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New York Comes From Behind For A Draw in Vancouver

Daniel Royer celebrates after scoring the tying goal against Vancouver.  Credit to New York Red Bulls.

Vancouver, BC—August 18, 2018— A brace for Daniel Royer including a goal in the 90th minute was enough for the New York Red Bulls to come from behind and earn a point, 2-2 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on Saturday.  Tyler Adams recorded two assists and Bradley Wright-Phillips added his seventh assist of the season in the match.  Kendall Waston scored twice for Vancouver, both from set pieces.  Chris Armas made a point that he wanted a fast start at a venue that New York has only once come away with three points.

He got his wish.

In the 6th minute, Tyler Adams fed Bradley Wright-Phillips on the right wing with a long ball over the top.  The Red Bulls all-time leading scorer then became provider, sending a low curling ball skipping off the artificial surface to the foot of Royer who poked the ball home past Marinovic for his ninth of the season.  New York almost made it 2-0 when Alex Muyl received the ball on the end line in the 16th minute, but his pass to the middle for Royer was disrupted just in time by Kendall Waston.  The ensuing corner provided another golden chance as the cross by Sean Davis found the former Whitecap Tim Parker, but his header was caught confidently by Marinovic in goal.  Vancouver would get its first great chance in the 21st minute after a slick passing combination started by 17-year-old Alphonso Davies.  The final ball fell to striker Yordy Reyna, but his powerful high shot was tipped over by Luis Robles at full stretch for a corner.

Both sides had very few opportunities in the next 15 minutes of play, as the physicality and chippiness in the midfield grew in intensity.  Two running battles were the focal point as Michael Murillo battled with Brek Shea on the Red Bulls right wing, while former Red Bull, Felipe, continued to clash with midfielders Sean Davis and Tyler Adams.  In the 39th minute, it would be Muyl again causing chaos in the box sending a powerful cross toward Royer but Vancouver was just able to clear in time.  Just before halftime, in the 42nd minute, Vancouver would equalize as Costa Rican international Kendall Waston beat his former teammate Parker to a cross from a corner kick by Reyna and sent a thunderous header home past a helpless Robles.

The second half started off with a bang when a cross from the right found Alex Muyl who sent a header which looked sure to find the back of the net.  However, Marinovic would come up huge, tipping the ball onto the bottom of the crossbar and after a wild scramble on the goal line that resembled a fight for a fumble recovery at an NFL game, the whistle blew for a foul on New York.  Wright-Phillips should have made it 2-1 in the 51st minute when a through ball found the Englishman all alone at the penalty spot.  But his quick turning shot was somehow kept out again by the Vancouver keeper.  The home team would take the lead in the 60th minute when it was Waston again rising up above the crowd in the box on a corner by Felipe to make it 2-1 despite New York still dominating the play and possession.

Having to somehow change the game, Armas went to the bench bringing on Derrick Etienne Jr. for Alex Muyl, looking to get more clinical in the final third. New York would get a good look at goal in the 72nd minute when after a free kick, CB Aaron Long sent in a high cross from the right which barely avoided Royer and substitute Andreas Ivan at the far post.  But the ensuing corner would be defended away.  With 10 minutes left Armas would make his final change which would bring an MLS debut for Flemington, NJ native Brian White who was signed to an MLS contract midway through the season after impressing with NYRB2.  With 5 minutes left in the match the Red Bulls situation became twice as difficult when Michael Murillo was sent off with a second yellow card after Alphonso Davies fell over very easily on the attack.

Just when all seemed lost for New York, it would be the Austrian winger who would come up the hero from a set piece.  After a free kick was given on the left side in the 90th minute, Tyler Adams sent a high curling ball to the back post and despite having a man advantage no one picked up Royer.  Showing total poise and control, the Red Bull’s number 77 volleyed the ball in off the bottom of the crossbar into the net for his 10th of the season, and his fifth goal in the last five games.  Neither team could get a decent look in the remaining stoppage time to end the game with a 2-2 draw.

Even though one could argue New York should have taken all three points against a Vancouver Whitecaps that has been inconsistent this year, the point earned on the road was still significant for several reasons.  First it came on the road where any point is precious but especially at BC Place where the Red Bulls have consistently struggled.  Second the point moves New York into a tie for first place in the East with Atlanta United and one point ahead of NYCFC who lost 2-0 to Philadelphia on Saturday.  But most importantly it was a point coming from behind, which for Red Bulls teams of the past couple of seasons, despite most of the roster being the same, would have been an unlikely if not improbable result.

This team under Jesse Marsch and now Chris Armas has a belief that they can win any game, and make a deep run into the playoffs and they will need their belief and depth in what will be a difficult stretch over the next couple of weeks.  Next up will be another trip to the Bronx to face NYCFC in the fourth Hudson River Derby of the season.  New York will look for revenge for their 1-0 defeat at the tight confines of Yankee Stadium the last time out against City, who they defeated twice this season by 4-0 score lines at home in cup and regular season play.  Then it will be a quick turnaround back to Red Bull Arena on Sunday to take on Atlantic Cup rivals DC United who have been surging in the last month thanks to the addition of Wayne Rooney.  While a point Saturday at Vancouver was certainly helpful, for the next two matches only one result will be acceptable for the coaches, players and especially the supporters: Victory and 3 points.

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