The New York Red Bulls continued their recent run of good form by beating struggling New England Revolution 4-1 on Saturday at Red Bull Arena. The convincing result moved Red Bulls into second place in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls started the game strong and scored three goals in quick succession to take a 3-0 lead in the first 12 minutes.
To open the scoring, Lloyd Sam floated a cross in the fourth minute to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who headed in uncontested. The Red Bulls attackers combined brilliantly for the second goal in the ninth minute at the edge of the box. Mike Grella finally played Lloyd Sam in behind, who did well to stay onside before finishing low across the goal. Wright-Phillips added his second of the night in the 12th minute after being set up by Dax McCarty.
The Red Bulls could do no wrong, and it seemed that all of the bounces and 50-50 balls were going their way. They gave up a goal before halftime, however it did nothing to halt the Red Bulls’ position. Still up two goals, the Red Bulls did not need to take the game to New England, who did not score again. Anthony Wallace added the finishing touches to an easy New York win after redirecting a Dax McCarty shot from 25 yards out.
New England finished the game with ten men when José Gonçalves saw a second yellow card for a foul inside the box in the 87th minute. Bobby Shuttleworth double-saved the resulting penalty and follow up to make sure the 4-1 defeat did not get even worse. Shuttleworth’s saves couldn’t help his team break their dreadful recent slump.
The New England Revolution have lost their last six games in a row and now sit in sixth place, almost out of the Eastern Conference playoff spots. New England’s demise makes way to the Red Bulls rise, who now have a stronghold on a playoff spot. The Red Bulls have three games in hand over DC United, who have led the Eastern Conference uncontested for weeks.
Wright-Phillips continues to lead the way for the Red Bulls, taking his goal tally to eight for the season. Red Bulls fans will be pleased with the support around Wright-Phillips, as players like Lloyd Sam and Dax McCarty look more positive in midfield. The midfield has been a problem area for the Red Bulls, but the recent results will build confidence and chemistry.
The Red Bulls midfield sliced open the New England defense with ease on several occasions and will look to unlock defenses in the weeks to come. If the midfielders continue to play like this, expect more goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, who knows how to finish his chances. The confidence boost from results will drive future performances for a New York team improving every week. Gradually, the Red Bulls are looking like a team to be feared in the Eastern Conference.