HARRISON, N.J. – It took a patchwork backline to do it, but the New York Red Bulls finally got their first clean sheet of the season with a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
Thierry Henry scored his league-leading ninth goal of the campaign before leaving with a hamstring injury, but the strike proved to be all the Red Bulls needed.
New York came out flying offensively, capped by Henry’s delicate lob over Matt Reis off a ball played over the top by right back Connor Lade in the seventh minute. The Homegrown defender was one of three young reserve players on an injury-decimated Red Bulls backline.
The Revolution eventually settled into the game and had a pair of close-range chances to equalize against the Red Bulls’ makeshift back four, but forward Saer Sene was repeatedly denied by rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
Henry was forced out of the game in the 23rd minute after slipping while trying to make a run on goal. The French star immediately clutched the back of his right leg and had to be helped off the field. The Red Bulls later said he suffered a hamstring strain.
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps tried to breath life into his attack by inserting Benny Feilhaber into the lineup after halftime, and the US international’s influence made New England the more dangerous side in the second half against a New York team content with defending and aiming to hit back on the counter.
The World Cup veteran almost helped pulled the visitors level in the 58th minute with a through ball that Sene brought down with his chest. The big Frenchman raced in on goal before being tackled in the box by Brandon Barklage and, despite shouts for a penalty kick, the referee allowed play to continue.
Feilhaber had two chances of his own to equalize in the 77th and 88th minutes, but both times, Meara was there to make the save. The rookie ‘keeper was test one more time in stoppage time by Lee Nguyen’s low, curling effort, but the Fordham University product stayed strong.
With the win, the Red Bulls improve to 4-3-1 and snap a two-game winless spell. They next travel to the LA Galaxy on May 5.
The Revolution, meanwhile, fall to 2-5-0 after losing their third in a row and failing to score for the fourth time this season. They face a quick turnaround before traveling to Colorado on May 2 and Real Salt Lake three days later.