A lone goal from Luke Rodgers was all the Red Bulls would need to beat Sporting KC in front of 20,636 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
The goal was Rodgers third of the season, and third in three games since being inserterd into the starting lineup.
For New York it was their third straight shutout victory. With the win, they retake first place in the East from the Houston Dynamo.
For Sporting, the loss was their third in a row. Six games into a 10-game road stretch to begin the season, they have not won an MLS game since their season opener, and they remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The Red Bulls started the match strong with several half chances as Sporting sat back and let the home team attack. New York should have taken an early lead in the 13th minute, when Thierry Henry fed a pass from the left side of the penalty area to a charging Dwayne De Rosario. Receiving the ball, De Rosario was tugged slightly by Sporting midfielder Stephane Auvray, and referee Andrew Chapin wasted no time calling a penalty.
A stutter-step in Rafa Márquez’s approach to the ball did not fool Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who dove to his left to make the save and keep the game scoreless.
Luke Rodgers Goal vs Sporting KC
The Red Bulls continued attacking, and in the 22nd minute they finally broke through. Márquez atoned for his penalty-kick miss with a quickly taken free kick around midfield, surprising the Sporting defense. His pass found Henry, who flicked the ball into the path of De Rosario on the right flank. The Canadian international took a touch down the wing and struck a low cross into the middle, where Rodgers one-timed it past Nielsen.
NY Red Bulls vs Sporting KC Recap
- NY -- Luke Rodgers 3 (Dwayne De Rosario 2, Thierry Henry 3) 22
- NY -- Luke Rodgers (caution; Reckless Foul) 32
- NY -- Teemu Tainio (caution; Reckless Foul) 42
- NY -- Mehdi Ballouchy (caution; Simulation) 93+
Next up for NY Red Bulls: at L.A. Galaxy
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