July 19th, 2024

Red Bulls extend unbeaten run at home to 12 games with 3-0 win over Toronto FC

By The Canadian Press on June 22, 2024.

Toronto FC forward Cassius Mailula, left and New York Red Bulls defender Sean Nealis, right, battle for a header during an MLS soccer match, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls stretched their unbeaten run at home to 12 games in all competitions with a 3-0 win over slumping Toronto FC in a weather-delayed MLS game Saturday.

Brazilian forward Elias Manoel, Norwegian winger Dennis Gjengaar and substitute Cameron Harper scored for the Red Bulls (9-4-7). Toronto had few answers for the Red Bulls’ fast-paced game and offered little in attack.

Toronto (7-10-3) has now lost three straight, is winless in its last six league outings (0-4-2) and had won just one of its last nine (1-6-2).

Red Bull Arena has been a fortress of late.

The Red Bulls, who are 6-0-3 at home this season, came into weekend play as one of the three remaining sides yet to lose at home, along with the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC.

The New Yorkers are also unbeaten in their last 10 meetings (7-0-3) with Toronto, home and away, with TFC last winning July 7, 2019 – a 2-1 decision at BMO Field. New York has a 17-2-2 career home record against Toronto.

Referee Joe Dickerson halted the game in the 10th minute due to a severe weather warning, with the players leaving the field and spectators asked to leave their seats. The match resumed after a delay of one hour and 40 minutes.

Manoel opened the scoring in the 29th minute by hammering a howitzer of a shot from just outside the Toronto penalty box for his fourth of the season. Goalkeeper Luka Gavran got a hand to the ball but could not stop it.

Defender Noah Eile found Manoel with a long pass straight down the middle of the field, with Frankie Amaya’s dummy run holding the defence slightly.

Toronto midfielder Alonso Coello exited in the 38th minute, clutching the back of his leg after going down awkwardly.

TFC shot itself in the foot in the 47th minute when defender Kevin Long’s errant pass was intercepted by Wiki Carmona. The Venezuelan winger raced toward the Toronto goal and curled in a cross that a sliding Gjengaar knocked home for his first MLS goal.

Toronto wobbled for a while after the second goal, struggling in its own penalty box.

Italian star Lorenzo Insigne, Toronto’s stand-in captain, came off in the 70th minute after making little impact in the game.

Harper added to TFC’s pain in the 75th, heading unchecked to the Toronto penalty box after Dylan Nealis collected another errant Toronto pass. Harper shimmied his way toward goal before sending a shot through Aime Mabika’s legs past Gavran for his fourth of the season.

Amaya came off in the 87th minute in what could be his final game for the Red Bulls, with reports of an imminent move to Mexico.

Coach John Herdman made just one change to the starting 11 that lost 2-1 to visiting Nashville mid-week with defender Sigurd Rosted replacing Raoul Petretta, who remained in Toronto awaiting the birth of his first child.

The teams came out with purpose after the weather delay and the game resumed in high gear, as is the Red Bulls’ want.

Belgian winger Dante Vanzeir tested Gavran from a tight angle in the 20th minute. Toronto’s best chance of the half was a weak shot from Federico Bernardeschi that went straight at goalkeeper Ryan Meara.

Gavran, after a poor clearance, made fine a one-handed save to deny Carmona in the 55th minute. And the Toronto ‘keeper had to be sharp in the 64th, diving to parry a dangerous long-range effort through traffic from Daniel Edelman.

Teenager Julian Hall came on in the 78th minute for the Red Bulls. Hall became the second-youngest goal-scorer in league history at 16 years 87 days when he scored the tying goal off the bench in a 2-2 draw mid-week at CF Montreal. Freddy Adu holds the record at 14 years 320 days.

TFC had three players away on international duty at Copa America with captain/midfielder Jonathan Osorio and fullback/wingback Richie Laryea with Canada and goalkeeper Sean Johnson with the U.S. Defender Shane O’Neill, wingback Tyrese Spicer and midfielder Brandon Servania were injured.

Toronto FC II teenage midfielder Charlie Staniland was on the TFC bench after signing an MLS short-term agreement.

The Red Bulls were without starting goalkeeper and top two scorers. Goalkeeper Carlos Coronel is with Paraguay at Copa America while Lewis Morgan, the Red Bulls’ leading scorer, is at Euro 2024 with Scotland. Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg, second in scoring on the team, sat out with a foot injury.

New York, which was winless in its last three games (0-1-2), was also without the injured Roald Mitchell, Serge Ngoma and Peter Stroud.

The Red Bulls sporting director is Julian de Guzman, a former Canada captain and Toronto designated player.


Toronto plays at Atlanta United next Saturday, while the Red Bulls host D.C. United.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2024.

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