The New York Red Bulls are the 2018 Supporters' Shield winners, overtaking Atlanta United on Decision Day presented by AT&T with a 1-0 win over Orlando City SC. The Red Bulls also set a new record for most points in a season (71).
Homegrown attacker Derrick Etienne Jr. was the hero after an inauspicious start to the game.
After Bradley Wright-Phillips was taken down in the box, Etienne Jr. had a penalty saved in the 15th minute, with a little help from former teammate Sacha Kljestan. Prior to Etienne's windy, slow run-up, Kljestan was pointing to Adam Grinwis' right. Grinwis obliged, saving Etienne's attempt where Kljestan forecasted it would go.
But in the 53rd minute, Etienne Jr. would redeem himself. The Haitian dribbled Shane O'Neill, cut back to his favored right foot from the left side of the 18 and fired into the bottom corner. Grinwis could only get a hand to it, but not enough to keep it out of the net. After the goal, all 11 Red Bull players on the field celebrated. Most joined Etienne Jr. in the corner as Luis Robles let out an ecstatic jump in front of the South Ward.
Ten minutes later, Dom Dwyer appeared to pull Orlando City level, as he headed past Robles from a Mohamed El-Munir cross, but the assistant's flag immediately went up for offside, negating the finish. A few minutes thereafter, El-Munir found Dwyer onside but the striker sent his volley wide from eight yards out.
The league's stingiest defense navigated the final 20 minutes with few hiccups en route to another shutout.
Throughout the match, Red Bull Arena had the score of the corresponding match in the Shield race, Toronto FC vs. Atlanta, just below the Red Bulls' score. The crowd reacted to every score change as the Red Bulls needed Atlanta to drop points en route to the Red Bulls taking the Shield.
- 53’ — RBNY — Derrick Etienne Jr. | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Red Bulls refused to fade away from the Shield race and caught Atlanta on the final day in front of their home crowd. Now, the MLS Cup runs through Harrison.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Etienne's goal sent Red Bull Arena into an absolute frenzy. It is the final product Etienne Jr. has been striving to deliver his whole career.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: While the defense was stout, Tyler Adams and Sean Davis solid, the match-winner Etienne deserves Man of the Match honors.
- RBNY: Eastern Conference semifinals | Sunday, November 11 at TBD
- ORL: End of season