Monday, October 13, 2014

Red Bulls Beat TFC (Again), Clinch Playoff Spot a Day Later

Bover celebrates the Red Bulls' second goal

The New York Red Bulls have hardly done it the easy way, but they eventually found their way into the 2014 MLS Playoffs, thanks to a combination of their 3-1 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena and DC United's victory over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

First half goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips, Ruben Bover and Dax McCarty combined to make it a fairly comfortable evening for RBNY, though they made things interesting by conceding a second-half goal to Jonathan Osorio and sitting back in their own half for large stretches of the game. Still, the result was never in doubt, and if Wright-Phillips had managed to convert just a few of the golden chances he had in the second 45 minutes, the final score would have been much more lopsided. The English striker continues to sneak up on the all-time MLS single season scoring record of 27 goals, but his pace has slowed considerably. Roy Lassiter may be able to rest easy after all.

Now the Red Bulls go into their final two matches - home to Columbus this Sunday afternoon then away to Kansas City - playing to avoid the first round play-in game and get a little added rest.

For Matt Kremkau's awesome photo set, click here. I was lucky enough to be down on the field with Matt and his brother before the match, as the unparalleled Michelle French once again sang the anthems. Here's a video of us goofing on her sound check. We're idiots...

We also had the immense pleasure of meeting one of American soccer's true gentleman, ex-Cosmos legend and current RBNY broadcast color man Shep Messing, before the game in the club lounge. Shep talked a bit about the Red Bulls, gave us some great stories about his Cosmos and Harvard days, and was just an all-around great guy. Most mind-blowing was his confession that he has watched and enjoys our stupid Viper's Nest videos - and would like to appear on one. Shep - let us know where and when and we will make it happen!

Meeting Shep

And here are pre- and post-game comments. In the incomparable Viper's absence, we did our best.

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