Red Bulls Take Over 1st Place in MLS Eastern Conference
Brian White, a recent addition to the NY Red Bull roster, earned his first MLS start last night at Red Bull Arena and scored his first MLS goal --it was the only goal in the match as New York beat the Houston Dynamo by a 1-0 score.
New York (17-6-4) extended its undefeated streak to six games earning its fourth win during that stretch. The win allowed the Red Bulls to move one point ahead of Atlanta United with seven games remaining. Houston (7-12-7), which is winless in its last nine matches, is one away from tying a club record.
White who was the 16th selection in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, scored in the 55th minute. Red Bull goalkeeper Luis Robles with a clean sheet recorded his 59th career shutout.
NY - Brian White 1 (Muyl) 55'
HOU - Leonardo (caution, unsporting behavior) 89'
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Michael Amir Murillo, Tim Parker, Fidel Escobar, Connor Lade, Cristian Casseres, Jr. (Aaron Long, 82'), Tyler Adams, Andreas Ivan (Daniel Royer, 67'), Sean Davis, Alex Muyl (Marc Rzatkowski, 76'), Brian White
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 7; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Houston Dynamo: Chris Seitz; Adam Lundqvist, Adolfo Machado ©, Kevin Garcia, Leonardo, Eric Alexander, Eric Bird, Luis Gil (Romell Quioto, 58'), Alberth Elis (Arturo Álvarez, 75'), Memo Rodriguez, Ronaldo Pena (Mauro Manotas, 67')
TOTAL SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 12; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, CJ Morgante
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Using a heavily rotated lineup, Red Bulls rookie forward Brian White, a Flemington, New Jersey, native scored the game-winning goal in the 56th minute to lead New York (17-6-4, 55 pts) over the Houston Dynamo (7-12-7, 28 pts), 1-0 on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena. New York extended their unbeaten streak to six matches (4-0-2), which is their longest unbeaten stretch this season.
With the win, the Red Bulls move into first place in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters' Shield race, surpassing Atlanta by one point at the moment.
New York recorded their 17th league win of the season, just one shy of the franchise record set in 2015.
For just the third time in franchise history, New York wrapped up the month of August unbeaten. The Red Bulls finished the month at 4-0-2 with three clean sheets.
Following a Michael Amir Murillo cross into the box, Houston goalkeeper Chris Seitz deflected the ball back into play. Alex Muyl picked up the loose ball at the end line and sent it back into the box for White, who redirected it in for the eventual game winner.
In his first career MLS match, White recorded his first career MLS goal, which also was the game-winning goal. White became the second New York Red Bulls II player to be called up and score his first career MLS goal in his first career MLS start, joining Ben Mines this season.
Captain Luis Robles tallied three saves to record his 10th clean sheet of the season and 59th of his career.
For the fourth time in six full seasons with New York, Robles has recorded at least 10 clean sheets.
Robles and New York's backline tallied back-to-back clean sheets for the third time this year.
Robles also inched closer to the century mark in wins as he tallied his 96th career MLS regular-season victory.
Muyl tallied his third assist of the season and fifth career game-winning assist.
Along with White, recently acquired Romanian midfielder Andreas Ivan and Venezuelan midfielder Cristian Casseres, Jr., received their first career MLS starts. Tonight's match was also Casseres Jr.'s first career MLS appearance, as well.
Head coach Chris Armas improved his career mark as Red Bulls manager to 7-2-2 all-time.
New York tallied its 11th win at Red Bull Arena as they have captured 34 of the 42 possible points this season.
The Red Bulls are now 43-43-22 all-time in the month of August. New York has scored 178 goals while allowing 166 during the eighth month of the year.
New York will hit the road for back-to-back matches, beginning with Montreal on Saturday at Saputo Stadium. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on MSG, MSG GO and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish on TuneIn.
POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET
Red Bulls 1, Houston 0
August 29, 2018
New York Red Bulls Head Coach Chris Armas
Q. Obviously player development here gets a lot of attention or proud of the way you've gone about it, but when you have a situation like you have with this many games and you go into your batch and you get performances like you did, does that, I guess, make you exceptionally proud of the way some of these young guys have stepped up?
