Bradley Wright-Phillips celebrates Alex Muyl’s goal. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Despite playing without two key starters for the second consecutive match, the Red Bulls rolled to a 3-1 victory over the hapless San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium Saturday night.
The win kept the Red Bulls in pace with Atlanta United in the race for the Supporters Shield with two games remaining in the regular season.
New York (20-7-5, 65 points) still trails Atlanta (20-6-6, 66), which bested the New England Revolution, 2-1, earlier in the day.
The Red Bulls played without midfielders Daniel Royer (knee) and Tyler Adams (back spasms), who were left back in New Jersey as a precautionary measure. In their 2-0 home win over Atlanta last week, the Red Bulls performed without Bradley Wright-Phillips (yellow-card suspension) and Adams.
Alex Muyl, Wright-Phillips and Aaron Long found the back of the net for the Red Bulls, who won here for the first time since 2010 against the Quakes (4-20-8, 20).
Muyl lifted the Red Bulls into the lead in the 29th minute as he slotted home a rebound of a Michael Murillo shot past goalkeeper James Marcinkowski.
Only three minutes later, BWP slammed home a rebound of his own shot, a header that bounded off the left post. This time an onrushing Wright-Phllips knocked the ball home from the right side of the penalty area for a two-goal advantage.
Wright-Phillips became the first player in Major League Soccer history to score 20 or more goals in three seasons.
And in a rare scoring sequence in any league, a center back set up his fellow center back for a goal. Tim Parker fed Long, who headed the ball past Marcinkowski for a 3-0 bulge.
Chris Wondolowski spoiled goalkeeper Luis Robles’ try for his 14th shutout of the season, scoring in the 83rd minute off a Florian Jungwirth assist. Wondo’s 144th career MLS goal moved him within one of the league record of 145 set by the retired Landon Donovan.