On a wet and overcast day at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls welcomed back their former head coach Chris Armas to the friendly confines of their home. But in this match it was the home side that came out on the front foot and pressed TFC as they earned a solid two goal clean sheet victory and are now on a two match winning streak.
After pressing and looking dangerous in the opening 15 minutes, the Red Bulls finally took advantage of Toronto, who was just eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League play by Cruz Azul, who was picked off in the 32nd minute. Caden Clark picks off the ball from the Toronto Defender and attacks the area. He found Fabios inside the Toronto area, lays it off to Frankie Amaya, and then a rip that was tucked inside the near post for his first with the Red Bulls.
“Yeah I think Caden won the ball, he started dribbling and that’s my time to just take off and go forward. He passed it to Fabio and Fabio laid it off to me.” said Amaya, “I was calling for it and I looked up, I looked at the goal and I just shot it, thankfully it went in.
“It’s exciting to be here because we have a lot of young guys, a lot of young guys that are hungry to go out and compete every single day, and work for each other. I think everybody’s on the same page and I think that really makes it a lot easier, because we have one goal and everybody knows the plan, and I think it’s very easy to play with players like that. I’m just excited to be a Red Bull and work for the whole organization, and the staff and everybody here. “
The Red Bulls weren’t done yet, as they continued to their strong press, making important substitutions and when Dru Yearwood came into the match, he sprung the offense into action. He brought the ball down the made of the field and made a pass to Fabio who was wide open to receive the ball. He was thwarted by Toronto Goalkeeper Alex Bono, but the ball was loose, Clark was on his horse to get towards the ball and toe-poked it home for his third of the season to give the Red Bulls a two-goal lead and the boys win their second of the season and a clean sheet for goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.
While this is a fantastic win for the Red Bulls, as they have back to back clean sheet wins, this is a young side that looks to be on point and hopefully starting to put together strong performances in this young season Even though Fabio who is on loan from his club Oeste FC in Brazil, he has looked strong and has set up his teammates in these past two games. He hasn’t scored yet, but that will come very soon.
Gerhard Struber is a very happy man to see his young team coming together and proving to him that they are capable of playing his high press system. So far he sounds like a very proud Dad with his post-game comments. To hear Struber beaming in his voice is showing that his players are coming together in the right way, and they are getting stronger in these last two matches.
“I think the next win, and especially in the second half, a performance that makes me very happy. Especially transition moments, our counter-pressing, the organization in the last line, shows me that we are very good in our progress, or we make the right progress in the process and this is very important,” said Struber, “I can see Frankie’s [Amaya] first goal for our team, Caden’s [Clark] first assist for our team, and in the end, we have with [John] Tolkin a debut. Very, very nice to see and the whole team works very, very hard with the big effort today for success, for a good performance, and in the end for the right result.
“We know that Toronto is a Champions League team and I think in some moments we can see that they have brilliant players in their roster, it was not so easy always to handle that, but especially in the second half I think we find the key and we go very powerful through the door and yeah, I am very proud today of my team and especially about the process. “
So it’s time to rest up and get ready for a real test as the Red Bulls travel down the New Jersey turnpike to take on a red hot Philadelphia Union that will attempt to make a big splash in the CONCACAF Champions League against Club America.