Red Bulls Shut Out Toronto, 2-0, BWP Suspended In Next Game

With the New York Red Bulls trying to keep up with Atlanta United as the 2018 MLS season soon comes to a close, and battling first placed Atlanta to try and win the Supporter's Shield and Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls will be without their top scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips on Sunday, when New York hosts Atlanta.

BWP picked up a yellow card in the 86th minute of the match for dissent. As a result of an accumulation of yellow cards, the English striker for the Red Bulls will be suspended for the upcoming crucial match against Atlanta.
Scoring Summary: 
NY - Kaku 5 (unassisted) 70'
NY - Derrick Etienne, Jr. 4 (Wright-Phillips) 90'+3'
Misconduct Summary:
NY - Michael Amir Murillo (caution, unsporting behavior) 66'
NY - Bradley Wright-Phillips (caution, dissent) 86'
TOR - Ashtone Morgan (caution, unsporting behavior) 90'+2'
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Aaron Long, Michael Amir Murillo, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Daniel Royer (Derrick Etienne, Jr., 67'), Kaku (Fidel Escobar, 82'), Marc Rzatkowski (Alex Muyl, 65'), Bradley Wright-Phillips
Toronto FC: Alex Bono; Chris Mavinga (Eriq Zavaleta, 75'), Michael Bradley ©, Nick Hagglund, Victor Vazquez, Marco Delgado (Ashtone Morgan, 86'), Jonathan Osorio, Gregory van der Wiel, Justin Morrow, Jozy Altidore (Tosaint Ricketts, 49'), Lucas Janson
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Kathryn Nesbitt
4th Official: Chris Penso
VAR: Caleb Mendez
Attendance: 20,731
Kaku's fifth career MLS game-winning goal led New York Red Bulls (18-7-5, 59 pts) past Toronto FC (8-15-6, 30 pts), 2-0 on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena. New York shutout Toronto in a home-and-home series for the first time in the series history.

With four matches remaining, the Red Bulls 18 wins tied the franchise record set in 2015. New York tallied their 18th win in 2015 on Decision Day.

New York and Atlanta both won their Saturday matches to keep the Red Bulls four points from Atlanta's Supporters' Shield and Eastern Conference lead.

With a scoreless draw late in the second half, Kaku got his foot on a loose ball inside the six-yard box and snuck it past Michael Bradley and Alex Bono for the eventual game winner in the 70th.

In extra time, Bradley Wright-Phillips lofted a ball over Eriq Zavaleta for Derrick Etienne, Jr., who chipped his shot over Bono for the insurance goal.

All five of Kaku's league goals have been game winners. He has two goals in the last four matches.
Wright-Phillips recorded his eighth league assist of the season, surpassing his previous best of seven set in 2015.

Etienne Jr. tallied his fourth goal of the season.

Captain Luis Robles recorded four saves for his 11th clean sheet of the season. Robles sits second in MLS behind Sporting KC's Tim Melia's league-best 12.

Robles' 11 clean sheets ties his career best. It is the third time in his career with 11 shutouts, also reaching the mark in 2013 and 2016.

New York's captain moved into a tie with Tony Meola for eighth in league history with 97 wins. He also raised his career clean sheet total to 60.

The Red Bulls are now 40-44-19 all-time in the month of September. New York has scored 153 goals while allowing 168 during the eighth month of the year.

New York concludes its two-match homestand against Atlanta United on Sunday, Sept. 30. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish on TuneIn. 

Pool Reporter Referee Interview
Question and answer as written by reporter, with written responses provided by referee.

Q: What did No. #99 do to earn the yellow card?
A: Dissent by word

Q: If it was dissent, what did he say or dispute?
A: He disputed that there was a foul that was not called that he suffered. Multiple use of the word “F---“ directed at the assistant referee in an aggressive manner.

Q: Whose decision was it to deliver the yellow?
A: The referee decided to deliver the caution and display the yellow card

New York Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas

CHRIS ARMAS: The challenge is always, how much like us can we be. Playing quickly, playing forward, playing behind, creating a certain rhythm to the game. We got lured into it a little bit in the first game a little bit, a little more than we would like, but from the opening we put it on our terms and we were pleased.

