New York Red Bulls 4, Seattle Sounders 1 | MLS Match Recap
HARRISON, N.J. – Bradley Wright-Phillips moved one step closer to history. The New York Red Bulls moved one step closer to earning a postseason berth.
Playing for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on Sept. 10, Wright-Phillips scored his third hat trick of the season on Saturday night to lead the Red Bulls to an impressive 4-1 victory over a reserve-laden Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. The three goals gave Wright-Phillips 24 on the season, putting him four away from breaking MLS’ single-season scoring record.
The triumph at Red Bull Arena extended New York’s current unbeaten run to four games while bringing the 10-8-11 club within a point of the Eastern Conference’s third-placed team, the New England Revolution. Seattle, meanwhile, fell to 17-8-3 with the result, but remain in the lead for the Supporters’ Shield.
Wright-Phillips began his latest stellar outing by striking 29 seconds into the match, scoring off a rebound after Stefan Frei parried away an Ambroise Oyongo shot. It was a dream start for the Red Bulls and a sign of things to come for the Sounders defense.
The early goal electrified the sold-out crowd of 25,000 and instilled plenty of confidence in the Red Bulls, but it took until the second half for the club to find an insurance goal.
After Dylan Remick chopped down Lloyd Sam in the penalty area in the 53rd minute, Wright-Phillips converted from the spot. The Englishman shot to his left, and the ball found the back of the net despite Frei getting a hand to it.
Before the celebrations could die down, Wright-Phillips struck again. Roy Miller played in a gorgeous ball in the 56th minute from the left flank that found the veteran striker, who one-timed a powerful shot past Frei to grab a hat-trick seconds before being subbed off to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Tim Cahill, who replaced Wright-Phillips, netted his second goal of the season in the 65th minute to add to Seattle’s misery. He capitalized on a poor touch from Djimi Traore, stinging a low shot off the right post.
Clint Dempsey scored three minutes before Cahill and two minutes after entering the match to prevent a shutout loss for the Sounders. Lamar Neagle slipped a ball to Dempsey on the left side of the penalty area, and the ensuing shot from the veteran was one-timed past Luis Robles.
Dempsey could have had a second in the 69th minute, but was denied by Robles. After Marco Pappa had an effort swatted into the air by the Red Bulls goalkeeper, Dempsey raced in on goal and thundered a header from point-blank range that Robles pawed away with an incredible diving stop.
Both clubs will be back in action shortly. Seattle visit FC Dallas in a Western Conference showdown on Wednesday, while New York travel to El Salvador for a must-win CONCACAF Champions League match vs. CD FAS that same day.
The Red Bulls return to league play when they meet the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center on Sept. 28.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Bradley Wright-Phillips||Couldn't have been a better return from injury for BWP, as he scored three different ways to power the Red Bulls to a big win|
|2||Lloyd Sam||Didn't get on the scoresheet himself, but set up two of New York's goals, and troubled Seattle's defense with his speed all night|
|3||Dax McCarty||Played a crucial role in helping New York maintain a narrow lead in the first half, as his defense kept Seattle off-balance in the middle|