The start of a new MLS season for many is a happy time. After long breaks, fans finally get to see their favorite players grace the pitch and challenge for silverware once more. But for some NY Red Bulls fans, the start of the new season will have been a sad one.
Legendary NY Red Bulls striker retires
That’s because they saw their legendary striker, Bradley Wright-Phillips, announce his retirement from football. But he did it in style, signing a one-day contract with NY Red Bull once more, so he could officially retire as their player.
The striker whose father is legendary former premier league player Ian Wright, rose to prominence when he made the move from England to the USA to join the NY Red Bulls in the MLS.
The now 36-year-old has spent nearly a decade plying his trade in the MLS, and in that time, climbed his way up to sixth on the MLS all-time goals list. He managed 117 goals and 34 assists across 234 matches in a career that saw him spend six years with NY Red Bulls, before moving on and spending a year at both LAFC and Columbus Crew.
On his retirement, he posted the following to instagram:
“I’m done. Thank you to all of the clubs that gave me the opportunity to represent the badge. Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, fan bases for your support (ups and downs) but most of all thank you to my friends and family, especially my wife Leanne.”
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However, it’s not all doom and gloom for fans of the NY Red Bulls because they’ve gotten off to a great start in their latest MLS campaign.
The season so far
Last season was not the best campaign for the NY Red Bulls. Having narrowly scraped a place in the final series play-offs last season, beating D.C. United by a single point to seventh place in the Eastern Conference, they dropped out in the first round losing to Philadelphia Union 1-0 after extra time.
But this season couldn’t look any more different. It is only early days, but after five games, they currently sit second in the Eastern Conference with a record of three wins, one draw and one loss. The team that sits above them? The very same one who knocked them out of the playoffs last season, Philadelphia.
They got their campaign off to a flying start, when they traveled away to the San Jose Earthquakes, in a game where their opponents dominated possession. However, you can have all the possession in the world, but if you do nothing with it, it won’t count for anything. The Bulls took the lead at the death of the first half in injury time, with Patryk Klimala finding the back of the net.
The second half then saw San Jose claw a goal back in the 69th minute, thanks to a strike from Javier Eduardo López. But the scoreline wasn’t level for long, as just three minutes later it was Omir Guadalupe Fernandez Mosso who helped restore NY’s lead, before Tom Barlow buried the game in injury time with a third goal to give them a 1-3 victory.
They then followed that up with another win in a second successive away game, where they beat Toronto FC 1-4. It was a game of two halves though, with all five of the game’s goals coming in the first 45. But it’ll have been extra special for Lewis Morgan, who managed to net his first-ever hat-trick, before Aaron Long contributed with the fourth goal.
Their third game of the season was the first of the campaign to be played at the Red Bull Arena, and it was a game that sportsbooks were tipping them to do well in. However, despite dominating the game against Minnesota United FC, with 19 shots (8 on target) compared to Minnesota’s 5 shots (2 on target), they couldn’t find the clinical edge they had in their first two games. And at the 51 minute mark, Paraguayan striker Luis Amarilla scored, to inflict NY Red Bull’s first defeat of the season on them.
NY Red Bull’s next match saw them at home again, this time hosting Columbus Crew. It was a game of little action, until the 84th minute when Tom Barlow scored his second of the season. Whilst fans may have thought they were about to clinch their third win of the campaign though, they were sadly wrong. Because in the 5th minute of injury time, Darlington Nagbe leveled for Columbus, leaving both teams with a point a piece at the final whistle.
Fortunately, it wasn’t long before they did get back to winning ways with their 5th game of the season, which followed an international break that saw the US qualify for the FIFA World Cup. However, if fans thought the break would be a welcome one that would see the team racking up the goals again, they would be mistaken.
Traveling away to the New England Revolution, it was another game where sportsbooks had tipped the NY Red Bull’s to do well. But it wasn’t a straightforward game, and it took a little bit of luck for them to walk away with all three points.
In the 73rd minute, the Bulls were down to 10 men when Frankie Amaya lunged in as the Revolution looked to counter attack on the break. However, his tackle missed the ball and was pretty reckless, earning him a second yellow card in the game. But despite the Revolution having the number advantage, they caused their own downfall when Matt Polster turned the ball into his own net under no pressure following a cross from the wing. And just four minutes later, it was 10-men side as Adam Buksa was also sent off for a second yellow.
Up next for NY Red Bulls
Next up for the Bulls is a home game against Montreal Impact on Saturday 9th April. The Canadian outfit currently sit second from bottom in the Eastern Conference, one place ahead of David Beckham’s Inter Miami. As such, NY Red Bulls are clear favorites with New York online sportsbooks for this game.
As it stands on this futures bet, NY Red Bulls are 29/50 to win, with a draw at 333/100 and an upset on the cards being 26/5. And if history is anything to go by, you’d have to back the Bulls on this one. Because during the last 14 meetings between these two sides when NY Red Bulls have been at home, they’ve gone on to win 11 times. The remaining three games finished with one draw, and two wins for CF Montreal.
It also could be a relatively high scoring game too, because once again in this fixture when played at home, has a goal difference of 36-14 in favor of the NY Red Bulls across the last 14 meetings. So, if we were going to predict something for this game, we’d have to say a home win, with over 1.5 goals scored. Which should give you a nice return if it comes in.