Q. Obviously Brad gets the late yellow which suspends him for the Atlanta game. Given that, how big was that goal for Derrick to get in, get his confidence going of the it seems like he hasn't scored the amount of goals he's probably wanted to score. Was that big for his confidence?

CHRIS ARMAS: Well the first part with Brad, it's unfortunate he'll miss the game and of course things are said all the time, but Bradley Wright-Phillips is not the guy that crosses the line. So for us to see certain guys get away with verbal, verbally getting after referees and for Brad himself, he doesn't, no one respects the game more and shows it the way he does and in games we don't think he gets a lot of leeway and the benefit of the doubt at times. And that goes for fouls and we think it goes for even tonight. Because he, you know, it didn't sound that bad what he said. So it's like is his leash that short? It's disappointing. So, listen, Derrick, his confidence and what a goal means to any player, Derrick's human, we all know that he's got a number of good looks and he's put himself in those chances and because he's trained well and he earned that, he earned those minutes tonight. So we're all rooting for him when he's out there because he loves to score, he loves to play, he loves the club like no one else. So any time a player can get rewarded and give one to the team like that it's a thrill to Derrick.

Q. Wondering, you guys were a first half team early in the season, seems like recently in these games you've been most dangerous when you've made changes inside the half, coming off the performance in the road why do you think you guys have played that well in the second half to be that dangerous?
CHRIS ARMAS: It's interesting, first of all I think it's clearly two different times of the year, but early on I don't know, we’re fitter than teams, we had a good run in Champions League, do we catch teams, or were we better than them? I mean you guys can figure that part out. But so much more is on the line right now. Playoff time. I mean Toronto, they're still alive somewhat, they're coming in, they have to win, right? So how, do you think that's going to be easy? It's going to be difficult. So now there's not a lot of room for error and in that first half if we just talk about that, to have the five to eight, these transition moments that we're better, better with the ball, better to execute. Some on the move moments and some calming down, getting on the move, so there's some, there is room there and if you score one or two of those, I think we would be talking differently and it would be a pretty good half. So it doesn't feel good because there's giveaways, many unforced errors, give them credit, they ran to some different spots but we created a lot of turnovers that we couldn't take advantage of.

Q. Back to Brad. How big of a loss is that going into next week? Maybe the biggest game of the whole season next week. Talk about what it means to not have him there.
CHRIS ARMAS: We all know it's a huge loss to begin with. Again, it's disappointing. We saw a dirty tackle, if you saw something that's going to keep him out almost worthwhile, maybe you can swallow it a little easier. So, again, it's, I don't think he gets that benefit of the doubt in these moments. Not when you see the them firsthand four straight years. And there's probably no better forward over the course of that time, you guys tell us the stats, 20 goals a year, there's no better -- and he's the most honest one of them all. He doesn't cheat the game ever. So can the referee manage it in a way -- the guy's frustrated, I understand it, can I hold off on the yellow card.

Q. (No microphone.)
CHRIS ARMAS: I don't know exactly, so I'm not going to talk when I don't know exactly.

Q. What does this do for this team's confidence and what is the priority in terms of the balancing being on the road with rest and routine with guys?
CHRIS ARMAS: Well listen, we are taking one game at a time. We don't show up every day, we have a goal in mind of MLS Cup and we try and get the performances right, the points when you look at the standings and the points, okay, there's performance in that that and we're really trying to look hard at it and get it right. It's a count down, right, we say 11 games, 10 games, nine games, we're thinking that we want to make a push. We know there's work to do. So all along we're trying to keep pace and there's a few trophies out there. So as you cross them off your list and now you go, okay, any trophy out there we're trying to work for, clearly.

Q. This is a big blow to their playoff chances. Even though they have had a rough year, can you talk about their team play this year?
CHRIS ARMAS: I won't mind having -- I honestly, if you look at the eastern conference, who will we play? Don't know. No matter who it shapes up to be it's going to be difficult. Home and away things become a little tense. Who might you have to play? We don't know. So.

Q. Do you still think they're a --
CHRIS ARMAS: Toronto is a champion. Do we want to play the champions in the playoffs? I think we matchup well against them, so if they got in and we play them, we thought we pushed them last year and every time we play them we beat them at their place this year, we beat them at our place this year, we shut them out both times. So we're not so concerned with who we play. We want to get to there, get right, take care of our business, read ball football get in and then just go after it.

