New York Red Bull Look to Secure Home Field in 1st Round
By JJ Pavlick
The New York Red Bull enters today’s match needing all three points, anything less than a win and they could be playing on the road in the first round of the Major League Soccer Playoffs. For Charlotte FC the task is straight forward they want to play spoiler. They’re already eliminated from the playoffs, but they can play a major role in home-field advantage and the playoff seeding. Kickoff is set for 2:55 The arena is still filling in as the lineups are announced for the match. So far there is a good size crowd ready to get the party started for the NY Red Bull. The anthem singer has everyone on their feet inside the arena and ready for today’s clash. The crowd is fired up and ready to go, both teams take the pitch, the DJ is pumping the speakers at full blast and the fans are on their feet ready to go.
Here we go!!!!! Charlotte starts the match with the ball and is quickly pushed back into their defensive zone by the Red Bulls Midfield. The Red Bull supports group is loud and has the arena going and the players are responding to the crowd. Charlotte has yet to get the ball to midfield in the early stages of the match. Edelman sends his mark #6 Nuno Santos flying into the turf hard. The referee calls the foul, the free kick is taken, and Red Bull clears the ball with no issue. The Red Bull earns a free kick from midfield, and the ball is sent deep into the box where it’s headed onto the net by Tolkin, saved by keeper Sisniega. In the first 6 minutes of play, Red Bull is controlling the game keeping Charlotte out of their final third. GOAL scored by #11 Elias Manoel Alves de Paula off a rebound from Edelman’s shot in the 8th minute. He fired a rocket into the near post from 8 yards out. Charlotte is struggling to get anything started this match, hard foul by Charlotte Fc on goal scorer Paula at midfield. If Red Bull holds on, they will have a 1st round match-up with Cincinnati FC at Red Bull Arena. Paula pressures the keeper hard and just nearly blocks his kick which sails into the stands for a throw-in. The Red Bull quickly plays the ball into Long who heads the ball to Edelman, he fires a shot high and wide into the stands. In the 19th minute, the game remains 1-0 New York, so far, it’s been a dominant performance from the men in white/red. Charlotte FC draws a foul 35 yards from the goal, the free kick is taken by #18 K. Vargas, he finds #6 Santos who fires a rocket on the goal, saved by Coronel into the stands for a corner. Charlotte does nothing with the corner kick and New York pushes up the pitch. In the 25th minute, the arena is letting the Red Bull players know they appreciate the effort so far as they rise to their feet chanting Let’s Go Red Bulls! Charlotte FC #11 Swiderski sends Coronel diving across the goal to save the hard low shot on goal, it goes out for a corner kick. New York makes quick work of the corner and pushes back up the pitch pressuring the Charlotte back line. A free kick for the Red Bull is taken in the 30th minute by Nealis, who finds Long, his header goes straight to the keeper for the save. 3 minutes later Nealis draws a foul 30 yards from the goal, the free kick is taken by Morgan, just misses Long and Charlotte heads it out for a corner kick. Morgan takes the free kick and hits Long, who heads it back out of the box to Morgan, his pass deflects off Charlotte’s defender for a throw-in. Charlotte creates a turnover off the throw-in, but their attempt is stalled out at midfield. Entering the 36th minute of action New York is still up 1-0 and dominating all aspects of the match. Three minutes later Charlotte earns a corner kick, it’s played into #5 Walkes who heads it low near post, saved by Coronel, and out for another corner kick. Red Bull clears the corner easily and Linhares takes off up the pitch where he is fouled just past midfield by #25 H. Afful. The referee issues Afful a yellow card for the foul, but New York does nothing with the free kick. In the 43rd minute, Vargas of Charlotte FC takes a free kick from 45 yards out; his ball finds the Red Bull defense who heads it onto Coronel for the easy stop. He quickly boots it deep into the Charlotte defensive third. In the 45th minute, the fourth official announces that 2 extra minutes will be added to the first half. The center referee blows his whistle ending the first half with a little more than 2 minutes extra played.
The New York Bulls have dominated the match so far and giving Charlotte no hope at all. If New York can keep this style of play up, they will be facing Cincinnati in the first round at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bull has six official shots and four have been on goal, while Charlotte has five official shots and all have been on goal, however, only two were dangerous opportunities that required Coronel to be on top of his game.
The 2nd half is underway, Charlotte FC makes one substitution bringing on #22 C Fuchs for #25 H. Afful. Red Bull Arena is rocking as play resumes. In the 50th minute, Fuchs runs down the left side of the pitch and finds #12 D. Rios who flicks the ball just wide of the far post from 2 yards out. In the 53rd minute, the keepers play catch with one another as Charlotte FC keeper Sisniego’s punt goes directly to Coronel. In the 55th minute, GOAL Elias Manoel Alves de Paula beats both center backs and fires a missile into the upper 90 from 19 yards out. New York is now up 2-0 and the arena is buzzing. Charlotte makes 2 substitutions in the 57th minute, bringing on #17 O. Gaines and # 16 A. Shinyashiki, coming off are #18 K. Vargas and #11 K. Swiderski. The Arena is loud and on its feet in support of the Red Bulls’ efforts. New York continues to dominate all aspects of the match not letting Charlotte breathe for even a second. They’re pressuring Charlotte in all 3 zones of the pitch. In the 69th minute, New York makes two substitutions bringing on #9 Patrick Klimala and #19 W. Carmona, exiting are #82 Lucas Linhares and #11 Elias Manoel. In the 73rd minute, Charlotte makes two substitutions bringing on # 13 B. Bronico and #2 J. Sobocinski, exiting the match are #20 D. Jones and #14 N. Byrne. In the 78th minute of play, Charlotte FC earns a corner kick, New York clears it without incident. In the 80th minute, Morgan with a beautiful steal and takes the ball down the goal line and finds Nealis whose shot is punched out by Sisniega for a corner. New York makes a substitution bringing on #6 K. Duncan for #4 A. Reves. Charlotte handles the corner but turns it over at midfield and the Red Bull counterattack quickly earns another corner kick. Charlotte quickly plays the ball out of trouble. In the 83rd minute, New York D. Edelman is shown a yellow card for his foul committed 19 yards from the goal. Charlottes #7 Jozwiak, shoots the free kick over the goal and out of play. During the 87th minute of play, #9 P. Klimala goes 85 yards up the pitch with the ball and takes a shot to the far post from 15 yards out just wide of the goal, the score remains NY 2-0. The 4th official shows a minimum of 4 extra minutes will be added to the second half of play. New York makes a substitution bringing on #98 H. Ndam for #8 Frankie Amaya. In the 90th minute + 2, Duncan plays a beautiful cross into the box for New York, finding #9 Klimala who just whiffs on the shot from 3 yards out. That’s it the center referee ends the match at 90 minutes +5. New York Red Bull wins the match and secures the 1st round home-field advantage for the playoffs.
The NY Red Bull showed up to play today and took care of Charlotte FC quickly to secure the final home-field advantage slot in the MLS Playoffs this year. As of now, Red Bull will face Cincinnati FC at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, October 15th Kick-off is scheduled for 12:08 pm eastern standard time. For those who can’t make it to the arena, the game will be broadcasted on UniMas, TUDN, MLSsoccer.com & App, MSG, and Star64.