|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Garry Redman
HARRISON, NJ - On Saturday night, the Atlanta United defense committed four costly errors that resulted in four goals for the New York Red Bulls, leaving them winless at Red Bull Arena.
Just a few days ago, the Red Bulls and Charlotte FC played to a 2-2 draw that some fans thought was a missed opportunity to gain maximum points at home. Head Coach Troy Lesesne described the team's first-half performance as "unacceptable" and needed to do much better if they wanted to catch up to the leaders of the Eastern Conference.
During the 32nd minute of the game, the Red Bulls initiated the first move by taking advantage of a throw-in. Cameron Harper skillfully delivered the ball into the box, where it managed to bounce twice around the bewildered Atlanta defenders. Seizing the opportunity without any hesitation, Daniel Edelman swiftly jumped on the ball and expertly slotted it past goalkeeper Brad Guzan, successfully scoring his first goal of the season.
Atlanta United was looking to get a goal to equalize the match, but unfortunately, Juan Jose Purata made a costly mistake toward the end of the first half. Purata committed a bad turnover on Atlanta's end of the field, allowing Daniel Edelman to capitalize on the opportunity. Edelman quickly headed the ball to Tom Barlow, who held it up while he delivered it to Cristian Casseres Jr. The Red Bull's supporters cheered as Casseres Jr. scored and doubled their lead, while the visitors were left feeling crestfallen from their ghastly mistake.
And with a two-goal cushion, the Red Bulls looked to take complete control of the match. At the same time, more mistake-filled chaos ensued for the visiting team in the 78th minute when Kyle Duncan skillfully penetrated the defense and passed it over to Omir Fernandez, who took a shot at the goal. Although goalkeeper Brad Guzan made the initial save, he failed to secure the ball, leading to a frenzied scramble in front of the net. Ronald Donkor managed to get to the ball. He danced around the Atlanta defense without any resistance until he eventually got it over to Frankie Amaya, who quickly scored, putting his team ahead by three goals.
In the 88th minute, Atlanta had an opportunity to the clean sheet. Striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, who has mainly been kept relatively quiet by the Red Bulls' defense, managed to break through and set up a pass in front of the Red Bulls' net. But just as Miguel Berry was preparing to take the shot, Carlos Coronel stepped up and made a well-timed save, preventing Atlanta from getting on the score sheet.
In the 90th minute, the Red Bulls gained their fourth goal thanks to a defensive error. Omir Fernandez initiated the play by capitalizing on a turnover caused by a careless move from midfielder Thiago Almada, who lost the ball in his own end. Fernandez then passed the ball to Frankie Amaya, who scored his second goal off a defection from defender Amar Sejdic. The South Ward exploded with unbridled joy, seeing their team in a full-blown rout over Atlanta United.
Amaya became just the sixth MLS player since 2000 to score at least twice after being subbed on in the 75th minute or later of a match.
The team faced a tough challenge, scoring four goals against a strong home team in the league. However, their performance on the road could have been better. Unfortunately, Atlanta United experienced yet another loss at Red Bull Arena. On the other hand, Troy Lesense's team is now looking to secure some vital points during their upcoming match against conference rival Columbus Crew away from home.
New York Red Bulls: Carlos Coronel, Sean Nealis, Andres Reyes (Hassan Ndam 46’), Cameron Harper, Kyle Duncan, Daniel Edelman, Dru Yearwood (Omir Fernandez 61’), Cristian Casseres Jr. (Peter Stroud 46’), Luquinhas (Frankie Amaya 77’), Elias Manoel (Ronald Donkor 69’), Tom Barlow
Atlanta United FC: Brad Guzan, Luis Abram (Noah Cobb 75'), Brooks Lennon, Franco Ibarra (Amar Sejdic 54'), Andrew Gutman, Juan Jose Purata, Caleb Wiley, Matheus Rossetto (Miguel Berry 75'), Thiago Almada, Tyler Wolff (Machop Chol 55'), Giorgos Giakoumakis
32' - New York Red Bulls - Daniel Edelman, assisted by Cameron Harper
45' - New York Red Bulls - Cristian Casseres Jr., assisted by Tom Barlow and Daniel Edelman
78' - New York Red Bulls - Frankie Amaya, assisted by Ronald Donkor
90' - New York Red Bulls - Frankie Amaya, assisted by Omir Fernandez
27' - Atlanta United FC - Andrew Gutman - Yellow Card
37' - New York Red Bulls - Cristian Casseres Jr. - Yellow Card
54' - New York Red Bulls - Daniel Edelman - Yellow Card
84' - Atlanta United FC - Machop Choul - Yellow Card