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Sunday was a success with No. 99 retired, two goals for Royer, and a surging New York Red Bulls climb to near top of MLS.

On Aug. 8, 2018, RBNY and LAFC faced off for the first time since the rebirth of the old Chivas U.S.A. franchise. This time with former MetroStars and USMNT coach Bob Bradley in control of the visitors. This was also a night to honor Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 100th MLS career goal.

Early Intensity

The match started with intensity and action. BWP within the first minute received a ball in the center of LAFC’s penalty box. Unfortunately, his shot was wide and missed the opportunity to make a statement to the newcomers of MLS.

In the first twenty-five minutes, the score stood 0-0. RBNY played their characteristic high press, but saw little opportunity. LAFC carried most of the possession with over 60 percent.

Close Call

In the 25th minute, Daniel Royer was taken down in the box, but a no-call resulted. The non-call seemed to be due to Royer’s last minute touch away from goal and the lack of contact initiated by the keeper.

In the 31st minute, BWP played a ball to Kaku who came rushing into the LAFC penalty area. His left-footed shot curled away from goal and just nearly missed the frame.

An attempt by LAFC in the 36th minute almost resulted as the game’s first goal. The shot by Diego Rossi, however, hit the post and went wide of the net.

Royer Heroics

The 39th minute brought the match’s first goal. Daniel Royer got on the end of a Michael Murillo ground cross. The cross at first was denied by the LAFC defense, but Royer, from the ground, kept with the play and scored. The goal was Royer’s seventh of the season.

First Half Stats

Goals: RBNY 1 – LAFC 0
Shots: RBNY 5 – LAFC 6
Shots on Goal: RBNY 1 – LAFC 2
Possession: RBNY 45 percent – LAFC 55 percent

In the 53rd minute, LAFC’s attack slipped a ball through a tightly held RBNY defensive line. Carlos Vela sent the pass to Diego Rossi. Rossi, unmarked drove the ball through a helpless Luis Robles.

For the beginning portion of the second half, RBNY did not produce much. Possession stayed well within LAFC’s control and they only produced one shot on target. Their defense was also sloppy on the transition from offense.

Royer Again, BWP Assist

In the 80th minute, Royer scored his second goal of the night. BWP received an outstanding long pass from Murillo. An even better touch to settle the ball out of the air led to a BWP-produced ground pass to Royer. Royer slotted the ball home with ease just before he was called off the field for Derrick Etienne Jr.

The rest of the match ended with little excitement on both ends. RBNY were able to hold off LAFC in their first meeting. A challenging game, however, turned into three well-needed points for RBNY. They now sit second overall in the league behind Atlanta and tied with NYCFC at 44 points each.

After the game, in typical humbled fashion, BWP received praise for his 100th career MLS goal. The RBNY organization also surprised him with the retirement of his number 99.

With games in hand, RBNY can make a huge move in the standings over the next couple of weeks. They are equal for points per game, and hunting first place.

Final Stats

Goals: RBNY 2 – LAFC 1
Shots: RBNY 14 – LAFC 9
Shots on Goal: RBNY 5 – LAFC 3
Possession: RBNY 46.5 percent – LAFC 53.5 percent

Chris Sudol is a former college soccer player who now avidly supports the New York Red Bulls, Arsenal, and Barcelona, among many other soccer teams.