With just two points separating them in the Eastern Conference table, the Red Bulls travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to search for some points on the road and much-needed distance between them their rivals sitting just above the cut-off line for MLS Cup qualification.
Atlanta United, unbeaten in two matches, was looking to finally win one against their bitter rivals at home where the Red Bulls have enjoyed recent success in the regular season. The lone exception, a painful 3-0 loss in the first leg of the 2018 Eastern Conference final.
The first half wasn't to speak of, with both teams playing plodding, uninspired soccer for 45 minutes, just registering 6 shots in the half, none on goal. Atlanta nearly took advantage of some sloppy play in front of the goal, when in the 38th minute, Jake Mulraney's shot was deflected by Daniel Royer, but thankfully for him and his teammates, the ball slammed off the woodwork.
The second half would begin with a historical moment when Caden Clark, just 17 years old, who signed his MLS contract earlier today, scored his first-ever goal in the 47th minute, a blistering full-volley shot just inside of the box to put the Red Bulls in the lead. Caden became the third-youngest goal scorer in team history (behind Eddie Gaven and Jozy Altidore), just a few days younger than current teammate Ben Mines.
Atlanta United would press for the equalizer, testing the New York defense late in the match. In one chaotic sequence, off a corner for Atlanta, Jon Gallagher's was headed for the net, the ball was deflected in the box by Sean Nealis, but Ryan Meara was there with the save, his teammates did the rest to ice the match, preserved the clean sheet, and seal the three points and a huge road win for the Red Bulls.