CHRIS ARMAS: For sure it makes me proud, but it makes our club proud. Denis Hamlett has to be happy. He's here? Yes. He has to be happy, because he puts a lot of effort into that cause, and he believes in young guys and he pushes. He pushes John Wolyniec who should be feeling great, and then in the middle of the night somewhere, Jesse Marsh has to be proud of him, because this is the push. This is who we are. We think we're one of the leaders of this player development. We're at the forefront. We believe in young guys, we push, and it's about the philosophy, it's about the mentality, the leadership from young guys, and we're not afraid to give them chances. I think from the club and to some of the leadership, we're really, really happy with some of those performances, yeah.
Q. You lauded the effort last game off the bench from Alex Muyl, and you said throughout the year, as well, but on Brian White's goal, he goes the extra effort to save the ball in, slides in and just plays it across for Brian to get the tap-in. I guess that's what you've become accustomed to seeing from him, huh?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, I mean, Alex Muyl is a winner, and there's some things that don't honor the work that he does that show up in the stats sheet here. He's a Red Bull player. He's a philosophy player. He gives everything to the team. When you look at everything that he does, to the hydration testing results, his name is always at the top. He just really cares about the little things. He loves the team, and he's one of the guys that suffers for the team. We've seen that play in training hundreds of times from Alex. Great play by him, and yeah, it's a big one.
Q. Chris, one of the big question marks every week is if Bradley goes down or is unavailable or needs rest, who's going to step up. After what you saw from Brian White tonight, and is he the guy going forward who's going to back up Brad?
CHRIS ARMAS: Going forward, is he going to be the guy? I think that the proof will be in the pudding, like how -- it's about consistency, looking like us, scoring, and then when you look at Bradley, we've talked about it -- recently we talked about all the little things that Brad does. We talked about him running for the team, chasing, pressing. Brian is cramping at the end, and he's still running and fighting and giving everything. Does it do it justice to make a comparison between Brad and Brian? I think when you talk about their qualities and that they're givers to the team and they both know how to score goals, yes, Brian has got a lot to catch up to the Bulls tally, but the reason he's with us is because he does all those things that Brian is going to do. Look at the first half, especially early on, he's holding, jumping, keeping things alive, rest and attack, we say, then come back into the game, and he runs well in the box. That's what you can see. We're not predicting anything about his future, but he wasn't here tonight getting a start because we had no other options. None of us -- maybe I'm not sure, I know Denis Hamlett is not surprised. He probably predicted that he'll score a goal tonight. None of us are surprised, but we're thrilled for him.
Q. Brian, unless there's new information that I'm not aware of, Brian White has scored last year for their PDL club, and then you drafted him in the super draft this past January, he scored for the USL club and now tonight for this club. What does it mean when you see Brian doing all these things from the amateur to the lower levels now to the top league?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look, he's got a knack. He just has a knack. Guys like him, guys like Wright-Phillips, these guys know how to feel the movements, sniff the plays out around the goal. When you even talk about him, it's not the guy outside the box. He just knows how to show up at the right place, right time, and he works. He loves scoring. He's a proven goal scorer, and now it starts the tally sheet in the MLS. When you see these guys come through, you never ignore the PDL goals. We didn't. We didn't ignore it in college, with USL. There it is again, there it is again. He assured himself that he got in some good spots tonight. It's a great goal for him, and we're really proud of him.
Q. Secondly, on the back line, you had Tim Parker paired with Escobar. I know Aaron has done a great job with Tim. It looked like both were in sync at the center of the park to help Luis at the net with all those attempts. What made Fidel so -- I guess seamless transition to goal instead of Aaron for Tim to have Escobar in the goal?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, Fidel I think you could all see is a really intelligent soccer player. You can see it with his passing, you can see it with the way he reads plays, he drops off, he head rolls, he kind of put one back, and he's got some savviness to him. You don't forget that he's a relatively young guy, played in the World Cup against -- got a lot of good reps against some really good players. But that's his quality. His best days are game day. He's a competitor. He's really proud. He's a proud defender. Of course he's comfortable on the ball, but he doesn't want to get beat.
