It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the New York Red Bulls started their 2017 MLS Campaign on the right foot. Playing spoilers to Atlanta United FC’s debut, the Red Bulls topped Atlanta 2-1 in front of a sold out 55,000 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Despite going down 1-0 in the first half, the Red Bulls equalized in the 76th minute with a headed goal by Daniel Royer. Shortly after, the Red Bulls would then score the game winner on a deflected Bradley Wright-Phillips shot, that would be eventually ruled an own goal.
The Red Bulls start to their 2017 MLS schedule does not get any easier with their home opener. This Saturday, the Red Bulls host Western Conference foe Colorado Rapids. Coming off a very solid, but shaky, road win to start the season the Red Bulls will certainly have had a few things to work on this week.
New York Red Bulls vs Colorado Rapids Preview
Three Things to Look Out For
Royer has no doubt been the Red Bulls most dangerous offensive weapon this season. Starting off in the CONCACAF Champions’ League, Royer has continued a find run of form that continued in last weekend’s match vs Atlanta. Royer scored the equalizer and made a beautiful cross field run that would eventually lead to the game winning goal for the Red Bulls. He has been a constant threat in the final third and will no doubt cause problems for Colorado’s back line on Saturday.
Mike Grella Up Top
There is no doubt that the Alex Muyl experiment up top did not go that well. What did go well for the Red Bulls was when Mike Grella was subbed on for Muyl. Grella came on and had an immediate impact on the game.He did well up top with very good hold up play and had a spark that the team desperately needed. Not to mention he had a very cheeky back heel that ultimately set up the Red Bulls second goal. Grella may very well see the nod to start next to BWP with Gonzalo Veron still questionable due to injury.
The Red Bulls did something against Atlanta United that they did not accomplish at all in 2016. New York actually came from behind to win a road game. It was no secret that the Red Bulls were certainly sub-par on the road last season. Winning only three of their 17 road games in MLS, the Red Bulls struggled with having resilience last season. While still working out kinks tactically, a strong resilience not seen last year was shown by this club. A resiliency they will need if they are to be successful this season.