Chris Armas: “We know there’s real work to do for the ultimate prize.” (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
HARRISON, N.J. — Outside of winning 5-0 or 6-0, it really could not have been a better day for the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena Sunday.
Not only did they clinch their third Supporters Shield title in six seasons, they also set several Major League Soccer records in their 1-0 win over Orlando City SC.
That included the most wins in a season (22) and points (71) en route to a sterling 22-7-5 record.
Not too shabby for a team that had two head coaches this past campaign. Jesse Marsch started as the head man before he was lured to join sister franchise RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga in June.
Under Chris Armas, the Red Bulls hardly missed a beat. In fact, the Brentwood, N.Y. native became the third coach in franchise history to win a Supporters Shield in his first season, joining Mike Petke (2013) and Marsch (22015).
“Listen, it’s tremendous,” Armas said of the league records. “We haven’t talked about the breaking the record for points. Like towards the end of the year, when we were asked many questions about the Supporters’ Shield, the result of getting better each game would be you put yourself in this spot tonight you know, to end up with 71 points, something that maybe stands for a bit, you know, talked about some great teams. But we know there’s real work to do for the ultimate prize.”
That would be MLS Cup. If they survive that long in the playoffs, the Red Bulls would host it at RBA Dec. 8.
Until then, they will be the team to beat as Supporters Shield winners.
On Sunday night, the team was basking in the glory.
“What an amazing feeling,” center back Aaron Long said. “To do what this group of guys that are so special – we’ve talked about how good this locker room is as a unit all year and how much we value each other. It’s so special to do it with this group of guys. Our fans deserve it for sure, so it’s just an amazing feeling.”