Harrison, New Jersey (March 16, 2019) — Red Bull Arena opened its doors for league play for the first time today. The New York Red Bulls hosted the San Jose Earthquakes in an Eastern-Western Conference match.
San Jose With the Early Strike
From the start, the pressure was on in the Red Bulls’ attacking third. In the fourth minute, midfielder Marc Rzatkowski sent a shot high over the crossbar. However, the Earthquakes took full advantage of a turnover.
Christian Espinoza opened the scoring for San Jose in the fifth minute with a low shot to the far post. When the Earthquakes made another advance, Rzatkowski blocked the shot, sending the ball out the near sideline.
For the remainder of the first half, San Jose relied on the counterattack to make any attempt on goal. Meanwhile, Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips made several runs on goal. However, the San Jose defense was able to keep pace with him each time.
Early Substitution for Red Bulls
There was a stoppage in play near the half hour mark. Midfielder Florian Valot, who recently returned from a season-ending injury, was forced to leave the match after Quakes defender Judson took him down. The Red Bulls played with 10 men until Alex Muyl entered the match in the 34th minute.
Muyl’s first shot in the 41st minute just skirted over the goal. His second was blocked by Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega. The first half ended with the Red Bulls chasing the match. Meanwhile, Chris Wondolowski was issued a yellow card in stoppage time.
San Jose would finish with three yellow cards on the day, with others given to Anibal Godoy and Marcos Lopez.
Second Half Comeback
Muyl made the first league goal at home in the 50th minute. Daniel Royer collected Vega’s block and crossed it for the tap in, leveling the match. Royer then tried to make a goal of his own in the 61st minute, but the shot went wide.
From then on, the ball shifted possession more — and the physicality increased. Royer and Muyl partnered up again for the go-ahead goal in the 71st minute. Sean Davis sent the ball up on a set piece for Royer to cross. Then, in the 85th minute, Wright-Phillips scored his first goal of the season, with Sean Davis on the assist.
Wright-Phillips made way for Danish newcomer Mathias Jorgensen immediately after. Just before stoppage time, Murillo’s cross gave Royer his chance to score the final goal of the match.
A brace from the homegrown midfielder opened the floodgates for the home side, resulting in a 4-1 victory. The Red Bulls return to face Orlando City next week at Red Bull Arena.
PHOTO: Bradley Wright-Phillips celebrates his goal today against the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena. Photo courtesy of Bill Twomey/Last Word on Soccer.