Monday, May 21, 2018

Red Bulls, Led By BWP's Double, Win In Atlanta

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer. @NewYorkRedBulls.

The Red Bulls, thanks to two goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and superb play in net from Ryan Meara, earned a 2-1 win over Atlanta United FC on the road on Sunday night.

Both of Wright-Phillips' goals came in the second half, and this was his 16th career brace and 20th career multi-goal performance.

Wright-Phillips moved in a tie with Robbie Keane for fourth all-time in league history with 20 multi-goal league games. He improved his career goal total to 94 leagues goals and 111 across all competitions.

BWP has rattled off his sixth-straight match with a point. Wright-Phillips owns the longest active point streak in league play. During his stretch, BWP has tallied five goals and four assists.

Wright-Phillips' goal in the 51st minute was his 23rd career league game-winning goal. BWP moved into a four-way tie for 15th place all-time in MLS with Robbie Keane, Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio.

Ryan Meara leaping up to knock away a loose ball. @NewYorkRedBulls.
Ryan Meara made his first start in net for the Red Bulls since July 8, 2012, and it was his first league start overall since March 24, 2015 when he played for NYCFC on loan from the Red Bulls.

Meara tallied a game-high six saves, just one shy of his career best mark.

Captain Luis Robles missed the match with a knee injury, ending his MLS Ironman streak at 183 consecutive matches started.

With Robles missing the match, BWP was given the honors as captain.
The Red Bulls have extended their overall win streak to four games, and have won their last three on the road, to improve their record to 7-0-3, with 21 points, in fourth place in the East.

The Red Bulls got a slow start to MLS play due to their participation in the Concacaf Champions League, but they have now hit their stride, and are just four points behind Atlanta, with two games in hand, for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Atlanta opened the scoring in this one in the 26th minute, as Ezequiel Barco picked up possession off a deflected ball inside the 18-yard-box and snuck one past Meara.

As time was winding down in the first half, the Red Bulls earned a penalty kick chance in the 42nd minute. Daniel Royer stepped up and chipped it in for the equalizer.

Royer hit his first penalty kick of the year and fifth of his career in MLS. Royer is perfect 5-for-5 in penalty kicks for his career.
In the second half, Wright-Phillips heading two consecutive goals in a four-minute span, in the 51st and 55th minutes, to give the Red Bulls the win.

The Red Bulls defense held the second-best offense in MLS to one goal, just the fourth time this season Atlanta has been held to a goal or less.

It was a rough ending to the game, as Atlanta's Greg Garza took a red card in the 71st minute, leaving them to play the last 20 minutes-plus shorthanded.

Red Bulls midfielder Kemar Lawrence left the game in the 83rd minute on a stretcher, and the team reported later on Twitter that he was "conscious, fully responsive, and in good spirits."

The Red Bulls return home for a match with the rival Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

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