got a long way to go yet. I think this group is just starting to come together and has a lot more to go to progress and be the team we think it can be, but obviously there's some early really good early signs.
Q. Parker, the second goal, since he's arrived, it's been a seamless transition. Don't think he's made a mistake yet. What have you seen from him and how has he made the transition so easy?
JESSE MARSCH: Well, you know, a big credit goes to Tim. He's a good player. He's taken on the challenge of being here in a big way. He's trying to learn every day what we do and how we do it, and then, you know, the reason why we want him and have been seeking him for so long is because we just feel like he fits us.
He fits us from a style of play perspective, a physical perspective, a mentality perspective; obviously being a local kid. There's a lot of ways that you can really look at it and go, this is going to be perfect.
So yeah, I mean, you know, he's come in, he's been really eager to try to adapt and learn the way we do things and obviously he's helped in a major way.
With him, now you start to feel like our defensive group is the best we've ever had, and if we can get that piece right, then I think this team will always be dangerous. So yeah, I mean, we still have a long way to go with him and with his adaptation but the early signs have been really good.
Q. On Alex, you touched on it before but he's been criticized quite a bit from the media, myself included. He doesn't seem to bring enough to the attack. How do you get more games like today out of him? Is that a confidence thing?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, it is a confidence thing. It's a maturity thing. It's a bit of a process for him. You know, it's funny because obviously around here, we were big fans of Leipzig we watched him a lot and we talked with the people over there a lot, and the guy they have over there is a guy named Yussuf Poulsen and he doesn't always score a lot of goals and doesn't always add up to a lot of final plays, but they always say he's one of their most players.
We think that about, Alex, right. He doesn't always get the headlines and he doesn't always get the accolades and goals, but in terms of setting the standard of how we want the game to be played tactically and philosophically, he's incredibly important, and he often frees up space for our other, more talented, like scorers and things like that because he can harbor a lot of the workload, draw attention at times, and do the dirty work for them to now score goals and set plays up.
Obviously, yes, the better that he can be at having -- the more he can have games like tonight, the better it is for him and the better it is for the team, and he'll get there, there's no doubt.
Q. The international break --
JESSE MARSCH: To be fair, the league asks us before the season starts, like what days would we rather play, midweek games or international break games. So we often get to have some input as to when we would like to play and how many international dates we'd like to play.
I know as a league, it's not perfect, right. I think we'd all like to get to a place where the league shuts down like most leagues during the FIFA breaks, but for us we feel like we have a deep team and we like having more breaks in between because we put such a physical demand on our players.
So any time -- you know, I think I've shown enough that I believe in our full roster. Every coach says they believe in their full roster but then every coach plays their full roster. I think in the careers I've been here, I've done that a lot and given a lot of guys opportunity and for me that's part of their progression.
In these dates, other guys get chances to play. Like Kyle did you know can, we've had three league games and he's had three league starts and coming into the year, I don't think anyone would have predicted that. But it's a good chance for him to get a taste of what this is really about and as the year goes, I think he'll be stronger for it.
Q. How difficult is it to put a lineup together week-after-week after the performance that you've been getting from all of these players?
JESSE MARSCH: Yeah, I mean, that's the key I think and that's what we try to create here is a roster that pushes each other, that challenges each other, that shows that any guy can step up and do the job, and so that means internally, there's a lot of competition.
I think there's a lot of respect within the team for their teammates and for each other. You know, they go about competing with each other every day in a really good way but any good team has to have that. I think that we've put together a roster that does that in a big way and I think that most guys are really clear when they step on the field.
You know, with a really -- with a lot of if you guys in the group and a young group and everything else, it's really nice to see our team continue to really look like us.
Last week we didn't feel that we were quite as succinct and clear as we would have liked. We talked about a lot of things to make sure that when we came out tonight that we stuck to what we wanted to achieve and play the way we want to play, and I thought we did a good job.
Q. This week there's a lot of talk about most underrated, most overrated.
JESSE MARSCH: I didn't get all that, but did Brad fit in any of those?
Q. My point is, early in his career, people gave credit -- then Sacha comes in and helped set him up. Seemed like he wouldn't get as much credit maybe as he deserves. Is this a year where people will start to realize he's that good and it's not just the other people?
JESSE MARSCH: There is this perception that Brad is not one of the premiere players in this league, which, you know, Brad got a couple of shots in on him early in the game, and -- he gets the call, like why doesn't Bradley Wright-Phillips garner the respect of the premier players of this league? You could make an argument that he is the best player to ever play in this league and the best goal scorer to ever play this this league and he should be treated as such, okay, by everyone, including referees. If we are talking about protecting the star players and making sure that we're protecting attacking players; I've made this argument for four years with Brad, that he doesn't get the respect that he deserves.
But I don't think he gives a damn. He's just going to go out and do his thing and show every day what he's about. So, yeah, I mean, he's incredible. He's incredible.