New York Red Bulls Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips

How frustrating was the Yellow Card incident…
Yea, I’m mad about it. There is so much that I want to say, but I know these guys and if I tell the truth they will suspend me for another week, but it’s un-acceptable. What I said wasn’t that bad, it just had a swear word in it and he’s got my arm, then you get booked and I miss the biggest game of the season next week. It’s ridiculous.

Is it especially frustrating because of the fallout of missing next week…
It’s ridiculous man, it’s too big. We’re men. If you can’t take a swear word and what really happened then you’re in the wrong sport man. That is ridiculous.

Is the Yellow Card the last thing you expected at that point…
If someone said that to me, I would be like sorry I missed it. It’s a yellow card. The guy was having a nightmare all game. Nightmare.

On being one of the top strikers in the league, you don’t get the respect you deserve…
I can’t say I fully know the stats, but sometimes it feels like it’s a lot for me to get fouled.

You feel like other stars in the league get more…
I have seen people fall over and get fouls. I don’t do that you know, past managers have told me even Jessie, Chris said I should go down more. I can’t, it’s not in me to do that, so I expect the same treatment if I don’t go down or make a meal of it to get fouled, it’s ridiculous. These guys don’t understand football, I’m sorry.

You said you were getting grabbed on the play and complained about it, is that why you were booked…
Yea, with a swear word in it. Maybe swearing warrants a yellow card, if it does than maybe I deserve it. You know what I deserve it anyway because I have been told the last three weeks that I should just be careful, but sometimes you have enough. Sometimes I can’t keep getting decisions against me and shut up, because I want to win. If you let those things slide and don’t care, to me that’s not wanting to win. I want to win the game, I want it to be played well.

Were you warned earlier in the game…
No, because I was trying to be quiet. You can ask them, I was trying to talk to them and say the one on me was a bit harsh, I was trying to talk but I don’t know man.

How disappointing is it that you will miss next week…
Very. This is the biggest game in years. In this league and for this franchise this is a massive game. I’m confident the boys can win, but I’m mad. Mad.

How big was it for Derrick Etienne to get a goal, being he might have expanded role next week…
Yea, yea it is good for D’s confidence. You know Derrick on his game is one of the best wings in this league and he showed the potential that he has got. Yea it is good that he can have this confidence going into next week, if he’s needed.

You had a similar suspension in 2014, are you more mad about today or then…
Today, because that’s in the past. In my career I haven’t been suspended much or even have a red card or anything, it’s just I want to win and a lot of things frustrate me. This league has improved massively since I have gotten here, you know the people that officiate the games, I don’t think they have.

What do you want to see change with officials…
If I say that them things are too personal, I don’t want to lie, I want to name names, lot of them on my mind right now and I want to name names, but I’m trying to play the week after next so I’ll just leave that.

How much do you teammates and other players talk about the officials…
Let’s just say when I play against other teams they have the same complaints.

What was the biggest change for the team in the 2nd half…
We played like us. More tempo, moved the ball around and back quicker, we tried to get in behind the defense and it worked, it was no surprise to see that.

Why did it seem like the team needed a whole half to get going…
I don’t know. Sometimes it gets like that, when you play a team like Toronto that can play slow pace, knock the ball around, sometimes you can get lured into that way of playing. When we came in a half time that what we spoke about, you could see the difference come 2nd half.

Was Michael Bradley playing center-back difficult for you to play against…
No, I think that the only challenge he proposes is when he gets on the ball. He is very good at distributing passes and playing against him I think he will admit himself that he is not the best center-back, but them building out he is dangerous and is their best player so that is the challenge that he proposes.

How important is getting the 3 points in the hunt for the Shield…
Yea, obviously very important. We are playing Atlanta next week, we still got a chance if we can beat them.

On Kaku’s goal did you challenge for the ball…
Yea, just trying to make something out of nothing. I think you just let them come and claim that. Just trying to make the keeper’s job difficult.

You positive your guys can get the job done next week vs. Atlanta…
Yea, 100 percent. I’m not angry because I’m not playing, I think I would help. I’m angry because I wanted to be involved with that match, I think it is the biggest match of the season and for Red Bulls for a long time.

New York Red Bulls Forward Derrick Etienne Jr.

On his goal…
“It felt good. Been waiting for it for a long time. Been pushing at it, pushing at it, pushing at it and I was finally able to get one so it felt good.”

