Philadelphia Sports Day

Robles Leads Red Bulls To Fourth Straight Win & Shutout

Luis Robles - Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire

The Red Bulls continue to roll, as they won their fourth straight, a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.

Across all competitions, the Red Bulls have kept clean sheets in five consecutive games, including a win over Rochester, 1-0, in the U.S. Open Cup last Wednesday.

Red Bulls goaltender Luis Robles made three saves on Sunday night to stretch the shutout streak to 407 minutes in MLS play.

Robles now has five shutouts this season, and continues to add to his franchise records for shutouts (33) and wins (57). Per Opta, it is the first time the club has kept four consecutive clean sheets since 2006.

The Red Bulls are now 7-7-1, with 22 points, and sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind Philadelphia (23 points) and one point ahead of NYC FC (21 points).

Mike Grella scored both Red Bulls goals, giving him six on the season, second-most on the team behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Grella got the first goal in the 18th minute. Sacha Kljestan started the play by freeing himself from a defender down the left wing and curling in a shot that rang off the goalpost. The rebound fell to Grella, who was in good position for the put-back.

The Red Bulls took the lead into halftime, and added a second in the 59th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips got the ball in midfield and found Lloyd Sam, who slid a pass through the defense and into the run of Grella, who gained control and chipped it over a charging Stefan Frei.

Red Bulls Head Coach Jesse Marsch said of his role in Grella’s strong play, “Yeah, I mean, listen, I don’t want to take credit for Mike, because I think Mike’s just gotten himself going as the season’s gone on and he’s gotten sharper and sharper and more confident.

“The thing with Mike is always getting the balance right of when to play simple and when to do special things, and clearly, when he gets that balance right, he’s very difficult to deal with.¬†And I thought the third one was going in, the one that went just wide. But right now, he’s sharp, he’s been really good. All of our attacking guys have been really sharp.

“So you know, right now, on both sides of the ball, we feel like we’ve got a lot of options and we’re going to have to call on a lot of them with a busy week.”

This was the Red Bulls’ first game in in MLS play since the international break, since a win over Toronto on May 28.

Marsch said of the game and maintaining the momentum after the break, “Yeah, wasn’t our best to be honest, but you have to credit Seattle that they came in here and they decided they were going to try and play. They did a good job, especially in the first half of at moments putting us on our heels.

“There’s a lot of pride right now in the group to get shutouts and to prevent goals from going in. So Connor (Lade) sliding; all of our backs are sliding around; Dax (McCarty) and Felipe are running back; on-set pieces you see our guys making big, desperate plays. Luis is doing a good job of keeping everybody tuned in, surveying, making saves, being so solid.

“So that’s going to be a key for us moving forward here is we’ve got to continue to find ways to get clean sheets and not give goals away.”

The Red Bulls head out for three straight on the road, with two games this week. New York is at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, June 22 (10 p.m. ET) and at Columbus Crew SC (7:30 ET) on Saturday, June 25.

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