He should be underrated. He should be the most underrated player in league history. That should be his monicker because he proves every night how good he is.
Q. Quickly, are you still amazed on some of the goals he scores, especially that second one? Alex made that great pass to him, and the way he converted that second goal.
JESSE MARSCH: Reminded me of the Philly goal a couple years ago he just buried. That's the remarkable thing is he has so many different ways of scoring goals. I've seen him chip Blake on the one and run around him. At first I thought he was dribbling around to the right and so did Lampson and then he just found a way to put it right in the upper corner.
Yeah, he's incredible. He can score with his head and offset pieces and he can score with speed, with cleverness, with his left foot, just about anyway, and he could have had a hat trick when he hit the post, right.
Q. I hate to ask you this, but the tackle he suffered -- did you think that was a yellow?
JESSE MARSCH: No, I thought it was a red but then they went to the VAR and the VAR confirmed it was a yellow. Did you guys think it was a red? Looked like a two-footed tackle.
New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright Phillips
On his goals:
One was a great ball by Sean, good header on the back post by him and I tried to get anything I could on it. Again, Alex was in a great position and I just wanted to make a run and give him an option. He played the perfect pass and I just tried to find the far corner.
On starting off the season strong from a personal standpoint:
It’s something I thought about in the offseason. I knew the season before I didn’t come back in the best shape. This season I wanted not just goals but I wanted to feel good. I wanted to play well and it kind of paid off because in my offseason I worked hard and it seems like it’s paying off.
On being tied at 11th for most all-time goals in MLS:
It definitely comes down to teammates, the team you’re in and the system you play. But I’ve worked hard. I want to score goals and I want to be important for my team. When I came here I tried to do that and now it seems like it’s paying off like I said. We don’t know what could happen next week or next year. Right now I’m enjoying my football and its good to be a part of Red Bull.
New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles
Question was not recorded.
Before the game, Jesse challenges us to rectified some of the mistakes that we made at Salt Lake. I think Tim Parker during the week when we did video made a great point, it’s not enough to come out to the game and because we’re acquaint to the quality that we have in the field and think that we are going to score goals, that we are going to create chances, and Jesse ripped us a new one at half time and after the game against Salt Lake because that’s the sort of mindset that we had, maybe we were feeling ourselves too much after the CCL run and with the season starting because there is so much quality in this locker room that we’re going to step in the field and make magic happen and as you can see at Salt Lake, that didn’t happen, so for us the big challenge was our mentality and how we’re going to come out to sort of right those wrongs, and from the very beginning, it was this idea that we weren’t going to give up anything and we are going to score goals. And even after scoring goals, we’re going to score more goals and we aren’t going to give up anything, and so there was a reward for the shutout and we got to celebrate that but most important, we got the three points.
On the Red Bulls Defense:
So defensively, we’ve been good so far, and part of that has to do with the training at ten, part of that has to do that we have good guys. Kyle Duncan is coming to camp and has shown his value right off the bat, and we knew that especially dealing with the international absences with Kemar, Fidel, Amir, of [Tyler], that we are going to have to deal with rotation and to have a guy like Duncan that came through the academy and has a lot of football in him to step up the way he has amazing. And of course, you look across the back line, Aaron Long; he’s been a revelation at center back and continues to be one of our big guys and we count on him in a massive way, and Connor Lade, Connor is the best teammate I have ever had. The way he goes about his business, he is very professional, he is very humble and you put him at any spot, it doesn’t matter, he is willing to give it his all and that sort of mentality and attitude is infectious and it’s permeated this entire locker room and I hope that he young guys see how he goes about his business, because I know that since I have been here since 2012, there has been long stretches that Connor has been fantastic, and then there have been stretches that he hasn’t been on the field and yet he’s been professionally the entire time. He’s been an excellent teammate, he’s the type of guy that encourages guys, and wants to see guys succeed, and I know that not only as a friend but also as a fan of Connor Lade, I want to see him succeed. And the way that he comes onto the field and plays has been excellent. So, it’s not just the guys in the back but also in the front. I think Jesse should go to sleep every night thanking God for a Bradley Wright-Phillips, because not only does the guys score goals but sets up defensively our mentality, he pushes, he presses… It’s amazing how many goals this guy’s scores, no matter how many good performances he has, I think that he is still underrated in the league and he is under appreciative, but not here, not in this organization. We know that everything we do starts with Brad, and I can’t speak enough about him and Connor.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl
On tonight’s match:
I think we came in with the right mentality, and being at home you have to treat it like a fortress. We kept the clean sheet and that’s the most important thing, usually when we do that, we’re coming away with three points and that’s what happened tonight.
On getting a goal and assist:
It feels good; it’s a good way to start off my MLS season this year. It’s the first game I’ve been involved in the MLS and it’s a good way to start but it’s much more about the team and getting the three points, because after slipping a little bit at Real Salt Lake, it’s good to get back to the right foot.