The pride -- he wants to give to the team, and we talked about it before the game. You don't always get these opportunities (indiscernible) center backs with the pairing that we've been going with. But man, we're so happy -- we're thrilled for the guy. Gets a chance, plays well, part of a win, and again, Alex himself gains trust from his teammates and of course us. You've got more guys, I think, going down the stretch you can rely on in big games. I'm happy for him.
Q. A lot of players that you could have played in a game like this, but I'll talk about Sean Davis because he just seemed to be that veteran in the middle of the field for you guys. He had some great deliveries onset pieces in the first half, but late in the game he started close to the corner, slows down the game. Can you just talk about what he brings to your team? You've seen him grow over the last three and a half seasons, how he's really evolved into a leadership role for you guys.
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, look at, it started years ago with Jesse to push Sean out of his comfort zone. He likes his little comfort zone, and we've pushed him, and Jess put a lot on him, and we were right there with him pushing Sean, demanding, asking more of him, looking around, organizing, not -- he'll do whatever you ask, but it's not -- forget about what we ask, just do what you think it takes, and you saw it tonight. So think about it for Sean Davis. Last game, we rotate a little bit and we go with a strong team and he's not in it. This guy has been reliable all year. I don't know, but knowing he's probably going to play this game, he steps up in a big role. Now you ask him to play at a position, and he's comfortable all year here, getting more reps, catching and playing, organizing, now he's in the 10. He doesn't complain, he just says, Coach, three points tonight, we're going to get this. You see the free kicks they're popping off his foot. You know he's got confidence. He's turning in the gaps playing forward. He's pointing, he's putting out little situations in the corner where he's wasting time, and again, showing leadership. I said it earlier to someone that -- yeah, Jess has to be proud watching from afar seeing so many ways his team go after it, and we keep pushing. We love Sean, and he's really pushing himself out of that comfort zone and becoming a real winner around here.
Q. Have you recovered from tonight's heat, weather?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, I'll be doing a regen after the game here. Have I recovered? Like always, they're pushing the fluids, come in a little later tomorrow, lobby for days off. Back to work. Massage, hydration, properly -- the proper fluids going in, and back to work tomorrow. But it's a typical region and it's a quick turnaround, but we have fresh legs coming back. That's it.
Q. Cristian is 18 years old and gets his first start of the season, his appearance of the season. What did you think of his performance today?
CHRIS ARMAS: He looked like a young pro. One of his best qualities is that he's fearless. He's fearless, and he counter-presses, and he's a philosophy player. We knew it would be interesting, enjoyable to watch him next to Tyler, two guys that are fearless, they're going to go after it, and that performance -- of course you don't know what it's going to look like, but I think it's exactly what we hoped for and expected from Christian. He plays beyond his years. He's comfortable on the ball, plays against the ball, covers ground to the end of the game. If I said in the locker room, put your cleats back on, we've got another 30, he would do it. He's easy to love, this kid. It's infectious. He's the first guy at English class, he's learning, teacher says he's attentive all the time, and the development and the learning, it's rapid. He puts himself out there. Here he is. Remind yourself, he's a young guy, doesn't speak the language, comes along, new environment. You see him go after it, and he never puts his head down, and he's frustrated, of course. He's been waiting for this chance. You get that chance, you go after it. Yeah, then another credit to you, finding Cristian, bringing him to us.
Q. Going off of that, I spoke with Fidel last week, he said he had (indiscernible) lack of playing time over the season and he got to the point where he felt like he wanted to leave because of a lack of minutes. How have you kept him focused and feeling like he's involved?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well, look, we expect him to be disappointed and upset that he's not playing. We expect that. So it's right here. We talked about it before, that it's just not easy. But that's just what it is. This is the job, the business we're in, and it's part of it. How have we kept him going? We just show him that we care about him. We push him. The demands are high. It's video. We push and know that he's going to get his opportunity, and we don't just say it, we give it to him. So now maybe we all take a step forward. He plays well, there's trust, and I think we all -- in our relationship with him, we take a big step forward. You can see it on his face. He's thrilled. But he's hungry. He's hungry. He wants to play. I understand the frustration. I wish it works out for him more, but this is the way it is. For me, it's about the relationships and people. I mean, Vincent Bezecourt, I'm checking in with him. I'm checking in with Kyle Duncan every single day; how's the knee? Looks great. We're talking. So I'm investing a lot of time and relationships in people, and he's no different. My Spanish is a getting a little better because of him. I'm trying, trying to connect in a good way. That's it. Really happy for him tonight.
