HARRISON, N.J. – After enduring a month-long tailspin, the New York Red Bulls finally made a return to the win column with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
Mike Grella scored a fourth-minute goal and the Red Bulls were able to comfortably see out their first win since May 10 as the visitors ended the match with nine men after red cards in each half to playmaker Javier Morales and Demar Phillips.
Head coach Jesse Marsch made five changes to the lineup that fell 2-1 to Vancouver on Sunday night, and those changes paid near instant dividends with two new additions linking up to assist New York’s lone tally.
Returning from international duty with Jamaica at the Copa America, RBNY left back Kemar Lawrence made a bombing run forward that left the Salt Lake defense scrambling to cover. His cross into the box found Homegrown midfielder Sean Davis, who redirected the ball to a wide-open Grella at the far post. The winger had little to do but tap in from close range to stake the Red Bulls to a lead in the 4th minute.
Yet another newcomer to the starting lineup nearly doubled the lead just five minutes later, as Anatole Abang, who was making his first start for the club, charged in on goal only to be denied by Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando in a one-on-one encounter.
After getting penalized by an early red card in their last match, the Red Bulls would see their opposition reduced to 10 men in the first half on Wednesday. A long throw by goalkeeper Luis Robles down the middle of the park found a streaking Felipe in the 40th minute. RSL's Morales hacked down the Brazilian, who was sprinting toward goal, leading referee David Gantar to show the night’s first red card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
The visitors would see red once more in the 54th minute as Phillips was sent to an early shower after a high and late challenge on RBNY right back Connor Lade.
New York created plenty of chances with their two-man advantage, but they could not produce the insurance goal to allow for some breathing room. In the end, one goal was all that was needed as the Red Bulls now turn their attention to the second NY vs. NY match of the 2015 season.
The Red Bulls take the short trip east to face New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in an MLS Heineken Rivalry Week match on Sunday afternoon (4:30 pm ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes), while Real Salt Lake return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night as they host Columbus Crew SC (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE).