Bruin brace leads four goal outburst to sink Red Bulls in Houston


HOUSTON, TX. — Houston, we have a problem.

Four goals in the final 34 minutes of Friday’s encounter against the Houston Dynamo stretched the Red Bulls winless streak to four games as the team dropped a 4-2 decision at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Bruin’s 80th minute strike proved the decider, keeping New York at bay. The Red Bulls are now 4-4-5 on the season (16 pts.), good for third in the Eastern Conference. However, they suffered their third defeat in a row, and extended their winless streak to four.

“The way they play, they battle hard; they fight for every goal. We came in second,” Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch said after the match. “The field is in horrible condition, which means it feeds into the way they play a little bit. It comes down to mostly competing for loose balls and little second balls and aerials and everything else that feeds into the way that they want to play. We don’t do well with that. We come in second on too many; they pick up a lot of loose balls-they put us on our heels.

“For us, it wasn’t good enough.”

Mike Grella opened the score for the Red Bulls, but a Will Bruin brace led the Dynamo to victory in the second. Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark and Anatole Abang round out the scorers.

Wright-Phillips managed the first scoring opportunity of the night, splitting his defenders on a 50 yard over-the-top pass from Felipe. Houston keeper Tyler Deric challenged the ball at the edge of the box, and Wright-Phillips’ cheeky toe poke was cleared just yards from the goal mouth.

With both teams jockeying for opportunities, it was Mike Grella who created his own with a nifty cutback to create space and a quick, right-footed shot beating Deric for the lead in the 42nd minute. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan nearly doubled the lead, firing a dead ball right of net from 30 yards, forcing Deric into a diving save.

Houston equalized in the 59th minute as Will Bruin drew fill-in center back Roy Miller out of position creating space in front of Luis Robles. Bruin served an outlet pass in the box to Garcia who chipped his shot over Robles for the score.

The Dynamo were not done there. A corner kick in the 72nd minute found Rico Clark on the back post, let loose by Kemar Lawrence and Dax McCarty. The former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder tapped in his shot to take the lead. Eight minutes later, a deflected Will Bruin shot served as the game winner, beating Robles to the left as the keeper dove right.

USL star Anatole Abang gave the Red Bulls some home in the 90th, taking a Marius Obekop feed and emphatically heading the chance home to put New York within a point. However, Will Bruin made sure that celebration was short lived, slotting home with yards of space past Robles for the final dagger.

“Right now we have to stay strong with our beliefs and how we do things,” Marsch offered. “We’ve had a lot of good days; today wasn’t one of them.”

New York continue their eight game slide, managing a single victory in that time frame (1-4-3). They now welcome an overdue bye-week before picking up their campaign with an Open Cup match on June 16 against the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks. They then play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 20.

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