Red Bulls Defeat Chelsea, S.L. Benfica
The New York Red Bulls took down two European clubs last week in two matches in the International Champions Cup. The Red Bulls defeated reigning Premier League champs Chelsea 4-2, and defeated top Portuguese side S.L. Benfica 2-1.
The win over Chelsea was especially impressive, with the Red Bulls using a group of young players and reserve players to beat Chelsea 24 hours after last week’s U.S. Open Cup match against Philadelphia.
All of New York’s goals were scored by products of the Red Bulls Academy. Current New York Red Bulls II player Franklin Castellanos opened the scoring at the beginning of the second half after forcing the Chelsea backline into an error. 16-year-old Tyler Adams, who has been with the Red Bulls since the age of 10, scored to put his club ahead shortly after.
Red Bulls Homegrown midfielder Sean Davis, who was named to the MLS Homegrown game last week, then scored twice in a matter of minutes to secure the win. In all, nine academy products contributed to the Red Bulls win over Chelsea.
Days later, a side that mixed young players with the First Team took down Benfica, 2-1. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the first, while Mike Grella got the game winner with a world-class curling shot.
Red Bulls Sign Shaun Wright-Phillips
Former English Premier League standout Shaun Wright-Phillips has signed a contract with the New York Red Bulls. A former member of England’s World Cup team, Shaun Wright-Phillips joins his brother Bradley with the Red Bulls.
“Shaun is a proven player who has played on soccer’s largest stage,” said New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis. “He can play a number of positions for us and is an excellent fit in our locker room. When we evaluated the unique set of circumstances along with the quality that Shaun has, it became apparent that we needed to be aggressive about adding Shaun to our club. We are pleased that he will be wearing a Red Bull jersey and we can’t wait for him to take the field.”
He will be available for the Red Bulls Saturday when the Red Bulls travel to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union.
A native of London, England, Shaun Wright-Phillips has spent time with Queens Park Rangers (2011-15), Manchester City (1999-05, 2008-11) and Chelsea (2005-08) in the Premier League.
Sean Davis Earns Start in Chipotle MLS Homegrown Match
New York Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis earned a start in last night’s Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game, which pitted MLS’ best young Homegrown players against Mexican power Club America’s Under-20 team. Davis and the Homegrown team, led by head coach Landon Donovan, fell to Club America on penalties, 5-4, after a 1-1 draw at Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Highlights: 2015 Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game
Before the match, MLSSoccer.com analyst Matthew Doyle named Davis as one of five players to watch in the matchup.
Davis made the starting XI as a central midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation alongside Houston Dynamo’s Memo Rodriguez. Davis was on the field for the Homegrown’s goal, a 34th minute marker from San Jose’s Tommy Thompson. He played the first 45 before being replaced at the beginning of the second half, like most of the starters.
Davis signed with New York as a Homegrown Player in December of 2014 after a decorated four-year career at Duke University. Davis, a two-time captain of the Blue Devils, was also the team’s offensive MVP twice, and was the 2014 ACC Midfielder of the Year, among other accolades.
Dax McCarty Named to MLS All-Star Game vs Tottenham
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has selected New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty as a replacement for Wednesday’s 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Tottenham Hotspur. McCarty replaces New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard, who will miss the game due to injury.
This is the first MLS All-Star selection for the Winter Park, Fla., native. McCarty, currently in his 10th MLS season, and has amassed 234 appearances and 205 starts, scoring 15 goals and 38 assists.
McCarty joined New York in the summer of 2011 via trade with D.C. United. He is currently eighth on the franchise’s all-time games played list with 128 appearances, and seventh all-time with 123 starts. He played a central role in helping New York capture the 2013 Supporter's Shield, as well as 2014's run to the Eastern Conference Finals. With back-to-back multi-assist games in his last two outings, the first two of his career, McCarty also cracked the club’s top-10 for assists with 19 in his New York tenure.
The MLS All-Stars square off with Tottenham tonight, Wednesday, July 29 at 9 p.m. at Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Red Bulls Prep for Philadelphia Saturday
The Red Bulls return to league play this weekend with a match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening in Philadelphia. New York will have revenge on their minds, as Philadelphia has beaten them twice this season – including eliminating the Red Bulls from the U.S. Open Cup field last week on penalties after a 1-1 tie.
Philadelphia also defeated New York in May at Red Bull Arena, ending the Red Bulls’ eight-game unbeaten streak to start the year.
Bradley Wright-Phillips continues to lead New York in goals (8) and assists (6). The six assists are a career high for the 2014 MLS Golden Boot Winner, who has turned into a more rounded player this season after scoring 27 goals a year ago.
Luis Robles earned his fifth shutout of the season in Orlando, and continues to be an iron man for the club, having now started and played 91 consecutive league games since taking over the starting role in 2012.
NYRB II Continues to Roll
New York Red Bulls II claimed their second consecutive victory in a high-scoring affair at Red Bull Arena against Richmond Kickers, 4-3. Chris Tsonis grabbed a brace, while Juan Sanchez and Daniel Bedoya also tallied in an important win for New York.
The win propels New York Red Bulls II to 8-7-4 on the season, one-point behind the fourth place Richmond Kickers.
If the victory against Chelsea FC this week added confidence to the Red Bulls II players, it showed throughout this match. New York pressed high from the sound of the opening whistle and won a free kick in the 11th minute. Taken quickly, the ball bounced to Tsonis, whose shot deflected off of a Richmond defender, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, and into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game.
Richmond responded with two quick goals to go ahead, but Red Bulls II remained calm and climbed back into the match. Devon Williams, in space just outside of the penalty box, struck a driven shot which was re-directed off of Sanchez and into the net to tie the game again, 2-2.
Red Bulls II snatched the fifth goal of the first half when Colin Heffron, taking the ball to the endline, delivered a low-driven ball to Tsonis, who tapped in for his second goal of the game.
Williams, who nearly scored a bending 30-yard shot earlier this week against Chelsea FC, tried again from the same distance in stoppage time, but the dipping ball, struck with the outside of his right foot, banged off of the crossbar and out to end a hectic first half.
In the 81st minute, Plewa delivered a ball over the top to Bedoya, who ran by the Richmond defense with ease, thanks to the high line being played by the back four. Bedoya, entering the box from the right side, slowed as goalkeeper Ryan Taylor came out to confront him, and slid his shot past the keeper with his left foot.
U-23s reach PDL semifinals
The New York Red Bulls U-23 have advanced to the PDL Semifinal where they will face Ocala Stampede on Friday, July 31 at 9 p.m. EDT for a spot in the PDL Championship. Last weekend, the Red Bulls U-23s played their first ever playoff matches against GPS Portland Phoenix and Jersey Express at NJIT, both victories, en route to the semifinals to be held in Seattle, WA. The semifinals will be streamed on the PDL official YouTube channel.
Additionally, Red Bulls U-23 defender Timothy Schmoll has been named to the PDL All-Eastern Conference team. A Switzerland native, the 6’6” center back plays college soccer for Harvard, and has been instrumental for a New York team that finished at the top of their division this season with a 9-2-3 record.
In New York Red Bulls U-23s’ opening playoff match against GPS Portland Phoenix on July 25, the team shutout the visitors, 4-0. The following day, New York earned their spot in the PDL Semifinal by clinching the PDL Eastern Conference in a victory against Jersey Express, 2-1, in extra time.