New York Red Bulls 3, Toronto FC 1 | MLS Match Recap
HARRISON, N.J. – In a battle of Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls, the New York Red Bulls put one foot in the postseason door while Toronto FC remained on the outside looking in.
Using a three-goal first half, the Red Bulls knocked off TFC by a score of 3-1 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. Ruben Bover’s first MLS goal stood as the winner after Jonathan Osorio scored in the second half, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty also got on the scoresheet. Wright Phillips' 25th goal of the season moved him to within two of the MLS single-season record.
The victory pushed New York to 12-9-11, and they can now clinch a MLS Cup Playoff berth if the Houston Dynamo tie or lose to D.C. United on Sunday. Toronto now sit at 11-14-7 and six points behind both the Red Bulls and Columbus Crew with two games remaining in the regular season.
Wright-Phillips opened the scoring in the 26th minute, tapping home a low Kosuke Kimura cross to record his 25th goal of the season and move two away from record holders Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski.
Bover doubled the lead in the 35th minute after Thierry Henry whipped in a ball that was not properly cleared. Bover pounced on the loose ball and bundled it home near the 6-yard box.
Wright-Phillips went from scorer to provider, though accidently, just before halftime. He attempted to fire a low shot from outside of the box that veered wide and found an open McCarty for an easy finish and a commanding 3-0 lead.
Toronto FC came out looking much better in the second half, taking the game to the Red Bulls and finding a goal that gave them life in the 55th minute. Michael Bradley fed Luke Moore on the left and Osorio knocked the ensuing cross in with ease from close range.
While Toronto FC attacked with more succession and creativity, they couldn’t test Red Bulls 'keeper Luis Robles as much as they wanted. Things got even worse for them, as referee Hilario Grajeda sent off Nick Hagglund after an aerial battle with Armando.
New York will wrap up their three-game homestand next Sunday, hosting the Columbus Crew in their final 2014 regular season match at Red Bull Arena. Toronto FC, meanwhile, return home to host the Montreal Impact in a Canadian affair on Saturday.
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||He just knows how to finish and was dangerous around goal all night|
|2||Jamison Olave||Did a wonderful job shepharding a shuffled Red Bulls backline|
|3||Michael Bradley||He showed a lot of fire in TFC's late push, but too little, too late|