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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Red Bulls go six games unbeaten defeating Toronto FC

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There was a fear of a let down in this match after taking out NYCFC last match at Red Bull Arena. When you take on your new rivals who claim to be the true team in this city and get the sweep of the series, you have to try and refocus your efforts on the next one and that next one was Toronto FC who is on a roll with the great Sebastian Giovinco, along with US Internationals Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. 

But instead of a let down it was another fantastic performance from the Red Bulls who kept on going with a 3-0 win and going unbeaten in six straight matches. It looks like Bradley Wright-Phillips is starting to truly heat up with his 11th of the season as he worked with Mike Grella to convert the opening goal. It came in the 27th minute when Felipe finds Mike Grella who quickly lost it on the turn, but found a way to keep it and slipped a quick pass to Wright-Phillips who beat keeper Joe Bendik for the early lead. 

After taking that lead into halftime the Red Bulls continued to press and press against Toronto FC and this time it took the bench players to take a rip on frame and once again it would be the Brooklyn Born Anthony Wallace that converts for his 2nd career goal. All Sacha Kljestan did was laid off the ball for Wallace and in the 65th minute took a touch and smacked the ball that dipped and goes past Bendik for the two goal lead. 

Gonzalo Veron was able to convert his first in MLS with a blocked shot that bounced towards him and scored to make it three goals to nil and then the final whistle blew as the Red Bulls not only remain in 2nd place but are now five points behind Eastern Conference leaders DC United who took a bad loss against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium this past Thursday night. 

But the real stories of the night are two things. First it was the makeshift backline of fullbacks Anthony Wallace & Connor Lade along with Matt Miazga and fill in Karl Ouimette who did a fantastic job shutting down & frustrating Giovinco, Altidore & Bradley. Every single time Giovinco had the ball he was being tracked very tightly from these four guys no matter where on the field he was on. 

While at times it looked Giovinco was able to spring himself and attacked once he got close to or inside the Red Bulls area, the backline would take the ball off his foot and clear it and you could see the frustration by the Italian. Jesse Marsch was very pleased by his backline who had Damien Perrinelle suspended. "We showed a lot of video on Giovinco, talked about he was a major percentage." Said Jesse Marsch, "A big part of the job tonight was to take care of him. Our backs stood him up and we also knew that he and Jozy (Altidore) was always going to be dangerous, but our guys did a great job in preventing him from scoring and frustrating him all night." 

Of course the other moment of the night was goalkeeper Luis Robles who earned second consecutive clean sheet after blanking NYCFC he gets a three goal clean sheet on Toronto FC and that puts him at the top of the clean sheet record with 25 passing Tony Meola who was honored by the Red Bulls before the last game a week ago. "I think it's pretty cool, because I looked up to Tony (Meola) when I was a kid. He was such an Icon during that 1994 World cup team and of course playing for the MetroStars then the Red Bulls & he's still apart of this area. He's been involved in my career here at Red Bull and it's such an honor to be with him when I can get a chance to chat." 

So the dog days of summer are about to close up shop soon as the boys will get a week and a half off before their big road trip at the Chicago Fire on August 26th and then a big home tilt against DC United on August 30th as that date could be the big match up to see if the Red Bulls can leapfrog DC for first in the East.
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