BRIDGEVIEW, ILL. – Bradley Wright-Phillips helped his side escape defeat Sunday night after a 90th minute goal extended the New York Red Bulls unbeaten streak to five games with a 2-2 draw at Toyota Park.
The goal, his 12th of the season, was also Wright-Phillips’ 63rd as a Red Bull, surpassing Juan Pablo Angel as the club’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Before the goal, Wright-Phillips had few touches on the ball thanks to the Chicago defense and the Red Bulls had only registered one other shot on target that was easily saved by Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
“I’ve been challenging him to make more plays late in the game,” Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch said. “They (Chicago) did a pretty good job of being hard on him.”
Chicago bounced back to score two unanswered goals in the first half after a Matt Polster own goal in the 16th minute. After making some tactical changes, Marsch said it was Wright-Phillips’ ability to not get discouraged that helped New York get the late equalizer.
“We’re trying to encourage him to have a cut-throat mentality,” Marsch said. “Even if he doesn’t have many touches, he only needs one touch to make a difference. That part was really good, he stayed after the game and made a big play.”
“It was one of the rare times we had space on the flanks, so when Connor [Lade] got it, my eyes kind of lit up,” Wright-Phillips said. “I know he can deliver a good ball, so I just wanted to get to the front post. I just tried to get a firm touch behind it and find the corner.”
The draw, however, didn’t come without a price for the Red Bulls. After a hard challenge by Chicago midfielder Khaly Thiam in the 38th minute, Dax McCarty was forced out of the game with a knee contusion. The play looked harsh enough to earn a red card to Marsch, although it only resulted in a yellow for the Fire midfielder.
“It was, I thought a bad tackle. One that in my mind was worthy of a red card,” Marsch said. “Dax is a big player, an important player, so you hope that a tackle like that doesn’t lead to a really bad injury. We’re hopeful that he’s going to be ok.”