The New York Red Bulls maintained their case for the 2018 Supporters' Shield and broke a longstanding run of poor form in Northern California, as they defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 on Saturday at Avaya Stadium.
The Red Bulls won in San Jose for the first time since 2003, while keeping the deficit in the Shield race to just one point, behind leaders Atlanta United.
The Red Bulls pushed the tempo early, even while being on the road, and they found their breakthrough just before the half-hour mark, as Alex Muyl pushed a ball just over the line at the far post to open the scoring. Mere moments later, Bradley Wright-Phillips doubled the lead, following up on a shot off the post on a free kick with a finish from a very narrow angle, just in front of the endline.
While the outcome was out of reach for San Jose, there was a late silver lining, as Chris Wondolowski came off the bench and scored a late goal, No. 144 in his MLS regular season career, just one behind the all-time record of 145 held by Landon Donovan.
- 29' – RBNY – Alex Muyl | WATCH
- 32' – RBNY – Bradley Wright-Phillips | WATCH
- 50' – RBNY – Aaron Long | WATCH
- 83' – SJ – Chris Wondolowski | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Red Bulls needed a win and got it, period, although they'll probably be miffed they let in the late goal. Once again, there's little to write home about for the Quakes, although #WondoWatch for the all-time goals record is something to root for this season.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Long's goal was either a well-worked play from training or some kind of telepathy between the central defensive partners.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Plenty of credit to go around the Red Bulls, but we'll give the edge to Wright-Phillips, who returned from his suspension last week to score what turned out to be the winning goal, and made history in the process, becoming the first player in MLS history to score 20 goals in a season three times.