It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Red Bulls pulled of a dramatic come from behind win to kick off their 2017 MLS campaign. The Red Bulls put two goals into the back of the net after the 75th minute, spoiling Atlanta United’s first MLS match in franchise history.
New York Red Bulls Player Ratings vs Atlanta United FC
Luis Robles: A-
Robles was just being Robles. Despite allowing a goal in the first half, Robles had a couple MLS Save of the Year candidates in just his first match. First, making a point blank save from about 10 yards. Then, snatching a chip shot out of mid-air in the second half. Both saves kept the Red Bulls in the game long enough to pull off the victory and spoil Atlanta’s party
Daniel Royer: B+
Daniel Royer has hands down been the Red Bulls best offensive weapon so far in the Red Bulls 2017 campaign. In only three matches, Royer has shown what we saw glimpses of last season. A very solid winger who is a constant threat in the final third. Last night he scored the equalizing goal in the 76th minute. Royer then followed that up with a beautiful spin move leading to a cross field run that led to the eventual game winning goal.
Mike Grella: B
This game saw the best stretch of play from Mike Grella in quite some time. Looking like his 2015 self, Grella came off the bench in the second half and had an immediate impact. Showing a lot of hustle and grit Grella was all over the field causing problems for Atlanta. While he didn’t get the assist, his cheeky back heel flick freed up Kemar Lawrence who put in the eventual cross that Atlanta put into their own net.
Aaron Long: B
The Red Bulls seem to have an eye for developing young center backs. Very similar to the rise former Red Bull Matt Miazga, Aaron Long has been outstanding in 2017 so far. Being not only the best center back, Long has consistently been the Red Bulls best defender so far this season. The 2016 USL Defender of the Year is setting himself up nicely for a solid 2017 campaign. Long’s only negative mark was a shot from inside the box that pulled well wide of goal.
Alex Muyl: C
It was once again the same old story for Alex Muyl. Showing great hustle to win almost any 50/50 ball. However, he just lacks the skill in the attack to pose any real threat. Starting the match next to BWP it was immediately visible this wasn’t going to work. Muyl kept getting shifted deeper and deeper, leading to his eventual subbing out early in the second half.
Sal Zizzo/Kemar Lawrence: D
It was a nightmare match for the Red Bulls full backs. Zizzo just did not have the speed to keep out with any of Atlanta’s wingers. Zizzo looked absolutely gassed by the end of the night. Lawrence’s night was more or less the same. He had the pass to Bradley Wright-Phillips that deflected into the net that would eventually be ruled an own goal.
This is clearly the Red Bulls weakest positions on the field right now. Both tend to struggle in the final third and more often then not find themselves caught out after pushing up the field. With Panamanian international Michael Murillo and Connor Lade on the mend from injury, these two could be seeing less time as the season progresses.