Red Bull - Mission Difficult (Not Impossible)

Before you figure there's no way that the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Thursday came come back from their poor 0-3 performance  on Sunday at Atlanta in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals, and make it into the MLS Cup final, remember the following:

.... the Red Bulls will be playing at home;

.... the Red Bulls have beaten MLS teams this season by 3-0 margins four times, and 4-0 margins twice.

Expect Atlanta to pack the back and look for quick counter attacks, and New York to relentlessly attack starting with the opening whistle.

Anything is possible.

Post-Game Notes: Red Bulls Lose 3-0 to Atlanta United FC in Leg 1 of Conference Championship

New York Red Bulls 0, Atlanta United FC 3
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1
Sunday, November 25, 2018 - 5 p.m. ET
Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, Ga.

Scoring Summary:
ATL - Josef Martinez (Larentowicz) 32'
ATL - Franco Escobar (Gressel, Almiron) 71'
ATL - Hector Villaba (Escobar) 90'+5'

Misconduct Summary:
ATL - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (caution, unsporting behavior) 62'

New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles ©; Aaron Long, Michael Amir Murillo, Tim Parker, Connor Lade, Sean Davis (Brian White, 87'), Tyler Adams, Kaku, Alex Muyl (Marc Rzatkowski, 85'), Danny Royer (Derrick Etienne, Jr., 71'), Bradley Wright-Phillips


Atlanta United FC: Brad Guzan; Greg Garza (Chris McCann, 83'), Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Franco Escobar, Eric Remedi, Darlington Nagbe, Jeff Larentowicz, Miguel Almiron (Ezekiel Barco, 86'), Josef Martinez (Hector Villaba, 77'), Julian Gressel


Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Corey Parker
4th Official: Allen Chapman
VAR: Drew Fischer

Attendance: 70,016

The New York Red Bulls fell to Atlanta United FC, 3-0, in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship on Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

New York started four Homegrown players in an MLS playoff match for the first time in league history.

Atlanta defeated New York for the first time in five all-time matches.

The Red Bulls were blanked in an away playoff match for just the eighth time in 29 away postseason games in franchise history.

New York was defeated by three or more goals in a playoff match for just the second time in club history. Last time the Red Bulls fell 3-0 in a playoff game was at Chicago on Sept. 26, 2000.

The second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship between New York and Atlanta is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29 at Red Bull Arena. Thursday's kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes and New York Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish on TuneIn.

New York Red Bulls Post-Game Quote Sheet
Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1
Atlanta 3, New York 0
November 25, 2018

New York Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas

On his message to his team entering the second leg:

Look, it is going to be difficult. It always was going to be. We put ourselves in a hole, but we came out of a series where we scored three in our building. That is the goal. That’s the starting point. We will score the first goal, and the rest will follow. We will come out a little bit differently with the energy and the fight that is going to be needed. It is pretty clear what is needed to be done. We are going to go home, and we are going to get it done.

On Bradley Wright-Phillips disallowed goal:

You score a tying goal that gets called back, yeah it deflates you a little bit, but Atlanta put a lot into it. All of their players fought hard the whole time. It is always a little bit of a letdown if a goal is called back, but we didn’t make enough plays on each side of the field. We let ourselves down that way. Give them credit on the night, Atlanta, and we will be up for the next one.

On Kemar Lawrence’s absence:

I’ll say two things. Kemar is a big part of things around here. He has had a great year, we all know that. Maybe he will be back for Leg 2, we’ll see, he is day-to-day. But more importantly, Connor Lade stepped in and did a good job. He was solid. He gave everything like we knew that he would. It was a big test, a lot of direct play. He was fearless on the night. Connor stood up admirably, I believe.

On the veteran player’s influence on the younger players heading into Leg 2:

It is going to be needed. It will be essential that the leaders step up, that we step up, the coaching staff, the rookies step up. It is going to be an effort that takes everyone, and I really believe that is going to come. We were down 3-0 at home against Columbus earlier in the year and with five more minutes we would have tied that thing up, but we only had 45 minutes and we did it. With 90 minutes, we are going to go after it. One goal at a time.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis

On the match:

It is obviously frustrating for us. We came to a difficult place to play; fantastic atmosphere and they were very clinical in front of goal. This is the playoffs and we need to know what to expect. It is disappointing, but at least we get to go home and that is where we have been so good this year.

On the overturned goal:

It was a really well-run free kick. I guess the ref was saying that Alex Muyl was blocking the vision of the goalie. I haven’t seen it yet, but it seems like a difficult call. It is hard for me to comment because I haven’t seen a replay yet.

On if New York will come out pressing in Leg 2:

Yeah, very similar to the Columbus series. At home, we are very confident. We love playing at home in front of our fans and we have been great there all year. It is important for us to get a first goal early, and then press for the game. It is going to require absolutely everything from us to get the result.

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles

On the match:

They really got the better of us. We came here with a plan and looking at the result you can see that we failed to execute our plan. So, there’s not much time. We just have to regroup and look forward to Thursday. It is very clear what we have to do and just go one goal at a time.

On getting an early goal in Leg 2:

Of course. When you look at the Columbus game, for us to get a goal right off the bat, it changed the complexion of the game. It is going to be tough, right? Because we can’t let them score. We just have to go for it, but I think at this point our back are against the wall and there’s nothing left. We just empty the tank and do all we can for 90 minutes.

On if anything Atlanta did surprised them:

No, they are a good team. They have been good all year. They have been explosive. At home they are amazing. I think, just looking at the way that we gave up the goals, we lacked some discipline. We made it a little too easy for them. When you have a team as talented as them, and you make mistakes, they are going to punish you. We have a great group here and, in my opinion, it is a very special group. It is because of that the belief is going to be that we can turn this thing. It is very difficult, near impossible, but we are just going to continue to believe that we are going to do what it takes to get it done. We will just take it one goal at a time and on Thursday we will come out flying and do everything we can to advance.

Last edited by Dave Birnbaum; 11/29/18 01:09 AM.