(The celebration was on after Bradley Wright-Phillips’ second-half goal – Photo by Jason Schott)
The Red Bulls won their fourth straight on Saturday night with a 4-0 romp over the Montreal Impact.
Daniel Royer led the way with two goals for the Red Bulls, giving him 10 on the season, just one behind Bradley Wright-Phillips for the team lead. Wright-Phillips got his 11th in this one too.
The Red Bulls have won these four by a combined score of 15-3. It is the first time in franchise history that they have scored three or more goals in four straight games.
Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of his team’s strong play, “Yeah, I mean, the group is in a good way. I mean, there was clarity on the field, a lot of competence. I think we can get better, right? I think it’s been good lately. We’re all aware of the momentum that we have, the belief we have.
“I even think that this thing can get better, we can get sharper, clearer, cleaner. So that’s our drive right now. We know as a group that we’ve got potentially a huge week coming up, so we can’t pat ourselves on the back too much. We have to now make sure that we find ways to get better, keep the hunger, keep the drive so that we keep pushing our season along in all the right ways.”
Wright-Phillips said of whether this match was their best performance thus far, “It could well be, it could well be. I’m trying to think because some games were good. We played Minnesota away from home and that was equally as tough a task. Away from home its obviously hard to beat teams. I think that game was up there with this but, at home, definitely our best home game.”
They improved to 11-2-8, 35 points, just two points behind New York City Football Club, who lost 4-0 in Toronto on Sunday and dropped to 11-4-7, with 35 points.
The teams will meet in the third installment of the Hudson River Derby next Sunday at 6 pm at Yankee Stadium. The Red Bulls won the first matchup, which was part of the US Open Cup, on June 14th, 1-0, and NYCFC won in the rematch 10 days later in MLS play, 2-0.
Marsch said of the chance to pass NYCFC with a win next weekend, “You know, I’m not a big table watcher. It’s human nature when you’re doing well, the table looks great. When we’re not doing well…
“But always taking care of your business is what makes the table look beautiful. I think right now, again, it’s not about grandiose visions as much as it’s staying on the details of the work every day.
“I mean, I’m going to have to continue to come up with ways to talk about it because it’s a broken record. It’s the truth. It’s what has gotten us here and what will continue to keep us moving.”
On Saturday night, the Red Bulls were ravenous from the start. Their first big chance came in the 15th minute when Sean Davis had a point-blank shot from the right, then a few minutes later, Aaron Long came close to heading in a corner kick from Sacha Kljestan.
In the 23rd minute, they were awarded a penalty kick, which was taken by Royer, and he converted to make it 1-0, which was the score at halftime.
In the 58th minute, the Red Bulls had a corner kick, and three Montreal defenders could not corral it on the left side. Royer got it and found Michael Murillo, who buried it to make it 2-0.
This was Murillo’s first goal with the club, and Marsch said of the first-year player from Panama, “Yes, Murillo has grown a lot in the last six months. When we got him, he was a talented kid who was a little bit casual, liked to play with the ball, but took pride in 1-v-1 defending. I think we’ve turned him more into a complete player who shows alertness, awareness, shows urgency, understands our tactics, can play in different spots on the field, is good in the air, a great passer, and very good 1-v-1.
“When you get young, talented players like that, it’s about trying to acclimate him the right way into the group so that you can prepare them and set them up to be successful.
“It was hard not to play him early on because we could see all the good qualities. We felt like he needed to continue to adjust. Now when you watch him, he looks like he’s been here for years.
“So credit to him. He’s learning English. He’s committed to being here. I think he’s really enjoying his time. We brought in a friend in Fidel, so hopefully that will help him off the field. We’ve all seen what a great player he is, how much he’s growing.”
The Red Bulls continued to get big chances in the second half, including Alex Muyl hitting one off the post in the 71st minute.
Wright-Phillips broke through in the 85th minute when he came down the center, got a cross from the left from Muyl, and buried it to blow it open at 3-0.
BWP said of his goal, “I was tired. I felt I may be coming off soon so I was like, you know, I’m going to give this one more try. I felt like I was in some good positions today and it just never fell to me. The last effort I just tried to get…I’d been moaning at those guys all game to cross the ball or try and look for me. Alex Muyl just done that and I just tried to get my boot on it.”
This was his 80th career MLS goal, continuing to build on his Red Bulls record, and is now in a tie for 16th all-time in MLS history with Brian McBride and Josh Wolff.
Royer was not finished, and in the 89th minute, he came down the right side on a breakaway and went short side to get it past Montreal goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau to make it 4-0.
Marsch said of Royer, “Yeah, well, when I say that more guys are able to face the goal, I think Danny has been a big one. He’s able to dribble at guys more. He’s playing great. He’s got so much confidence and clarity around the goal, it’s almost like if a shot of his doesn’t go in, it’s surprising right now.
“In training, we’ve seen what a great finisher Danny is. Just hasn’t added up until maybe the last couple months. Now it’s pretty lethal.
“Got to keep him moving forward in all the right ways. But it’s great to see him doing so well.”
Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made two saves to earn his 46th career shutout, and 30th at Red Bull Arena.