Lewis Morgan, Red Bulls
Photo Credit: Shaquan Woody

Red Bulls take down reigning Supporters' Shield winners FC Cincinnati

The New York Red Bulls paraded into TQL Stadium and picked up a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati on Saturday. It was the reigning Supporter’s Shield winner's first loss of the season and propelled New York into first place in the Eastern Conference and the entire MLS.

It was a chippy match as both clubs developed a rivalry over the past few years. It was the first meetup between these two since last season’s MLS Cup Playoffs when Cincinnati defeated New York in the first round. The Red Bulls got their revenge on Saturday.

Cincinnati got on the board first early in the third minute with a goal from Yuya Kubo, but the Red Bulls were able to bounce back in the 19th minute with a beautiful golazo from Frankie Amaya outside the 18. This was Amaya’s second career goal against his former club and the second consecutive time the midfielder has scored at TQL Stadium.

Head Coach Sandro Schwarz spoke on the Red Bull’s performance in the first half.

“It was a great game,” Schwarz said. “... Great performance, especially after the start. In the first few minutes, we conceded the goal, but the first half was very good in our ball possession to get the confidence in the first half. This was good behavior, and then also with the result. We scored and had some chances…”

Both sides battled evenly, as possession favored Cincinnati only 52%. There was no love lost, with a combined 35 fouls and five yellow cards. Former Red Bull Matt Miazga earned himself a yellow card after a foul in the box during added time of the first half. This earned New York a penalty kick taken by MLS' leading scorer Lewis Morgan. Morgan’s shot went to the bottom right, but goalkeeper Evan Louro, who made his MLS debut, guessed right and saved the shot.

New York scored what would be the game-winning and only goal of the second half when captain Emil Forsberg fed a pass to Dante Vanzeir, who snuck it past Louro for his first goal of the season. The Belgian striker also had an assist on Amaya’s goal, where he currently leads the league in assists.

"I'm a striker, and what they expect from me is scoring goals," Vanzeir said. "That's my main focus. On the other hand, I just want to help the team as much as possible. If I'm not the guy at the end of the action in front of the goal, then I hope I can set up the action to let somebody else score. I'm happy that I could get another assist and the first goal. It's a great start for me for the season. I hope to continue this."

With this win, the Red Bulls are now atop the Eastern Conference and currently lead the race for the Supporter’s Sheild with 14 points. Though it’s still very early in the season, New York is showing a lot of improvement and winning games against the top teams in the league.

"It was more important that we had this performance," Schwarz said. "That we have this confidence. That we were dominant in an away game, in Cincinnati. Against a top team. Against a top coach. It's good to get these results, but only seven games now in the regular season."

The Red Bulls will head back to Harrison, NJ, next Saturday as they face the Chicago Fire FC. Fans and the club alike are sure to wish for a dry game for once, as the past two home games have been in torrential downpours. Former New York Red Bull Tom Barlow will also face his former club for the first time since being sent to Chicago in the offseason. The match will be on Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to check out JerseySportingNews.com all season long for more Red Bulls coverage.

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