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Royer’s Brace Gets Red Bulls Back in The Win Column

Daniel Royer celebrates one of his two goals against LAFC on Sunday.  Credit to New York Red Bulls.

Harrison, NJ—August 5, 2018– A pair of goals by Daniel Royer, one in each half, was enough to get the New York Red Bulls back into second place in the Eastern Conference defeating Los Angeles FC 2-1 Sunday night.  Luis Robles recorded two saves in the victory over the expansion side while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Marc Rzatkowski both recorded an assist on the scoresheet.  It was an especially significant night for BWP who was honored for scoring 100 MLS goals after the game and had his number 99 retired, the first number retired by the MetroStars/Red Bulls franchise.

Chris Armas’s men almost took the lead in a matter of seconds when a pass from Royer found Wright-Phillips at the penalty spot but the deflected shot went just wide of frame.  Outside of the opening minute good chances would be few and far between in the first 15 minutes as New York barely kept up with the pace of LAFC on the wings.  The visitors would get their first great chance in the 17th minute when Steven Beitashour sent in a dangerous cross from the right, but the open header by Adama Diamande went just high and wide.  Two minutes later Diamande would get another chance when his shot was deflected falling to Diego Rossi.  Had it not been for a toe save by Robles it would have been 1-0 to Los Angeles.  New York would get its second fantastic chance of the half when Bradley Wright-Phillips laid off a beautiful ball to Kaku inside the penalty area in the 31st minute.  However, the one-time shot by Gamarra curled just wide of the far post.

In the 36th minute Bob Bradley’s side almost took the lead on the road again.  Mexican National team star Carlos Vela dribbled the ball through the New York defense.  His pass to the top of the box came to Diego Rossi who fired a curling shot that beat Robles at the far post but the shot caromed off the post and out to keep the game scoreless.  In the 39th minute New York finally got the breakthrough.  Kaku sent a curling ball to the right side to Michael Murillo who then sent a low cross into the box toward Daniel Royer.  After the pass was deflected by keeper Tyler Miller and half of the LAFC defense the Austrian winger found a moment of magic improvisation, poking the ball home laying on his side in the 6-yard box for his seventh goal of the season.

By reputation in their first season, former New York and USMNT manager Bob Bradley and his LAFC squad have struggled in the second half of games in their inaugural season.  But on this Sunday night LAFC would come out of the gates running in the second half.  53 minutes in Vela got on the ball again in the final third of the field.  Vela then slid through a pass between Murillo and Tim Parker to Rossi who finally was able to get a shot past Robles to his right to tie the game 1-1. Just two minutes later New York almost took the lead right back when a freekick by Marc Rzatkowski went just wide of the net.  In the 67th minute the away side got a golden opportunity as an upfield pass put Diamande in 1v1 with Robles, but the Red Bull captain charged out of his penalty area to just touch the ball away for the LA striker.  Daniel Royer would become the hero in the 80th minute when New York’s all-time leading goal scorer turned provider once again.  Rzatkowski started the move on the right-hand side sending a long ball to BWP who was just onside and quickly behind the LA defense.  From there it was routine as Wright-Phillips sent a low cross to the back post for a simple tap in by Royer.  The two goals for Royer got him to 8 goals on the season and would be enough to get New York all three points.

The next step for New York will be a key three game road stretch against three very different opponents which will be key in the Supporters Shield race.  First will be a road trip to Illinois to take on the Chicago Fire who currently sit 2nd to last in the East.  Next will be a trip to the Vancouver Whitecaps, a city that New York has only won once in its history before returning to New York to take on rivals NYCFC in the final regular season meeting of the year.  Every game is now critical for New York who sit four points behind Atlanta for first in the Supporter Shield race for the league’s regular season title and a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.  But with two games in hand, Chris Armas and his team have their fate in their own hands.  Now the only question is can they follow through.

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