Derrick Etienne, Jr. was held scoreless in his first 22 MLS regular-season matches but with Etienne, Jr. notching the match-winner in Colorado in the 76th minute, he’s now scored goals in back-to-back matches. He’s also added three goals in his last six appearances.
Seeing the back of the net brings confidence from the Red Bulls Homegrown and trickles down throughout the squad.
“I think our confidence is really high right now. We understand how we’ve grown as a team," Etienne, Jr. said. "In years past we might have crumbled in this game, but we showed our resilience to come in and solidify and close out the game. I think the confidence is very high and it’s something that we want to keep going.”
Alex Muyl and Etienne, Jr., two impact subs in the 67th minute of the match replacing BWP and Florian Valot, connected on a cross nine minutes into their time on the field.
The setup of the play and the timing of Etienne, Jr’s. run was exactly what the coaching staff has been reminding the team’s forwards during training and it paid dividends Saturday night.
"One thing we talk about, with anyone that goes up top, is final plays and always be ready for a cross," Etienne, Jr. said. "I knew Alex was going to put a good ball in and I had to be ready to tap it in, make sure I stay onside -- and I think I was, VAR said I was -- so, at the end of the day, the goal is a goal. I just wanted to make sure I get contact on it and beat the last defender."
With growing confidence and depth throughout the squad, belief is growing.