The New York Red Bulls, for the second time this season, defeated Atlanta United, closing the gap between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield race.
Coming into the match, New York trailed Atlanta by four points in the aforementioned standings, and were without both Bradley Wright-Phillips (yellow card accumulation) and Tyler Adams (back injury).
From the opening whistle the Red Bulls played with a sense of urgency, and seemed a step quicker than Atlanta the entire day, which according to Head Coach Chris Armas the effort put forth by his club was more than he could ever ask for.
“The effort, it couldn't have been more from the opening whistle,” Armas said. “That we feel really good about it. We've always talked around here for years about just being fearless and going after it and that we were most proud of from the opening whistle in a big game, this team has always shown up. It's easy to talk about it and ask for it, but then to see the guys, sort of man up, step up was impressive.”
With Adams and Wright-Phillips both missing today’s match, Brian White and Alex Muyl started in their place, made their presence known and showed why the Red Bulls have so much confidence in their depth.
Danny Royer, who scored the first goal off a penalty kick, spoke about Brian White and how well he played today, as well as the club as a whole.
“The guys that stepped in did a great job, especially Brian White,” Royer said. “I think he worked his butt off and was always dangerous in the attack, but he worked really hard defensively as well, so he did a great job, but I think every single player on the field did that.”
Parker, who scored his first goal of the season today, assisted by Muyl, also touched on how well the entire team played today.
“I think what Brian White did up top and Marc [Rzatkowski] in the midfield and Alex [Muyl] on the wing, every guy knew that they had to give exactly what we needed them to give today,” Parker said. “It was a complete team effort. The whole 11 guys played lights-out today.”
When asked about Muyl, and how well he’s played of late, Armas wasn’t the least bit surprised, because as he put it, the team sees him make plays regularly in training.
“Alex makes plays,” Armas said. “I think that he's a talented player, but he has a will to win that's strong. He just has a will to win that is high. He's a philosophy player. He plays against the ball and runs and chases and tactically understands. But to see him make that play, it's not that surprising to see him make it because we see it in training regularly.”
With the win, which now puts New York a point back of Atlanta with three games remaining, Captain Luis Robles believes this win should put the entire league on notice.
“There’s a lot of pride in this organization to play in big games and today is a really big game,” Robles said. “An opportunity for us to continue to show not only ourselves, but the league that we’re capable of doing big things.”