The New York Red Bulls earned its third straight draw on Saturday night. A frustrating 1-1 result against Vancouver Whitecaps FC still has New York in third place in the Eastern Conference.
However, the points left on the table are beginning to add up for a squad that looked poised to lead the conference.

The night’s goals came from a Lewis Morgan header and a first-half goal from former Red Bull Brian White.

Ahead of the game, the team recognized White in a small ceremony with a video presentation.

Going into Saturday, New York was down a laundry list of players. Andrés Reyes was still serving his suspension for a red card against the Chicago Fire, which was extended to 2-games. On the injury list were four players: Ronald Donkor, Roald Mitchell, Serge Ngoma, and Peter Stroud. While Stroud is the only starter on that list, it did impact the team’s depth. That meant an appearance from Bento Estrela on the bench this game.

The match started well enough, with New York controlling possession and getting fast breaks. Lewis Morgan had a deflected chance saved before keeper Yohei Takaoka saved a rebound attempt in the second minute.

While RBNY held the majority of pressure to start it was Vancouver that opened the scoring. A run-up on the right side by Ryan Raposo saw him cut across the box. Of course, Brian White got a clean tap in past Carlos Coronel to make it 1-0 in the 15th minute.

If the spattered booing from Red Bull fans was for what seemed like an extended celebration, White had cause. With that goal, Brian White became the club’s all-time record goalscorer in the MLS era across all competitions. White’s 44th career goal for the Whitecaps put him past Brazilian forward Camilo Sanvezzo. The moment came in an arena he knows very well, only about an hour away from his hometown of Flemington, NJ.

The rest of the half went by quickly, but not in a good way for the home side. A number of chances saw New York hold the ball deep in the Vancouver end. Whether it be overthinking or hesitation, multiple chances were wasted as the defense closed in on players.

One chance in the 41st saw John Tolking be onside on a long ball but hold it in the left side of the penalty area before trying to cut in.

“After 20 minutes, it was not good in the first half, and this is what we have to analyze, and we have to improve very quickly,” Schwarz said after the game.

“In some moments, to have this consequence, play forward very quickly, and in some moments, have more deep runs to create more situations in the box, in the opponent’s box, like at the beginning of the game.”

White also nearly had a brace at the 30-minute mark after he got behind the backline on a long pass. His show was stopped point-blank by dropping Coronel off his line. The Whitecaps also had a free kick chance just outside of the box in the 41st minute, which also earned Wiki Carmona a yellow card, but that was cleared out.

Things finally went New York’s way after the team earned yet another corner kick in the 56th minute. Emil Forsberg sent the ball into the box, where it hit off the crossbar and hand of goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka before deflecting off the body of Sean Nealis.

Lewis Morgan charged in and dove to head in the shot to make it 1-1; for Morgan, the goal marked his seventh of the season.

“We have been doing incredible work on it recently,” Morgan said on his team’s set pieces.

“We knew at the start of the year that we hadn’t really capitalized on those moments. Defensively, we’ve been pretty good, but we were not scoring enough goals. Now, you are starting to see the work that we are putting in the training ground. We got a couple of goals last week off of set-play situations. Against Chicago Fire FC here, we had a couple of opportunities, and tonight, obviously, we scored a goal.”

However, New York’s good momentum didn’t last. In the 74th minute, Noah Eile was shown a straight red card for an obvious handball. A long ball towards the Red Bull box looked to be going to a charging Whitecaps attacker before Eile extended his arm. After the match, coach Schwarz didn’t throw his player under the bus but admitted it was a clear red card.

Unlike Andrés Reyes’ red card two weeks ago against Chicago, Sandro Schwarz decided on a different strategy. Five minutes after Eile was sent off, John Tolkin was replaced by Kyle Duncan. Then, in the 90th minute, Emil Forsberg was subbed off not for a defender like Aiden O’Connor but for striker Cory Burke.

After the match, when asked by NYCSN about this choice, the choice said it was because the Whitecaps are a different team than Chicago. Vancouver was playing three center backs, two sixes, and high wingbacks, rather than Chicago, who went with a flat-back four. That meant New York had to avoid playing a 4-4-1.

The coach’s full response is below.

Burke had a weak chance on goal during stoppage time, but it was easily handled.

New York (4-1-5) is unbeaten in six consecutive games since a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on March 16.

The Red Bulls head to Florida next weekend for a match against Inter Miami CF.
With Lionel Messi back in the fold, it’s hard to imagine the game going the same way as the 4-0 clubbing that happened earlier this season.


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