Danny Royer connects on his first-half penalty kick. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis
FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

HARRISON, N.J. — No Bradley Wright-Phillips.

No Tyler Adams.

No problem.

Despite playing without of their biggest names, the Red Bulls made a major statement on the MLS Supporters Shield race, dispatching league-leading Atlanta United, 2-0, at a less-than-full Red Bull Arena Sunday afternoon.

Daniel Royer converted a first-half penalty kick and Tim Parker added an insurance goal in the opening half to boost the Red Bulls (19-7-5, 62 points) within a point of Atlanta (19-6-6, 63) with three games remaining for both sides in the regular season.

BWP, the team’s leading goal-scorer (19) watched from the sidelines while serving a one-game yellow-card suspension while Adams did not play due to a back injury that was revealed prior to kickoff.

Goalkeeper Luis Robles, who denied Brandon Vazquez from point-blank range in the 89th minute, secured the shutout.

Except for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, the Red Bulls dominated the match and showed Atlanta who was boss.

United striker Josef Martinez, who set an MLS record for most goals in a season (30), was held scoreless by the Red Bulls’ backline for the fourth consecutive game over two seasons.

Twice the Red Bulls thought they were on the doorstep of a goal and twice they were denied in the first half before an announced attendance of 22,057.

First, referee Robert Sibiga awarded the hosts a penalty kick in the 25th minute as he ruled that goalkeeper Brad Guzan taken tripped birthday boy Alex Muyl after the Atlanta player had tripped the midfielder after saving his shot. However, after further review, the call was negated.

In the 32nd minute, center back Tim Parker deposited the ball into the Atlanta net, but the Red Bulls were offside.

Finally, the Red Bulls got a call their way as Chris McCann was called for a handball in the penalty area. Daniel Royer powered a bullet into the upper left corner as Guzan dived the other way for a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.

Royer PK vs. ATL

GOAL NUMBER 1️⃣1️⃣ FOR 7️⃣7️⃣!

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Video courtesy of the Red Bulls Facebook page

After a surviving an offensive push by the visitors early in the second half, New York gave itself some much needed breathing room in the 74th minute. Kaku, on the right side, fed Marc Rzatkowski in the penalty area and the midfielder sent a ball to an onrushing Muyl on the right side. Muyl sent a shot from a difficult angle that appeared to be going into the net, but Parker made sure it did for a 2-0 advantage.

Tim Parker 1st Goal of the season

Tim Parker with his first goal of the season to extend the lead!

Posted by New York Red Bulls on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Video courtesy of Red Bulls Facebook page

The Red Bulls had a great opportunity to extend their lead to 3-0 in the 86th minute after Eric Remedi was called for a hand ball in the box, but Guzan dove to his right to deny Kaku.