Kaku scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. — Despite recording a 2-0 home victory over reeling Toronto FC Saturday, the Red Bulls could not make any ground on Atlanta United in the MLS Supporters Shield race.
Kaku and Derrick Etienne, Jr. scored second-half goals to lead New York to a 2-0 vcitory at Red Bull Arena while Atlanta enjoyed the same result against Real Salt Lake Saturday night.
The wins set up a confrontation between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference, with the Red Bulls (18-7-5, 59 points) hosting Atlanta (19-5-6, 63) next Sunday at 1 p.m.
With four matches remaining in the regular season, the Red Bulls’ 18 wins tied the franchise record set in 2015.
Kaku broke a scoreless tie in the 70th men when he got his foot on a loose ball inside the six-yard box and snuck it past Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Alex Bono for his fifth game-winning goal of the season. In fact, all five of Kaku’s goals have been game-winners.
In extra time, Bradley Wright-Phillips lofted a ball over Eriq Zavaleta for Derrick Etienne, Jr., who chipped his shot over Bono for his fourth goal this season. BWP recorded his eighth league assist of the season, surpassing his previous best of seven set in 2015.
Goalkeeper Luis Robles recorded four saves for his 11th clean sheet. He is second in MLS behind Sporting KC’s Tim Melia’s league-best 12.
Robles’ 11 shutouts tied his career best. It is the third time in his career with 11 shutouts, also reaching the mark in 2013 and 2016. The Red Bulls’ captain moved into a tie with Tony Meola for eighth in league history with 97 wins while also raising his shutout total to 60.