(NYCFC’s Maxi Moralez celebrates with Heber – @NYCFC)
The MLS weekend started early, as New York City Football Club beat Cincinnati FC, 5-2, at Yankee Stadium, on Thursday night.
The Red Bulls played Saturday in Philadelphia, and lost a heartbreaker to the Union, 3-2.
The Red Bulls drop to 7-3-6, with 24 points, in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of NYCFC, who is 5-8-1, with 23 points.
NYCFC 5, Cincinnati FC 2 (Thursday):
Heber led the way for NYCFC, as he scored two goals, and they dominated early on their way to this win over Cincinnati.
It took just 11 minutes for NYCFC to get on the board as Alexandru Mitriță scored off a brilliant feed from Maxi Moralez.
In the 17th, they doubled their lead when Héber cashed in at the net on a play started by Anton Tinnerholm and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who each earned assists on the play.
That trio was at it again in the 29th when Tajouri-Shradi got a goal set up by Tinnerholm and Héber.
In the 37th minute, Héber was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he committed an own goal to get Cincinnati on the board and make it 3-1 heading into halftime.
In the second half, Héber got that goal back, as he scored in the 49th minute off a feed from Moralez.
In the 76th, Cincinnati scored another one on an own goal, this one by Sebastien Ibeagha that made it 4-2 NYCFC.
After notching two assists early in the game, Moralez got a goal of his own to put it away in the 90th, as Valentin Castellanos got an assist on the play.
NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent said of how his front line performed in this one, “I’m happy just in the first 20 minutes. We were able to create chances and score a few goals. But after that we didn’t play well because there was too much ‘rabona.’ We have to respect the game. I say to them in the second half, we have to respect the game because they’re a good team. When I watch them many games in Cincinnati, maybe they deserve to have more points. And sometimes it’s just not about the table, you have to respect the opponent in the game. But I’m very happy after that because we played with five forwards. This is good news because we can play in this sort of system when we play at Yankee Stadium, which is different sizes at home. Our fans understand and everyone is happy. It’s not easy when you miss three-to-four players, but FC Cincinnati missed four-to-five players as well. But the rules are the rules and you have to accept and adapt quickly and I’m very happy for our fans because it’s the first game after four games away. The most important thing I said to them today is to try and win the game and we did it.”
Philadelphia 3, Red Bulls 2 (Saturday):
The Red Bulls jumped out to a fast start in this one. In the 29th minute, Marc Rzatkowski sent a low-lining pass into the 18-yard box for Kyle Duncan. Duncan took one touch in and then passed towards the top of the box for Kaku, who one-timed a low shot past Andre Blake to the far post for the 1-0 lead.
This was Kaku’s second goal of the season to raise his career total to eight as a Red Bull. He has recorded a point in four consecutive matches, tallying two goals and two assists during that stretch.
As time was winding down in the first half, Alex Muyl sent a high-arching pass from midfield to a sprinting Brian White, who sprinted pass two Union defenders and looped his shot over a charging Blake to double the lead in the 42nd minute.
White leads the Red Bulls with four goals in MLS play in just 631 minutes of action. He has recorded two goals and one assist in the last four games.
Down two goals in the second half, the Union subbed in Ilsinho in the 53rd minute. He provided the spark they needed, as he got two goals and an assist in a 12-minute span.
In the 60th, Ilsinho set up Jamiro Monteiro for his third goal of the season, and then he scored a goal of his own a minute later, in the 61st. He got his second goal, unassisted, in the 72nd minute.
For the Red Bulls, Duncan, Muyl and Rzatkowski all contributed with an assist. Ducan and Muyl each recorded their first league assists of 2019, while Rzatkowski tallied his third.
Red Bulls Captain and goalkeeper Luis Robles recorded four saves and surpassed Tony Meola for the franchise’s top spot in saves with 632. Robles also tallied his seventh career penalty-kick save.
The Red Bulls’ next match is a U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round match against the New England Revolution on Tuesday, June 11 at MSU Soccer Park at Pittser Field.