The New York Red Bulls picked up a key win at home on Saturday, defeating Toronto 2-0 to stay within striking distance of Atlanta in the Eastern Conference and Supporters' Shield standings.
New York got off to a slow start against the defending champs, going into the half level at zero. It wasn't until the 70th minute, when Kaku kicked a loose ball into the net, notching his fifth game-winning goal of the season. The Red Bulls added a second goal in stoppage time, when Derrick Etienne, Jr. ran past a Toronto defender and chipped it over goalkeeper Alex Bono's head.
Etienne talked post-game about his goal and his thought process as the play developed.
“To be honest, I was thinking my teammates would probably want me to take this to the corner but I was inside the 18 and I went with my instincts," Etienne said. "I felt that he was going to go down if I opened my hips because of how small the angle was and I was able to get a little dink in.”
It's an important win for the Red Bulls, who hadn't gotten a win since August 29, and according to Captain Luis Robles, the team looked much more like themselves in the second half, which is an encouraging sign.
"The first half was just okay and yet what was really encouraging was that we really didn’t give up much," Robles said. "When we scored the goal, you could see that we stepped it up another gear and we really looked like us towards the end. In the last 30 minutes we really looked like us, so that’s encouraging because we need that momentum going into the next game."
With the win, the Red Bulls now have 12 wins at home this season, which is tops in MLS. New York will look to pick up their 13th home win on September 30, as they welcome Atlanta United. In the first matchup between the two clubs earlier in the season, New York defeated Atlanta 3-1. The match will be at 1 PM/ET and can be seen on ESPN.