It was most certainly a nail-biting finish at Red Bull Arena. The New York Red Bulls saw a 3-0 lead get cut down to 3-2 by Columbus Crew SC. In the end New York was able to hold on and take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls have all but sealed up the first seed in the East, barring either New York City FC or Toronto FC winning their matches by 10 goals or more and a Red Bulls loss in week 34.
New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew SC Player Ratings
Bradley Wright Phillips: A
Once again, BWP was on fire against Columbus. Having a two-goal game, BWP once again regained control of the MLS Golden Boot race. BWP’s first goal was a highlight reel as a cutback in the box freed him up for a shot that went right through the wickets of the Columbus Goalkeeper.
Sacha Kljestan: B+
Similar to BWP, Kljestan continued his fantastic form. A two assist outing for Sacha has him at 19 assists this season. He currently is tied for the second most assist all-time in an MLS season. One more and Kljestan would be the first with a 20 assist season since 2000. The only blemish for Kljestan tonight was a scuffed penalty kick that was saved in the game’s first 10 minutes. If BWP and Kljestan are on their game, they will be tough to beat come the MLS Playoffs.
Alex Muyl: B
This was a very solid outing for Muyl. Assisting on one of the two goals by BWP, Muyl once again showed the potential he holds. With one goal and six assists on the season, it has been a successful year for the rookie to say the least.
Aurelien Collin: B
The trade to get Collin from Orlando City SC has been huge for the Red Bulls. Being named by MLS as one of the best roster moves of the season, Collin has been a huge reason for New York’s success. This was another great match for Collin and it showed how much he is needed for the Red Bulls.
Gonzalo Veron: B-
Veron made great use of the little time he was allotted in this match. In his short time, Veron had two very good looks at goal. He created all sorts of problems with his pace and should have had at least an assist as he put it on a dime for Muyl, but his point blank shot was saved away.
Kemar Lawrence: C+
Lawrence once again was solid defending. He has certainly improved with his play in the back as this season has moved along. However, he continues to struggle when he goes forward. Many times Lawrence will find himself in a good attacking position on the wing, but more often then not he will make a mess of the cross. Lawrence could be a huge weapon for the Red Bulls in the playoffs if he can find his form in the attacking third.