New York Red Bulls Midfielder Tyler Adams
On the Contributions from Ivan, Casseres Jr. and White…
Unbelievable performances by all three tonight. Obviously Andy has been around the group for not that long now and for him to come into the game like that, a fast-paced game, takes some adapting. He did well, Christian Casseres. He’s done excellent with the USL team and he fit seamlessly into what we do. Amazing that all the little details with what the USL team does transpires into this masterpiece and you can see some adapting for him but it’s his first game, go out there and enjoy it. He had a smile on his face the whole time it was good to see. And Brian White, he’s making saves in USL, he’s scoring goals in USL, now he’s scoring in MLS. So it’s amazing for him to go out and do what he did and as a striker he does a lot of the dirty work that goes unnoticed. Obviously everyone remembers the goal, but he helped our team defend tonight.
On the work Ethic of Alex Muyl…
Yeah absolutely. Alex doesn’t like getting noticed for the dirty work, he can contribute in so many other ways and you can see him getting better at some of things whether its turning in the pocket, finding the final pass. And Alex is a worker, he does what he needs to do. Other guys don’t like to do it he does a lot of it for us. Seeing him running sideline to sideline and doing so much of the dirty work showed on that goal. He could’ve let the ball go out and we get a corner and try to score off a corner. Instead, he created a good play and created a goal for us.
On playing alongside Casseres Jr…
It’s cool, he kind of looks to me for some advice in the middle of the game. It’s like c’mon Christian do this, do that. Obviously, I’m not speaking Spanish so I’m trying to translate as best as possible. I was given an opportunity at a young age as well and I think it’s really cool for him to get an opportunity at such a young age again.
New York Red Bulls forward Brian White
On what his first MLS start and goal felt like…
Honestly, it’s a dream come true. This is the level I’ve been dreaming of reaching and to score on my first start in front of my friends and family, I couldn’t picture a better night – especially getting three points at the end, too.
On whether he felt acclimated to the first team…
Yeah, you know, it’s a different level than USL. It’s a different level than PDL. You just come in and try and play your game, not get overwhelmed by you playing in the MLS now. I just tried to do what I do and I think I did pretty well.
On how he will keep his motivation up from this point forward…
I don’t think I’ve ever lacked motivation in trying to get better and trying to push to get into the starting lineup. Brad is obviously one of the top players in this league and I’m just trying to work hard every day in training and whenever coach calls on me to make an impact, I will be ready.
New York Red Bulls Goalkeeper Luis Robles
On tonight’s shutout despite a new look defence…
One of the talking points in the locker room is that our mentality defensively when we go out is that one goal is enough. We can score one goal and we shut them down, limit their chances. There’s just a lot of confidence in this unit no matter who’s in there, who steps up. It’s very clear what we’re trying to do – whether it’s press, defend, counter press, limit their chances. And when you think about the beginning of the first half of season when we had to rotate because of Champions League, it gave other players an opportunity to see the field, which builds confidence. But, that’s also as part of this locker-room, no matter who steps on there we have a lot of confidence that they’re going to do well, they’re going to do their job, and they’re going to help us win.
On this season’s reduced goals per game average…
I think it goes without saying that the acquisition of Tim Parker has been massive. I can’t remember, in my time here at Red Bull, us winning these many games by one goal. A lot of it comes from what he brings to the field. Now, you couple him with a player as good as A-Lo, then Tyler and Cristian… I mean, playing with Tyler and Cristian together is like a cheat code. Honestly, these guys cover so much ground. They’re up the field, they’re back, counter-pressing, winning second balls. It was really a joy to see both of these guys play. It just goes back to the original point that whoever steps in there – the way that the leadership in this locker-room continues to breed confidence into players; no matter who steps in there. Whether it’s Brian White, Fidel – who was amazing today – Cristian Casseres, Andy. They’re ready to go.
