Montreal Fails To Make An Impact As Red Bulls Dominate

USA Today

On what may have been the hottest day of the year, Red Bull New York hosted Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact. It was clear that the visitors are not used to playing in such oppressive conditions as they failed to generate opportunities as New York took the three points with a 3-1 victory.

Despite the Red Bulls controlling the early part of the match, Montreal opened the scoring on a counter-attack in the 21st minute. Kemar Lawrence, who was replacing an injured Connor Lade, gave the ball away before it wound up with Matteo Mancuso, who streaked down the right-side of the pitch on a 2-on-1. He made a move past the lone defender, Ronald Zubar, and found the Impact’s captain, Ignacio Piatti, on the other side who slipped it past Luis Robles and into the net.

The goal didn’t seem to affect the Red Bulls’ momentum as they found the tying goal less than 60 seconds later. New York seemed to catch Montreal on their heels as Sacha Kljestan found Bradley Wright-Phillips in the offensive zone. Though he was step-for-step with a defender, and was taken down by the goalkeeper, he put enough force on the ball that its momentum carried it into the net. The goal tied him with New York legend Juan Pablo Angel for the team record for MLS goals with 58.

The ties on the scoreboard and the record book did not last long as Wright-Phillips netted his second of the match and his 59th for the for his MLS career in the 41st minute. Sean Davis, who has been filling in for captain Dax McCarty, found the Englishman in the box with an elevated pass. Wright-Phillips used his head to pound the ball into the net for the 2-1 lead and the team record. It was a lead the Red Bulls took into the lockeroom.

When the teams came out for the second half, it only took 19 seconds for the Red Bulls to pull away. Davis scored second goal in as many weeks before many of the 23,459 fans had returned for the start of the half. Mike Grella dribbled past three defenders in the box and found Davis, unmarked, at the top of the box. Davis took a shot with his first touch that goalkeeper Evan Bush Hope-Solo’d into the back of his own net.

The match was put further out of reach only two minutes later when Amroise Oyongo earned a straight red for a dangerous tackle on Davis. At that point the match started to become chippy, and, eventually, Aurelien Collin had to be taken off after his second head injury of the match, and third in the last two weeks.

With injuries to cMcCarty and Damien Perrinelle keeping them out long term, and with defenders Lade and Gideon Baah out for the season, several unfamiliar faces had the opportunity to wear red and white. Israeli national team striker Omer Damari, whom the Red Bulls acquired last week, made his debut in the 79th minute. It wasn’t just unfamiliar faces of players on the bench, Denis Hamlett filled in as head coach for Jesse Marsch, who served a one-match suspension for dissent.

The victory pulled the Red Bulls out of a third-place tie with the Impact and gave them 36 points on the year and pulled them into a second-place tie with Toronto F.C. The outcome was even more important considering that the Red Bulls had one of their worst matches the prior weekend when they lost three players to injury and a late two-goal lead to the L.A. Galaxy.

While their bodies may be exhausted, their confidence is soaring as they beat a strong MLS team only days after a crushing defeat, and missing multiple key players. There won’t be much rest for the team as they head to El Salvador on Tuesday to take on Alianza in the CONCACAF Champions League.