After a disappointing draw at Yankee Stadium, the New York Red Bulls picked up three points, after defeating a hot D.C. United team 1-0 and securing the Atlantic Cup for the sixth time in nine seasons.
Prior to tonight, D.C. United had been undefeated in their last five matches, so according to Head Coach Chris Armas, a win against D.C. was possible due to the fact that the Red Bulls looked more like their normal selves.
"Against a really good team, look at the points," Armas said. "Watch what they have done, they have rolled over some teams in this last month. That's important. It looked like us. And if we are not looking like us, then who are we, right? We have a way. And you can say we're stepping up or dropping back, but our way is our way and we understand that in here."
It's the third time in their last five matches that the Red Bulls have been a part of a one-goal game, and with New York getting closer to locking up their playoff spot, earning wins like these will benefit the club come playoff time.
"These are perfect games for us," Armas said. "The one-goal games, the ones on the road, again, if that's the playoffs, you come home and second leg and you're feeling really good. Every play matters, every throw-in matters. So, these games are great. They are great preparation down the stretch and obviously we have a goal in mind every game and to keep winning and to put ourselves in a spot for a few goals here. These are good tests for us and they feel a lot like the real thing."
A huge amount of credit for Sunday’s win can be attributed to the way the defense played, holding scoreless a D.C. team that has scored 12 goals in their last five matches, which according to Bradley Wright-Phillips comes to no surprise based on how the defense has been playing lately.
"I’ve said this numerous times this season, I think our defense is the best part of our team at the moment, and that’s why you see a lot of games have been one-nil or we’ve won two-one because they don’t give up much," Wright-Phillips said. "If you want to do well in the playoffs, that’s how your team has to look. So, hopefully we can bring that into the playoffs."