On young NYRB II players seamlessly contributing to depth…
I’ve been saying this all season; the front office all season has done a great job of creating depth through transactions, so that when we deal with rotation when the schedule and season get very congested, especially around summertime. Yet, when you look in training, there’s a number of guys that could fill in, be starters, and do well. And we saw that today, it’s crazy our team got even younger today. That’s difficult, considering the average age is already pretty low. But, all these guys have been impressive, and that’s part of the challenge for me as a leader – in no way do you want to diminish their spirit. The thing I really admire about them is this fearlessness, tenaciousness to their play. And yet, there’s going to be immaturities there. So, you’re looking for opportunities to help cultivate, help mature them. Give them pointers. But, more than anything, continue to breathe life into their play so that they have extra confidence walking on the field, so they can make a difference. I hope it continues to happen.
Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera
WILMER CABRERA: Sadly, we're still passing the ball to the opponents in order for them to score. That's what happened against FC Dallas. It was a mistake right there that we passed the ball to the opponent, and today again. We don't clear the ball, we just pass the ball to them. Those mistakes are killing us.
At the end, it's my responsibility. But the players, they need to step up. When we have to defend, we need to clear the ball. We cannot give the ball away right there for the other team just to finish. We have to do better because this is what is killing us, individual mistakes, individual errors. You know, we can't -- we make changes, we give chances, we try to push, but at the end, you know, we cannot make those mistakes, those errors, because we're going to -- now it's 1-0, and then when we have the ball in front of the goal to finish, we're not finishing. It's our reality, but we have to be better, especially defensively. We cannot make errors. If the other team beats us and finish, I can respect that. But we cannot give the ball to the opponents. That's not going to happen -- that cannot happen.
Q. Aside from the result, is there any positive takeaways that you get out of this match?
WILMER CABRERA: We have to win. We need to win. We're playing for our life right here. And we got -- that's not good enough. It wasn't good enough. For some players that they're expecting to play, that they need to give us a hand, that wasn't good enough. Right now, we have to push harder because we're losing. Yeah, it's one mistake, but the one mistake is killing us. And then when we have chances, we're too soft.
So right now, I'm pushing some guys. And some other guys definitely cannot play.
Houston Dynamo forward Ronald Pena
On feelings after first MLS game as a starter…
Partly happy but the result shows that there are many things to fix because we haven’t been able to get three points for various games, and we have to pay close attention to what we’re doing and think about the derby.
On positives from the defeat…
It’s tough to after a loss to see the situation like this because we played against a team that didn’t include starters and it’s a little difficult, but I think now the best thing to do is rest, reflect, and look at the game and fix what we did wrong in the game to not do it again in the future.
On preparing for the Texas derby…
Like you said, this game is in the past now and we have to think about the present and the most important thing is to concentrate, recuperate ourselves to fly to Dallas to play the derby which is very important to us, the club, and the fans. We’re going to go with the best effort and focus to take that game and win it.
Houston Dynamo Midfielder Eric Bird
On the match and getting the start…
It’s kind of tough to think about, to be honest. Guess it’s good to get another 90 minutes, but at the end of the day it’s tough to ignore the result. We get judged on results. It’s frustrating to draw a lot of, if any, positives from this game because we approach game wanting to win. That’s our mentality. Tonight, it didn’t go our way, which is unfortunate. We’re not going to be discouraged – we’re going to come back, look at what we can do better. We’re going to fight until the end of the year; for each other, for the city, for everybody. Looking forward to getting back out there in Dallas and try to put on a good performance for the fans and get back on the winning side of things.
On Saturday’s quick turnaround against Dallas…
Well, it’s a derby game, you know? We have to put this behind us – we have to have a short-term memory, we have to come back and fight for everything. We’re going to fight for Houston. We’re going to fight for each other, like I said. We’re looking forward to it. Dallas is obviously always a really big challenge, especially at their place. We’re going there, we’re going to try and get three points again. That’s our mentality.
On any individual positives on tonight’s match…
The way I look at it, it’s a team game. You can’t have a good match and your team be on the losing side. For me, I don’t there’s many positives, if any at all. It’s a team game, we lost. That’s the sad truth, so we have to go back, like I said, can’t be discouraged. Have to go back and fight for everything. We’re fight for our lives right now, so we have to bounce back, put it behind us, and go to Dallas and fight for a result.