Royer Scores Another Pair as Red Bulls Dominate Montreal

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

By BRIAN TRUSDELL

Red Bulls logoHARRISON, N.J. — Daniel Royer scored his sixth goal in five games and Michael Murillo tallied the first of his Major League Soccer career to lead New York to a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday night, extending the Red Bulls’ winning streak to four straight.

Since a three-game losing streak in May, the Red Bulls (11-8-2, 35 points) are 6-2-1 in their last nine games in league play.

Bradley Wright-Phillips added his team-leading 11th of the season in the 85th minute, his second straight game with a goal and third in four games.

Royer’s goals, a 23rd-minute penalty and a 90th-minute capper, increased his season total to 10, one shy of Wright-Phillips, the team leader.

“The whole team is doing great the past few weeks,” said Royer, who refused to speak about his recent goal binge. “We’re dangerous and aggressive in attack. We compact defensively. It’s just fun to play.”

His teammates were more than happy to give him credit.

“It’s crazy this scoring run he’s on,” midfielder/captain Sacha Kljestan said. “It’s been amazing. Fingers crossed he keeps it going. He’s been great lately.”

Murillo’s strike came in the 58th minute in match back after missing two games playing for Panama in Gold Cup.

The win was the sixth straight for New York, including fifth-round and quarterfinal victories in the Open Cup, during which the Red Bulls have outscored their opponents, 17-4. The result also ended a three-game losing streak to the Impact, having lost both legs of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season and earlier this season in Montreal (6-8-6, 24).

“The group’s in a good way,” Coach Jesse Marsch said. “There’s confidence, so that’s good to see. And I think we can get better. I think it’s been good lately, and I think we’re all aware of the momentum that we have, the belief that we have, I think this thing can get better and we can even clearer, sharper and cleaner.”

Royer’s first goal came after he drew a foul from Impact goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. Alex Muyl sent a throw-in from just above the 18, Royer ran behind defender Laurent Ciman to get on the end of it and Crepeau brought down the Austrian midfielder.

Royer also had a hand in Murillo’s goal. Kljestan’s corner was headed by Ciman in the penalty area, but it bounced off the shoulder of Royer, who quickly corraled it and sent it back through the goal box. Crepeau got a hand to it but the ball deflected to Murillo, who buried into an open net.

Wright-Phillips turned in Muyl’s cross at the six, and Royer completed the scoring running onto a through ball from Derrick Etienne and beating Crepeau inside the near post.

Despite getting competition for the team scoring lead, Wright-Phillips is probably the happiest for Royer’s goal splurge.

“It makes a lot easier for me,” Wright-Phillips said. “For the last few years, I felt like if I don’t score, maybe we’re not going to win, and I didn’t like that because if I didn’t score I used to feel bad. I felt like it was my fault that we lost. And now, to depend on other guys is very good.”

The victory was the third straight dominating performance in 10 days by the Red Bulls, who defeated San Jose, 5-1, on July 19 – when Royer also had two goals — and shut out Minnesota, 3-0, a week ago.

New York created two quality chances in the first 1 minute 45 seconds while Luis Robles didn’t see a shot in his direction until the 21st minute, and that was high by Ballou Tabla.

Robles’ counterpart, Crepeau, conversely, was busy from the outset. He blocked Felipe Martins’ right-footed drive from just outside the 18 with a diving parry in the second minute, an act he repeated to block Tyler Adams in the 15th, Royer in the 31st and Sal Zizzo in the 32nd. Crepeau was credited with five first-half saves off 13 total shots by the Red Bulls.

Impact center back Kyle Fisher saved what appeared to be a sure goal in the 26th when a ball came through the goal box to the feet of Aaron Long, whose shot was blocked by the legs of the defender, denying the 23-year-old American playing in his first full season in MLS.

Conversely, Robles needed to make only one save, tipping Tabla’s shot high on a breakaway, off three shots.

Montreal occasionally looked dangerous on the counter, including one just before halftime. The Impact caught the Red Bulls napping on a restart at midfield, enabling Anthony Jackson-Hammel to run 25 yards to the 18 before Sal Zizzo raced in from the side to poke the ball away.

New York finished the match outshooting Montreal, 24-5, with Robles needing to make only two saves to earn his seventh shutout of the season.