Red Bulls teammates congratulate Aaron Long on his goal. (Leah Stauffer-USA TODAY Sports)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – By besting D.C. United, 2-0, Saturday night, the Red Bulls put several negative streaks to rest.
A forward, Daniel Royer, scored for the first time this season, snapping a 10-game scoreless streak.
The Red Bulls broke a 263-minute scoreless streak in which they were blanked in two consecutive games.
And the visitors scored more than one goal for the first time since their opening match of the season in March.
Yes, the Red Bulls met struggling United, which has endured many problems, including finding the net as of late. But a win is a win is a win and counts three points in the MLS Eastern Conference standings.
Bradley Carnell secured his first win as the Red Bulls interim coach as the victory boosted New York to 4-5-2 and 14 points while United fell to 2-5-4.
“From what felt like the longest game of my life, turned into the three points we needed on the night,” Carnell, whose Red Bulls fell to Philadelphia in his debut last week, 3-0. “Very proud of the performance the guys put in. Through the effort and through the willingness, knew we had to respond. We had a couple of days extra to work with and we knew that through the week in training, with what we saw and the way we planned. ”
“It feels good,” said center Aaron Long, who scored the first goal. “We’ve had a couple down weeks with some ties and some losses and a pretty bad loss last week at home, which we’re not used to. So it feels good to finally feel like the hard work is paying off and we’re back to business and back to three points.”
Midfielder Dru Yearwood said the win and three points was “massive.”
“It wasn’t more so about the points, it was more so, even a point is something to build on and we really wanted to respond and give a performance to be proud of tonight, regardless of the result,” he said. “I think this three points, confidence wise, should do the boys and myself a lot of good.”
Goalkeeper Ryan Meara, who was forced from the game in the 62nd minute, and David Jensen, shared the shutout. Meara made two key saves earlier to keep United off the scoreboard.
Long celebrated his return to the lineup after recovering from a hamstring injury by lifting the Red Bulls into the lead in the 29th minute. Kaku, who assisted on both goals, sent a long free kick into the area that Long headed past goalkeeper Chris Seitz from seven yards for a one-goal lead.
That forced D.C. to come out of its shell and try to attack.
Royer, who tallied earlier this season as a midfielder, made it 2-0 as he volleyed home Jason Pendant’s left-wing cross from 12 yards on the hour.