New York Red Bulls 3 (Muyl 15’, Wright-Phillips 42’,78’)
Minnesota United 0
After a decent start to the season, the Loons came undone at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. A brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips, along with the opening strike from Alex Muyl sent the team from New York to victory, as they maintained their CCL form in this one.
The Minnesota team was depleted, with Adrian Heath having to put forward a completely different back four to last week. Tyrone Mears and Jerome Thiesson had joined Kevin Molino (ACL) on the injury list, but neither are as serious. In the centre of the defence, both Michael Boxall and Francisco Calvo were on international duty, meaning a much younger back-line for this one.
Minnesota started the stronger side in the early minutes, but the Red Bulls grew into the game, and within a quarter of an hour, they had scored. Alex Muyl cut inside from the right, and curled a low left-footed effort into the far corner, past Matt Lampson.
The issue all night for the Loons, was a lack of chances, with Miguel Ibarra spurning one just after the half an hour mark, with his effort going straight at Luis Robles in the Red Bulls’ goal.
Both Marc Rzatkowski and Collen Warner were shown yellow cards in the space of a minute, after a tussle between the pair in midfield, but New York doubled their lead moments later.
Sean Davis’ ball into the box was flicked on, and Bradley Wright-Phillips was there, in front of Lampson, to flick it over the goalkeeper and into the net to make it 2-0.
It could have been three before the break, as Daniel Royer put the ball in the back of the net. However, the referee had already blown for a foul on a Minnesota defend in the build-up to Royer’s strike, meaning the sides went into the interval at 2-0.
BWP almost made it three, as he clipped Connor Lade’s low cross onto the near post ten minutes into the second half. Needing to get back into the game, Abu Danladi came on for Christian Ramirez up top for the Loons.
Minnesota had a couple of efforts on goal during the second half, with Ethan Finlay bringing the best out of Luis Robles, before the Loons made a double change. Mason Toye and Franck Pangop, coming on for his debut, replaced Sam Nicholson and Miguel Ibarra.
Ibson was booked shortly after, before Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his second of the night, to make it 3-0 to the hosts. Alex Muyl played a wonderful ball which curled around Wyatt Omsberg, with the Englishman flicking a volley into the top corner as Lampson tried to cut the angle down but coming out.
He then came off to a standing ovation, with Derrick Etienne taking his place. Carlos Rivas also came on for Florian Valot for the Red Bulls.
In the meantime, Minnesota came close to a consolation goal. Both Mason Toye and Abu Danladi were denied by Robles, again, before Ethan Finlay hit the crossbar with a headed chance. Stefano Bonom came on for Daniel Royer, as the minutes ticked down to a New York victory.
28 Matt Lampson
2 Carter Manley
14 Brent Kallman
22 Wyatt Omsberg
8 Marc Burch
26 Collen Warner
13 Ethan Finlay
10 Miguel Ibarra (19 Franck Pangop – 72’)
12 Sam Nicholson (23 Mason Toye – 71’)
21 Christian Ramirez (9 Abu Danladi – 63’)
33 Bobby Shuttleworth
15 Bertrand Owundi Eko’o
16 Harrison Heath
17 Collin Martin
After this heavy defeat, Minnesota go up against their expansion brothers, Atlanta United, next time out. The home game last year saw Atlanta win 6-1 in snowy conditions in the second week of the season. However, the Loons went to Georgia and won 3-2 at the end of the 2017 campaign, so this one could go either way.
The game is on Saturday 31st, with a kickoff time of 7pm CT, a 1am start on Sunday morning in the UK.
Written by @MattjColes