The Red Bulls ran wild at Red Bull Arena, downing Charlotte FC 5-2 on Wednesday night in the wild card round of the MLS Playoffs.
Elias Manoel opened the scoring in the 10th minute and added two more to complete the first playoff hat trick in New York Red Bulls club history.
"He's done a tremendous job coming in and really growing into the team and figuring out our style of play and what he needs to do. He's a great guy, and he's really putting in a lot of extra work, and you can see it paying off, so I'm really happy for him," Tom Barlow said.
A John Tolkin free kick, combined with two Manoel goals, gave the Red Bulls a 3-0 advantage at the end of the first half.
Tolkin's goal was his fourth of the season.
"I think he is absolutely hitting the right form and he's getting more involved, and he deserves more credit for not only what he does against the ball, but what he does with the ball. This free kick is just special, this has nothing to do with anything coaching, this is JMi again stepping up and creating a big moment," Head Coach Troy Lesesne said.
After Charlotte got one back at the beginning of the second half, Tom Barlow answered right back with his second goal in the last three matches.
Tolkin's assist on Barlow's goal has now broken the franchise record for most assists in a single season by a homegrown in franchise history with ten, passing Tyler Adams (2018).
Charlotte added a second in the 64th minute, but Manoel completed his hat trick to leave no doubt in a 5-2 victory.
The Brazilian now has six career goals in four career appearances against Charlotte FC.
Manoel became the first Red Bulls player to record a multi-goal match in a playoff match since Daniel Royer did so on November 11, 2018 against Columbus Crew. His hat trick was the first in the playoffs in club history. It was the sixth recorded playoff hat trick in MLS history.
"I'm really confident. Of course, even in some games unfortunately I'm not scoring, but I’m helping the team with whatever they need in and helping everybody in the games," Manoel said. "Those three goals for me, they reflect on my career. When I look back at all the work that I do, it's just becoming reality now."
The Red Bulls will now travel to Supporters Shield-winners FC Cincinnati on Sunday, October 29 for the first game of a best-of-three series. Game two will take place at Red Bull Arena on November 4.