BWP hat trick leads 10-man Red Bulls past Toronto

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS MCKENZIE

HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls picked up right where they left off.

Riding a first half hat trick from white-hot striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York put in another dominant performance against Toronto FC, winning the match 3-0.

Wright-Phillips scored the first of his three tallies in the fourth minute when Sacha Kljestan delivered a free kick directly to his head. His second came as Kljestan delivered another dangerous ball, this time to his feet. Wright-Phillips juked his way into the 18, shooting the ball between the legs of his marker, beating TFC keeper Clint Irwin. It only took the Englishman 3 more minutes to complete the trick, this time taking a one time volley from Mike Grella.

With the team on a hot streak, the tone changed for New York in the 42nd minute. Gonzalo Veron unleashed a two-footed stomp on Marky Delgado’s ankle to earn an early shower. Up to that point, the Argentine DP had done well in relief of Lloyd Sam. Sam sat out today’s match as a precaution after receiving treatment for a minor groin tweak. Veron’s poor choice left the Red Bulls with 10 men for the remainder of the match.

While the loss of Veron was certainly damaging, Toronto did not escape unscathed. Striker Sebastian Giovinco also exited the match early after pulling up with an injury.

The drama deepened as the second half opened. Connor Lade took down took down an onrushing Josh Lovitz in the 18 yard box. Toronto midfielder Will Johnson had the ensuing penalty kick called back because of encroachment on Toronto FC. Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles, determined to keep the clean sheet, saved the redo.

While Toronto continued to press the ball, New York’s defense, led by Aurelien Collin and the heroics of Luis Robles, anchored the Red Bulls to victory.

The Red Bulls go into their two week break from MLS action having only lost once in the last seven. Their next match will be on June 15th as part of the US Open Cup as they wait for the result of the Round three match between the Lansdowne Bhoys and the Rochester Rhinos.