On his goal:
I think I was clipped up top a little bit around the outside of the box, and I decided to stay and try to fight through it, I came inside I saw a there was a little lane to shoot, I kicked it low which is a good thing when shooting in the box and luckily it went in.
On his pass to Wright-Phillips:
He makes great run after run, you have to reward him, and the thing is when you play balls like that you know he is going to do well with it and the finish was unbelievable, he is out here making us all look really good and he does that all game, so it was good to get it to him.
On playing alongside BWP:
I said it a thousand times and three times tonight, but he makes us all look so good because the kind of player he is and the way he fights for the team, the way he is able to make plays when he gets very little service sometimes, he still makes plays. So to play with him is unbelievable, we are lucky to play with him and I don’t think he is stopping anytime soon.
Minnesota United FC Head Coach Adrian Heath
On the match:
We spoke about it all week, and we watched the game against the Timbers and they weren't ready for it and we weren't ready for it as well today. There was a lot in the first half. We had a couple of good breakaways, and I thought if we had had a bit more quality, but their quality showed out in the end, two top-drawer finishes from Bradley Wright-Phillips. I was disappointed with the individual effort. I don't think we won many individual battles against any of their player.
Q. When the wholesale changes you have, how much did their pressing and counterparts -- seed like you had to bypass the midfield?
ADRIAN HEATH: We knew it was going to come. We spoke about it since Monday. They try to suffocate the life out of you and they all press, and there are certain soft spots the way they press, you can't get out. Unfortunately, our quality wasn't enough to take advantage of that today.
Q. Miguel was floating out to the right side a little bit to try to find space. Did that hurt the shape a little bit?
ADRIAN HEATH: I just think collectively the better team won. I think that the better team wanted to win more than we did, which is not a good thing to say. And it's been a disappointing day. It gives me food for thought of a lot of things because a lot of people have been waiting for an opportunity.
Q. Now, you're going to get your guys back in a few days, the full complement. Do you toss this up and say if it's an anomaly, an outlier?
ADRIAN HEATH: No, we've studied the game and looked at what we didn't do well, and there was plenty of that. Try and take some positives, but there won't be a lot, I don't think.
Q. Can you talk about the two rookies getting their start and debut?
ADRIAN HEATH: Well, they have an idea of what it's like at this level now. You know, I thought we did okay but you know, a couple of little lapses and Bradley Wright-Phillips, one ball straight in behind, it's a great finish from him. But they will get better and they certainly weren't my concern today, them two.
Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay
Not an easy match, given the circumstances and the changes in the starting lineup, what are your thoughts:
It’s disappointing performance obviously, as a group and individually. Couple of ways made their debut, I’m sure they wanted more out of this game, but it’s no excuse that we are missing three players to international team duty, teams are always missing players to international duty and we were prepared for this game, we knew what it was going to be about. It wasn’t anything different; it wasn’t like we were surprised or shocked on how they played. It just came down to fifty, fifty balls and work ethic and the rest of it took care of itself. I give them credit, they have some great quality upfront in finishing and they took their chances when they had it. To me the game was won in the middle of the field in fifty-fifties. They just won a little bit more than we did.”
There were a lot of changes in the back, did that affect the game plan in the midfield:
Those guys are always training with us right? But when you get thrown into the first team, when you get thrown into your first game and an away game, sometimes the pattern goes out the window and you have blinders on. I thought they did alright, Carter and Wyatt for their first performance in a tough place to play and that’s it, their debut is done, the expectation is that they can play at this level, that is why they are here and that is why they got drafted. And they know that as well, we didn’t build the ball off the back as good as we had hoped, they did something’s a little bit different in not sending their outside backs as high as we thought they would. I give them credit, the backline tonight for them, specifically the two center backs, they won just about every challenge and I though Christian, our forwards made it hard for them, but those are two good guys in the air. We just didn’t win enough second balls in all honesty and to go the other way and take some of our chances and get one that puts them on the back foot, but wasn’t happening for us tonight.
Minnesota Defender Carter Manley
On his performance; moving up the field and:
That’s what we’ve been working on in training all week. We did a lot of drills with it so I was very comfortable with that in the game. My teammates were giving me good options so that made it a lot easier.
On the team’s effort tonight:
We definitely stuck to the tactics. Our execution could’ve been a little bit better; creating more opportunities and not letting in goals.
On playing against this tough an opponent on his debut:
It was definitely a tough game. Coming in I was a little nervous but as soon as the whistle blew, I got my first touch and everything just went out of the way. I was just focused on the game. So, I got into it right away.
On the Red Bulls’ high press:
It made things a little bit more difficult but we just had to drop off a little bit more and get some more time and space to play the ball out. Those are different situations in different games. You’ve got to adjust to a team’s tactics.