MLS Recap: Red Bulls, NYCFC Close Gap On Atlanta United

New York, New York City FC, Berget, MLS
Jo Inge Berget celebrates one of his two goals vs. Toronto FC. Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA Today Sports

Both New York Major League Soccer Teams returned to action following the league’s World Cup break and each secured three points as they closed the gap on East-leading Atlanta United FC, which played to a 1-1 home draw vs. the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Red Bulls

On Saturday at Red Bull Arena, the home side topped FC Dallas 3-0 in a match that saw New York play down a man for 63 minutes. Daniel Royer received a straight red car in the 27th minute for what was termed violent conduct.

At the time of the red card, the Red Bulls were leading 1-0 on a 23rd-minute goal by Bradley Wright-Phillips. But Dallas would fail to take advantage of the man-up situation. Aaron Long in the 39th minute would extend New York’s lead to two and three minutes into the second half Kemar Lawrence’s goal would give Red Bulls a three-goal advantage.

Luis Robles made six saves in goal for New York to earn the clean sheet.

The win gives New York 29 points (9-4-2, W-L-D) and moves them into third place trailing New York City FC by two points and Atlanta by five points. Red Bulls have played one fewer game than NYCFC and two fewer than Atlanta.

NYCFC

New York City FC’s first match under new head coach Doménec Torrent proved to be a successful debut at Yankee Stadium as the home side topped Toronto FC 2-1. However, the three points came at a cost as NYCFC captain David Villa left the match in the 27th minute with what appeared to be a knee injury.

Toronto took the lead at the 37th-minute mark as Victor Vazquez chipped a charging Sean Johnson to give the defending MLS Champions a 1-0 lead.

Six minutes into the second half, New York City would draw level as Jo Inge Berget would score off an assist from Jesus Medina. Berget would give NYCFC the lead on the counter-attack after he one-timed a pass from Maxi Moralez.

With the win, second place New York City close the gap with Atlanta to three points with a game in hand.