On what he was thinking when the defender went down before his goal…
“To be honest, I was thinking my teammates would probably want me to take this to the corner but I was inside the 18 and I went with my instincts. I felt that he was going to go down if I opened my hips because of how small the angle was and I was able to get a little dink in.”

On what the goal does for his confidence and whether it is big for him going forward…
“Yes and no. It’s always good to get goals. Especially as an attacking player, that’s what you want to do. To be a professional at your best, you can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. So, there’s other plays that I messed up that I could’ve done better on. Nothing is ever perfect. It’s good to get a goal but the most important thing is the win.”

On his confidence going into the Atlanta match with Bradley Wright-Phillips suspended…
“It’s a big loss. For me, he’s the best forward in the league. He does so much for our team. We’re going to be playing against a star-studded team like Atlanta; we’re going to be at home so that’s a good thing. We’re always going to miss an important player like that so we are going to have to sit back and see exactly what it is that we can do to fill that gap. No matter who it is, we know exactly what we need to do. That’s, how I think, this systems sets up well for that. So, I think if we go out there and press them like we can, we’ll get a chance. Someone else has to step up now.”

New York Red Bulls Goalkeeper Luis Robles

How tough will next week be to not have BWP in the starting XI…
Well obviously, Brad is a big part of what we do here. With that being said our guys whoever steps in everyone understands and we’ll support them all together, but it is just so frustrating when you watch the game and the other team the whole time is talking the ref complaining. Remember Brad has an accent so every time he yells it sounds like he is cussing. He’s not cussing, he’s just say what’s up, cheerio and it’s just unbelievable. The one time he is getting fouled and he is being fouled again every game and he turns around and says something, it’s a yellow. You look around the league and it’s just so frustrating because I just feel like here is a guy, an honest player, he’s great for the league what he is doing is unbelievable, he is about to be the only player to score 20+ goals in 3 different seasons and he just doesn’t get the same breaks and lee-way that a bunch of other players. The most frustrating is that I’m watching the game and even towards the end Victor Vazquez, he like megs our guy and has no chance at getting the ball and right away he blows the whistle and I just go to Kevin and say “Hey, you are doing a really bad job” and I try to be frank and not rude, but you are just doing a bad job and I think there is going to be carryover frustration because of what happened with Brad, it’s just unbelievable. We have a big game next week, I know that guys are going to be up for it, but it shouldn’t be a talking point, it shouldn’t be a storyline, yet it’s going to be because of a decision that this guy made because he was a little hurt over a reaction of one our guys said something that really was a foul and all game you see they are all over his back all over his back all over his back, he doesn’t get a call, so of course he is going to be frustrated. Whatever, I mean it is was it is, it is just really poor for him and we have this marquee matchup against Atlanta which is going to dictate the Shield and would we like to have Brad out there, of course, but with that being said I have a lot of belief in our guys and we are not going to let this phase us. We are going to have a great training week and we are going to be ready for the next game.

Outside of that…
Here we go Tim Parker. If Tim says something then right away it is going to be a card, so whatever. I mean I know that it is also this idea that we complain, whatever, are you kidding me, watch the play. Watch the play he is being fouled, he is holding his arm, so he says something obvious that wasn’t obvious to the ref and he gets a yellow for it. It’s criminal, it’s too bad.
What did you think of the performance for the team tonight…
It was okay. The first half was just okay and yet what was really encouraging was that we really didn’t give up much. When we scored the goal, you could see that we stepped it up another gear and we really looked like us towards the end. In the last 30 minutes we really looked like us, so that’s encouraging because we need that momentum going into the next game. In the last two games you can’t say that those performances were what we expect each and every week, so it is a nice step in the right direction.

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney

Q. Your overall thoughts on the match?
GREG VANNEY: Yeah, I thought it was our season in a game. I thought we, I don't know if we have come to read bull arena and out played them as much as we did today but yet we still find a way to lose the game. The goal we give up is on our set piece at mid field of the we play a straight ball that turns into a counter attack, don't manage the counter attack and we're down 1-0 now chasing the game in the last 15 minutes out of nothing. It's frustrating because the guys worked hard today, they played well today, they deserved more out of it today, but that's how our season has been. Our performances at times haven't been bad but we have always managed away to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Q. Up date on Jozy?
GREG VANNEY: Ankle. I don't know how it will be but he was obviously struggling and had to come off.

