It was a day of contrasts for New York’s MLS sides on Wednesday.
The 3-0 thumping New York City FC put on Seattle in front of a pre-holiday crowd at Yankee Stadium was impressive. However, the New York Red Bulls traveled all the way to Texas only to endure a 4-0 hammering at the hands of the Dynamo.
With these results, the boys in blue climb above the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings into fifth place. The MLS originals slip to sixth.
Red Bulls missing defenders disappoint in Houston
The Red Bulls had fullback Michael Murillo back in the lineup on his return from representing Panama in the Gold Cup. However, they were without center back Aaron Long, who was in action in the U.S. semifinal win over Jamaica on Wednesday night. They were also without Kemar Lawrence, who lined out against Long for the Reggae Boyz in Nashville.
Additionally, Red Bulls coach Chris Armas was missing his other regular center back with Tim Parker through injury forcing 5’7” (maybe) Connor Lade to play center back alongside Amro Tarek versus Houston.
Armas also sat star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips on the bench, only using his recovering goal scorer for 17 minutes. Instead, Armas turned to youngsters Brian White and Tom Barlow, neither of whom were able to beat Joe Willis in the Dynamo net.
It wasn’t a great night for the revamped Red Bulls backline with of Armas’ center backs getting beaten for a goal apiece and Murillo ending the match in the locker room after earning a late red card for a second yellow card offense.
New York had particular trouble with Houston speedster Alberth Elis, who assisted on Mauro Manotas’ opening goal before striking for a late brace.
The Red Bulls will be looking to get back into the win column when they travel to Atlanta to face the Five Stripes on Sunday, July 7th before hosting rivals NYCFC seven days later.
NYCFC impressive in pre-Fourth blowout
It was a happier pre – Fourth for the blue half of New York, with NYCFC running out 3-0 winners on a steamy night in the Bronx behind a three-goal second half.
In the midst of a three game winning streak, and with one more match, Sunday, July 7th vs Portland, remaining on a four-game homestand, New York remained unbeaten at home on the season, improving to 9w-0L-5D.
Wednesday night’s loss is the third in four games for the slumping Sounders. Seattle will welcome the return of Nicolas Lodeiro for its next match on Saturday in Columbus. The star playmaker was late returning from Copa America action with Uruguay. Panamanian defender Roman Torres was available to coach Bran Setzer but did not get the call. Howver, Xavier Arrenga, Seattle’s new DP, made his debut at center back after wrapping up Copa duty with Ecuador.
With the USMNT having advanced to Sunday’s Gold Cup Final, Schmetzer will have to make do without Jordan Morris and Christian Roldan for another few days.
Neither side troubled the scoreboard operator in a somewhat disjointed opening 45 minutes in the Bronx but the home team finally got untracked, with a little bit of luck, in the second half. Maxi Moralez opened New Yorks account, and that was no surprise, given that Moralez has found the net in three of his last four games while notching either a goal or an assist in seven consecutive matches.
On Wednesday night, Moralez goal had a touch of luck to it, eluding Stefan Frei after taking a deflection off of a Seattle defender. Fortun played a role in NYC’s second goal as a shot from Vincente Castellanos was directed to the net by Jesus Medina for Medina’s first goal of the season but no such claims can be made concerning the final NY tally of the night, laser off the left boot of Ebenezer Ofori that beat Frei from about 242nd Street.
With the victory, New York continues to have just one mark in the L as it concludes its four-game homestand on Sunday versus Portland ahead of A New York Derby showdown with the Red Bulls on Sunday, July 14th at Red Bull Arena.
Seattle will look to Lodeio to change its luck when they travel to Columbus to face the Crew at MAPFRE Stadium.