Vancouver Whitecaps 0, New York Red Bulls 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
The New York Red Bulls squeaked out a 1-0 win on the road at BC Place against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, notching their first-ever MLS victory against the Cascadia club, stretching their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
The Whitecaps had the majority of the quality chances in the first half, but forward Erik Hurtado missed the back of the net on two of his three attempts.
A frustrating first half for the 'Caps would end with a disputed dismissal of Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson, who protested a throw-in call just before the halftime whistle and watched the rest of the match from the suites.
New York Red Bulls star striker Bradley Wright-Phillips made the Whitecaps pay for their missed chances, giving his team a lead they would not relinquish in the 50th minute, bullying his way into the six-yard box and calmly slotting home his 17th goal of the season. He is now tied with New York City FC captain David Villa atop the 2016 MLS Golden Boot race.
The Red Bulls held on for only their second road win of the year and their first since May 21 in the New York derby vs. NYCFC. The Whitecaps, who were missing six players to international duty, are now winless in their last eight MLS regular season matches and they see their playoff hopes take a hit with just six matches remaining.
WELCOME BACK DAX: The New York Red Bulls welcomed back their captain Dax McCarty, who sat out four league matches since suffering a July 31 injury.
The central midfielder shook of his rust with a solid shift, leading the team with 43 pass attempts in 76 minutes played. Meanwhile, Felipe took over Sacha Kljestan's No. 10 duties with the league assist leader on US national team duty.
UNLUCKY HURTADO: Hurtado attempted the most shots of any player in Saturday’s match, unleashing seven total attempts, but six of them missed the target and one of them was blocked. Despite constant activity and pressure, Hurtado’s night at the office was ultimately a fruitless one and Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles earned a shutout without making a single save.
GORILLA OFF THEIR BACK: Saturday’s victory for the New York Red Bulls was critical for a multitude of reasons. First, it marked their first-ever MLS victory over the Whitecaps in seven tries (three losses, three draws, one win) and it was just their second victory away from Red Bull arena in their 2016 campaign. The win left them just one point behind rivals NYCFC for the top spot in the East.