HARRISON, NJ. – Just a scant four days after suffering a bitter exit from the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League at the hands of CD Chivas de Guadalajara, the New York Red Bulls begrudgingly focused their attention on MLS Regular Season play on a beautifully warm and sun-splashed day at Red Bull Arena. With most of the fanbase attending youth soccer matches across the state, the attendance was sparse for an afternoon affair.
New York Red Bulls Rebound against Montreal Impact, 3-1
The fans didn’t have to wait very long to see the home side strike first. Just five minutes in, Florian Valot intercepted a bad pass from Victor Cabrera and found a sprinting Bradley Wright-Phillips, who slammed it past the Montreal keeper Evan Bush for his 4th goal of the season and his 107th of his career.
However, the Impact was able to level the match in the 33rd minute off a freekick from Jeisson Vargas’ strike that beautifully curled and glanced off the post, past a stunned Luis Robles into the back of the net.
The man known as Kaku picked a perfect time to collect his first goal in MLS play in the 57th minute. With Bradley Wright-Phillips’ initial shot saved by Evan Bush, Bradley was able to catch up to the ball, then sent a deft pass to an onrushing Gamarra, who blasted the ball into the net, delighting the crowd who waited a while to be mesmerized by the Argentinian midfielder.
Coach Jesse Marsch said “after the Chivas game, I said we’ve missed steps. Some of it is to do with Kaku; that we’ve had to take more time to kind of continue to work him into things. But you know, now — Matt Harmon asked me before the game, is it time to take the handcuffs off? The answer’s yes.
It’s time to let him go and understand and allow him to really fit into the group, and today I think he showed everyone, including himself, that he’s going to be a really good fit here and he’s going to be a big player here.
And the part with Brad, that relationship will be key. That relationship will be key. We need to make sure that they understand each other’s tendencies and movements and that they are clear with what kind of relationship we want them to have.”
The Red Bulls were not done. Needing a goal to seal the match, they found it from none other than Michael Amir Murrillo in the 76th minute. Kemar Lawrence ran down the far sideline and sent a perfect cross inside the six-yard box, where the ball found the feet of an unmarked Murillo, who calmly redirected the pass for his first goal of the season.
“Yeah, so Amir is really gifted, right, physically, tactically, technically, and since he’s been here, we’ve seen the qualities and when he’s come from Panama, he’s got a very tranquillo mode about him so we’ve tried to ramp up, especially with what we do here. It’s a mentality thing,” Marsch said about Murillo.
“So we’re always trying to push his mentality to be the best that he can be, the best, most intense, most energetic, most concentrated version of himself. And when he is that, he’s very, very good. Very good. And the ceiling is very high.”
It was the Red Bulls’ third consecutive league game with at least three goals and they extended their unbeaten streak at Red Bull Arena to 11 matches (6-0-4) in league play. New York has outscored their opponents, 29-7.