Red Bulls hail impact of "sharp, confident" Grella after brace vs. Seattle

HARRISON, N.J. – When Mike Grella scores, the New York Red Bulls win. 

The winger scored a brace to give New York a 2–0 win over Seattle Sounders FC Sunday night, the fifth game he’s scored in this season. Each time, the Red Bulls won.

“Mike has just gotten himself going as the season’s gone on,” head coach Jesse Marsch said. “He’s gotten sharper and more confident. The thing with Mike is getting the balance right of when to play simple and when to do special things. Clearly, when he gets that balance right he’s difficult to deal with.”

Like the last match Grella scored in, the Red Bulls were on the back foot for much of Sunday's match. Both times, the Red Bulls’ opponents wasted their chances with inaccurate shooting. And both times, Grella was in the right place to make them pay, first on a rebound of a Sacha Kljestan shot off the post and later when he latched on to Brad Evans' sliding intervention of a Bradley Wright-Phillips through ball.

“It’s the essence of what we try to do and how we play,” Grella said. “High press, high energy and being ready for anything that can happen at all times. A sloppy pass like that is the first thing we’re looking for and they made just one mistake and we capitalized. That’s another part of our success, is being able to high press and capitalize on other teams' mistakes.”

Grella dubbed Sunday's win as particularly important given the run of four straight away games facing RBNY, starting with visits to Real Salt Lake and Columbus in the week ahead.

“This was a must-win game ahead of two difficult away games,” he said. “Nothing is guaranteed, especially on the road, so this was huge for us.”