Q. How much did that set you back, it was kind of obvious he was set on making the trip and then Jozy has to come out?
GREG VANNEY: Again, that's part of the season in a game, right? A microcosm of guys that are -- we have to bring Jozy off because he can't go any more, I had pushed Chris well beyond what his expectation was for the day, I thought he was excellent, but when we're down 1-0 I can't possibly keep pushing Chris and lose him for the rest of the season. He was excellent in his return and we got a lot more out of him than we were anticipating, so it was good to get him going again, but again, without Ced and without Jozy, some other situations, Aura will still trying to return from his injury, he played a little bit last week, it was just, that's the way it goes.

Q. Do you pretty much need to win out?
GREG VANNEY: Yeah, we need to win out. Yeah, I mean today getting something was going to be really important. We're really, really heavily relying on other results at this point, but my expectation is that everybody's going to fight and compete and battle to the end. We have got a lot to prove and we got to get on the winning side of it on the tail end of this.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley

Does this feel like a hard-luck loss…
We did a number of things pretty well. You come here, and obviously it’s a good team and a hard place to play, but by and large we had the game on our terms. They have things that they like to do and you know that coming in, but I thought we did a good job dealing with that. [We] had some good advantages, had some good chances, couldn’t find the right way to get the first goal. And then obviously we conceded two bad goals. Frustrating night.

Were you pleased with the effort tonight and the way the guys kinda fought through this one?
Yeah… that part is the bare minimum. But, yes.

What did you see on the RBNY set-piece goal?
Yeah… Like I said, not a good goal to give away. At that point in the game they had the set piece that deflected and then went off the post and then Bradley Wright-Phillips had the one half-chance running in on the angle where he shot high and wide to the near post. Other than that, they didn’t have a whole lot. And so to give away a goal like that at that point, to give a goal away from that, is frustrating.

Asking about needing help from other teams via results
We’re gonna need some help. It’s MLS, ya know? It’s MLS at the end of the season and anybody can beat anybody. Teams can go on some crazy runs. Obviously, all we can do is try to take care of our business over this last stretch and then see if a few things can go our way to make it interesting.

Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono

Going into halftime nil-nil, and Jozy [Altidore] comes off, and an unfortunate goal… You feel like this was a hard-luck loss…

Maybe if we were behind early, a little bit unfortunate, but we had opportunities so it’s not as though we were done and dusted after they scored the first one. We had a ton of opportunities to come back and score and it just wasn’t our night to put one in the back of the net I guess.

Does this feel like a microcosm of season the way the game went …
I don’t wanna be the guy to make excuses about anything. We’re in a situation where pretty much every game is do or die, and we fought hard for a lot of this game. They scored a couple of goals and we weren’t able to get back level at 1-1 and when you’re pushing, those things are gonna happen on the break. (referring to the second goal)

77th minute, 0-0, did you feel like you were going to get out of there with a point?
Maybe, yeah. Listen, I knew that there were goals available in this game on both sides. They scored their first and we put some pressure and we got some opportunities. Like I said, it’s not like we didn’t show anything going forward at all or once we went down. We had opportunities throughout the game. We had a couple in the first half that just missed the net, a couple unlucky bounces. At one point, yeah, I thought, “defend well, keep a zero, we can come out of here with a point” and then the first one [goal] happened.

Are you at that point where you’re going to have to root against Montreal/Philly?
Yeah for sure. We need some help to get in, we need to do it ourselves and also have some teams that are higher up and in the Western Conference do us a couple favors. We’re scoreboard watching, we’re making sure that it’s still possible and until it’s not possible, we’re gonna go out there and fight for it.

Do you take confidence in some of the match, outplaying them during parts of the game?
I thought that we started really well. That’s been a bit of a downfall for us over this last stretch is that we tend to give up some early goals. So for us to go out there and start strong defensively and really match their intensity, especially – we all know the Red Bulls brand, they’re gonna run, they’re gonna press you for ninety minutes. To be able to weather the storm for the first fifteen minutes and let us give ourselves a chance to play ourselves into the game is… I thought we had a really good start today, we fought for long portions. We fought all the way up until the very end and that’s a credit to our guys.

Last edited by Dave Birnbaum; 09/24/18 12:31 PM.