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Red Bulls clinch playoff spot with victory over Whitecaps

The New York Red Bulls will head to the MLS Cup playoffs yet again after a commanding 3-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

The Red Bulls got their scoring started through Daniel Royer after 33 minutes. The play started with Tyler Adams, who was one of two providers on the goal, as he found Sacha Kljestan near the penalty area. From there, the Red Bulls captain saw Royer making the run into the penalty area, and the Austrian scored from a tight angle. The goal marks his second in two matches.

Usual talisman Bradley Wright-Phillips grabbed the Red Bulls’ second goal in the 58th minute. Again, Adams provided the assist as he made a pass from inside his own half to Wright-Phillips on the left wing. The forward was able to get around a Vancouver defender and found his way in the penalty area, finishing off with a slight chip over goalkeeper David Ousted.

Felipe provided the game ending goal in the 72nd minute. This time it was Kljestan grabbing a second assist as his pass allowed Felipe to score from outside the penalty area.

The win is the Red Bulls’ first in the league since August 12, and makes them the last Eastern Conference team to make the playoffs this season. They are at home against Atlanta United next Sunday and close out the regular season a week later at D.C. United.

Despite the loss, the Whitecaps remain first in the West. They hold a four point advantage over the second place Portland Timbers, who they take on in their final regular season game after hosting Sporting Kansas City next week.


The home side’s offense clicked on the night, with much of it down to Sacha Kljestan. The captain was in top form collecting two assists.


After allowing two goals, Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson put on more attacking talent, but any threat they posed was ended after Felipe’s 72nd minute strike. The midfielder received the ball after Sacha Kljestan sent a pass from the touchline behind him. Felipe struck it from outside of the area, cleanly passing by the many Vancouver defenders to clinch the victory for his side.


On a night where the Red Bulls offense was active, the Whitecaps provided its opposite. The likes of Alphonso Davies and Erik Hurtado were nowhere to be found in what was a poor showing for the West’s top team.

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About Bill Hancock

I am a father of 2 young soccer players. My daughter is 8 and my son is 16. They are the reason I became interested in soccer. The more I learned about soccer the more I realized that it is indeed the beautiful game!

I am focused on helping players (and parents) develop the skills necessary to find success and enjoyment in this wonderful sport.

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