Wednesday Night MLS: Red Bulls Defeat Real Salt Lake • Latino Sports


Wednesday Night MLS: Red Bulls Defeat Real Salt Lake


HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls earned a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. A fourth minute goal from Mike Grella was enough as Salt Lake saw two players sent off with red cards.

New York is now 5-5-5 on the season, and move to 20 points heading into the weekend. New York is now 4-2-2 at home in 2015, and 4-2-0 when scoring first.

The Red Bulls came out strong from the start, earning two corners in the first three minutes.

Grella helped New York cash in on the early momentum, finding his second game-winner of the year in the early going. Bradley Wright-Phillips started the play with a ball into space for Kemar Lawrence, who was seeing his first game action for New York after playing three matches for the Reggae Boyz in Copa America.

Lawrence showed a burst of speed down the wing and cut a ball in into the box. Sean Davis got a touch to direct the ball across the face of goal, and Grella finished the tap-in at the back post. The goal was Grella’s fourth of the season, and it marked the first MLS assist for both Lawrence and Davis.

Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made two big saves in the first half, swallowing up a headed attempt from RSL forward Devon Sandoval in the seventh minute, and blocking a low shot from the left side off the foot of Jaoa Plata in the 29th minute. Robles earned his third clean sheet of the season, and 23rd of his New York career. He is now two shutouts behind Tony Meola for the all-time franchise record.

Salt Lake was reduced to 10 men in the 41st minute. Robles grabbed another free kick attempt and delivered a long throw, sending Brazilian midfielder Felipe on his way. Salt Lake captain Javier Morales took Felipe down, denying him an opportunity towards goal. Morales received a straight red card on the play.

Even before the ejection, New York largely dominated the first half. The Red Bulls outshot Salt Lake 11-3 and had nine corner kicks to Salt Lake’s three in the first 45 minutes.

The second half started in the same fashion – with New York grabbing momentum early and playing mostly in the offensive half. Salt Lake’s Demar Phillips was also shown red in the 54thminute for a challenge against New York right back Connor Lade.

The advantage in manpower allowed New York to possess the ball for most of the second half. The Red Bulls buzzed around the RSL penalty area, but could not break through for a second goal.

Anatole Abang, making his first MLS start after scoring off the bench in back-to-back matches, had a chance in the 65th minute. The 18-year-old Cameroonian got a foot on a cross from Lawrence, but Salt Lake ‘keeper Nick Rimando was well-positioned at the near post.

New York looked to have doubled the lead in the 81st minute when Sal Zizzo, appearing in a substitute role also finished a chance at the back post. The tally was called back after a New York player was ruled offside.

Grella had a chance of his own in the next minute. With Lawrence again providing service from the left side, Grella was able to get his head on a ball that caromed off Rimando, but his chance went just over the cross bar. Rimando would finish the night with six saves.

The Red Bulls will look to carry this momentum through a pair of New York derbies. The Red Bulls will make a short trip to Yankee Stadium on Sunday, June 28 for a 5 p.m. (TV: ESPN) meeting with crosstown foe New York City FC. The Red Bulls took the first meeting, 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Red Bull Arena.

After that match, the Red Bulls will host the New York Cosmos on Wednesday, July 1 for a Round of 16 match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

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