The New York Red Bulls routed the Portland Timbers 4-0 Saturday night. In the season opener, the Red Bulls routed the Timbers rolling their “B” squad. The Red Bulls had control of this match from start to finish. They scored three times in the last 15 minutes to seal off a very impressive match. They return to action Tuesday night in CONCACAF Champions’ League play in their Quarterfinal Second Leg against Tijuana.
New York Red Bulls Player Grades vs. Portland Timbers
Carlos Rivas: A
Nothing quite like getting a brace in your MLS debut for your new team. Rivas struck twice in the last 15 minutes of the match Saturday to put the game entirely out of reach. While only one game, Rivas has shown that he has the potential to be a dangerous weapon. He did a great job with his hold up play up at striker. After getting moved to the wing after a sub, he showed excellent pace to blow by the Portland back line. Whether Rivas will spend most of the season as a starter, or a sub will be impressive to watch.
Bradley Wright-Phillips: A
This man is as close to literally on fire as it gets. BWP scored against Portland coming off the bench in the second half. That makes four goals in four matches across all competitions for the ultimate scoring machine. Add an assist for BWP, and you have quite an efficient night for being a second-half sub.
Ben Mines: A-
Well, there is nothing quite like scoring in your MLS Debut at the age of 17. On top of that Ben Mines had a productive day in the midfield against Portland. The kid certainly did not look like a 17-year-old. He was dominant on the ball and made some stellar passes throughout the night. After a performance like this, it will be interesting to see if Mines can hold his own and remain on the first team roster.
Alejandro Romero Gamarra: B
Known simply as “Kaku” around the world, this was a solid MLS Debut. He had a great pass that set up the opening goal of the match for Ben Mines. Kaku was active in the midfield and was causing many headaches for the Portland back line. There is a lot of hype surrounding the Red Bulls most expensive transfer ever. So far, he has done an effective job with the limited minutes he has seen. Once in form, Kaku is sure to be a very dangerous piece for the Red Bulls attack.