Mike Lawrence

Red Bulls Grind Out Win in D.C.

For the second straight match, the New York Red Bulls had to play under rainy conditions, but again came away with three more points.

The Red Bulls rode Bradley Wright-Phillips’ goal to a 1-0 victory over D.C. United at Audi Field. Wright-Phillips’ goal in the second minute was his 100th league goal, making him the fastest to ever hit the century mark in league history.

After Wright-Phillips' score, the Red Bulls defense had to fend off countless attacks by D.C. United, especially once recent acquisition Wayne Rooney entered the match at the 57th minute.

“He can hurt you in many ways," Head Coach Chris Armas said. "He’s such a clever player and he flirts with the line, he dips underneath and can pass, so trying to limit the space that he had was always going to be important. We just weren’t sure if we were going to see him from the start, but I thought the guys did a good job.”

The win by the Red Bulls, was one that had to be grinded out, and according to center back Aaron Long shows the defensive quality the team has.

“It just shows our defensive quality as a unit," Long said. "All 11 guys put in the work, it’s huge, getting the shutout, is even bigger. The defensive work the whole unit put in tonight is big time."

Long also mentioned how having to deal with Rooney was no easy task.

"We were already really tired at that point so fatigue was setting in and you bring on a world-class striker, it is always going to be tough," Long said. "He makes good runs, he causes a lot of problems but we were able to keep him off the scoresheet.”

Even though the Red Bulls were up 1-0 at the half, Armas knew adjustments would have to be made in order to hold on, and come away with a victory.

"At halftime we talked about them throwing a lot of numbers, naturally, 4-1-4-1," Armas said. "They got a lot of numbers up the field and we had to make some adjustments but for the most part we were able to deal with it. Inevitably, they sneak through a few times, a couple of giveaways on our end, a couple of plays they put together and a couple of random balls in behind. But our guys stuck with it.”

With the three points secured, the Red Bulls will now turn their attention toward a Saturday night showdown against the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena, and look to come away with three points this time around, after stealing one point at Columbus earlier in the season.