New York Red Bulls return to league play, defeat Chicago Fire 3-1

New York Red Bulls win
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 28: Daniel Royer #77 of New York Red Bulls holds his fingers up to celebrate his goal in the 2nd half with teammates during the 2nd half of the MLS match between Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on June 28 2019 in Harrison, NJ, USA. This was a special Pride Night Match presented by Bayer. The Red Bulls won the match with a score of 3 to 1. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images).

Harrison, New Jersey (June 29, 2019) — Ending a 20-day break from league action, the New York Red Bulls returned to Harrison to close out June. They welcomed former captain Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire for their third annual Pride Night.

Early Strike for New York

Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra opened the scoring in just the 8th minute. After an error by Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm, Kaku received his deflection and angled it into the back of the net.  Chicago, determined to level the score, pressed their way up the field. While they did make a few threats on goal, Red Bulls captain Luis Robles kept the ball in play.

Despite missing several usual starters the Red Bulls utilized their depth to keep the press going. Near the end of the first half, Chicago looked as if they had indeed scored. The ball hit the woodwork in two places and flew back out onto the pitch. Undeterred, the Fire continued their attack. Head referee Ted Unkel whistled for the end of the half with the advantage for New York.

Second Strike

Defender Tim Parker suffered an injury near the end of the first half. Sean Nealis took the field in his place. A strike from Marc Rzatkowski was punched away by Kronholm. Meanwhile, moments later, Aleksandar Katai tried a strike of his own at the top of New York’s box. Robles ended up punching away the shot. CJ Sapong also made an attempt on goal that Robles saved.

As the game neared the hour mark, the Red Bulls strung together a number of passes for an impressive attack. Homegrown forward Brian White doubled the lead with a sliding strike in the 59th minute. Six minutes after his goal, White made way for Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 65th minute. A groin injury had kept Wright-Phillips out of the lineup for most of the season. Sliding back into his usual spot up top, he wasted no time making attempts on goal.

Chicago Renew Effort, Score Once

Nemanja Nikolic pulled one back in the 82nd minute for Chicago. He collected another ball that hit the woodwork. One of Chicago’s substitutions, Nikolic led the Fire to a continued attack on the Red Bull goal. Bundesliga legend Bastian Schweinsteiger played a more attacking role in the waning moments of the match.

RBNY Finish Strong

An unexpected turnover sent Kyle Duncan up the pitch. He crossed it to Daniel Royer, who chipped the ball in for a final goal in stoppage time to secure three points.

Next, the Red Bulls hit the road to face the Houston Dynamo in a midweek clash.

 

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