A huge match looms for New York on Wednesday, but the team did not look past their matchup with Austin FC, the second best team in the West, on Sunday evening.
"With our setup today, we crushed the plan," Head Coach Gerhard Struber said. "With the tens we have so much pressure on the center, on the fullbacks. Patryk Klimala, he was smart today, he gave us always a good direction and we can calculate what is coming."
New York opened the scoring in the 14th minute, as Serge Ngoma received a pass from John Tolkin, moved through open space, and ripped a shot from outside the box that went off the hands of Andrew Tarbell and into the back of the net.
The visitors doubled their advantage in the 26th minute. Patryk Klimala maneuvered in following an Austin turnover and ripped a shot that was saved by Tarbell. Dru Yearwood cut off the Austin clearance, collected the ball, and sent a shot into the back of the net.
"One massive thing that the gaffer said today was no one has come to Q2 and pressed them in the heat. No one has gotten in their faces and killed them the way we did," Yearwood said. "I think today we showed that. It’s just that fearless mentality that we’ve got. We could have sort have pressed in the heat or maybe sit off and wait for our triggers. It’s sort of us learning the game and growing as players and growing in the system that we can sort of revert back to as well."
New York rotated some key pieces, opting for youth in the incredible Texas heat, starting four teenagers at the opening whistle.
"We have a very young group on the field today and in the second half, we played very straight, very clear," Struber said. "We were clean today, it was clinical, when we scored, we were sharp in the mind. In the end, we can see how big is the power from Austin, also from the possession side how they can kill pressing moments and how they score in the end. It was a fight until the last second today to bring the points home with a very young group with a very interesting performance."
The Red Bulls struck again in the 51st minute, as Yearwood played a pass to Cameron Harper, who collected the ball, cut back, and ripped a shot into the back of the net.
New York added another in the 65th minute, as Caden Clark headed the ball down to Harper, who flicked it to Tom Barlow, who sent in a shot after just entering the box.
"One more time today I can see we have the right roster, we have many, many players that have scoring ability," Struber said. "We have many players that understand more and more how we press and they can bring a high intensity on the field. In more directions, I think today we deserved that."
Following Sunday’s match, the Red Bulls will head to Orlando to battle Orlando City SC in the 2022 U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday, July 27 at Exploria Stadium.
"We will give everything inside that we have fresh legs and a mindset like a winner again on Wednesday," Struber said.
New York has posted a 9-3-2 record on the road this season across all competitions and is currently unbeaten on the road in its last three matches.
"Today, we are happy, we enjoy the moment, I think it was in more directions a magic moment for many young players on the field," Struber said. "We have a big task for our chest and we cannot celebrate something. We have to be very professional in the next few days that we are ready on Wednesday."
Daniel Edelman and Ngoma made their first MLS starts on Sunday evening, with Edelman going the full 90. Ngoma scored, but was forced off due to injury, and was replaced by Harper.
"I feel it was one of my best games, probably my best game," Harper said. "As a team we wanted to prove a point after last week’s result and we were looking for blood really. It was a tough place to play, but I think our whole team did really well."
The assist for Harper was his second in MLS play and fourth across all competitions this season. Harper moved into a tie with Klimala and Frankie Amaya for third on the team in assists across all competitions.
"We were all out for blood this week especially after last week’s result," Harper said. "We wanted to bounce back, and obviously the big game on Wednesday, so we got this under our belt. We’re feeling good, so we can kind of bring that feeling on to Wednesday and get a result."