After a grueling four-game road trip where the New York Red Bulls registered a 0-1-3 record against the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes, the Red Bulls made a triumphant return to Red Bull Arena as they throttled Toronto FC 5-0 in front of 15,269 fans.
Winning for only the second time in their past 12 games, the Red Bulls finally lived up to the Southward's expectations. For one night, the Red Bulls didn't have any goalkeeping issues. Nor did they allow any goals off a set piece play. Overall, the Red Bulls played one their best games in recent memory. In doing so, they helped Greg Sutton appear as a "world beater" on Wednesday night.
Granted they faced a second to last place Eastern Conference team in Toronto FC, but when a team such as the Red Bulls are unable to produce wins, any form of victory is relevant. In a game where they had the opportunity to momentarily reclaim the Eastern Conference off the Philadelphia Union, the Red Bulls didn't squander there opportunities to score and maintain leads.
From the very beginning the Red Bulls aggressively attacked the net as they ravenously controlled a 10-4 advantage on shots in the first half. However, it wasn't until the 33rd minute of the game that Thierry Henry accepted Jan Gunnar Soli's pass to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 advantage.
Henry's goal also marked the 15th straight game where the Red Bulls have scored in the first half. Building momentum off Henry's ninth goal of the season, Luke Rogers netted his sixth goal in the 38th minute when he duplicated Henry's acceptance of Soli's pass to give his teammates a 2-0 advantage.
It almost became 3-0 when it appeared Joel Lindpere scored his third goal in two games with a fantastic in-swing kick in extra time. Much to the South Ward's chagrin, the official waived off the goal due to Luke Rogers questionable interference on Toronto's GK Stefan Frei.
After a dominant first half, the Red Bulls continued to attack the net and they where rewarded for their efforts as they produced three second half goals. Joel Linpere scored for the third time in two games in the 52nd minute. Accepting a pass from Dane Richards, Lindpere was able to give his teammates some more breathing room.
After an excellent performance from Luke Rodgers, he was replaced by Juan Agudelo in the 56th minute. Making the most of his opportunity, Juan Agudelo made it 4-0 Red Bulls when he brilliantly scored off a corner kick in the 67th minute of the game. Agudelo added the exclamation point when his goal in the 89th minute gave the Red Bulls a 5-0 over a shell-shocked Toronto FC.
Now in first place of the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls (6-3-10) will have an opportunity to hold on to their top spot when they rival D.C. United invades Red Bull Arena on Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Other MLS Results from Wednesday Night
On Wednesday night, Sporting Kansas City (5-6-6) hosted defending MLS Cup champions the Colorado Rapids (5-5-9) at the Livestrong Sporting Park. Playing in front of 15,209, Sporting K.C. rallied to tie the Rapids in the 62nd minute when Graham Zusi matched Conor Casey's goal.
Meanwhile Jeff Cunningham scored his 133rd career goal in dramatic fashion when he produced a game winner in the 90th minute to give the Columbus Crew (7-5-6) a hard-earned 1-0 road win over the hard-luck Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2-9-8) who lost for the third consecutive game.
Over at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Chivas USA's (5-7-6) four-game winless drought came to an end when Ben Zemanski and Nick LaBrocca created a victorious monsoon as both players each produced a goal in the second half in a 2-0 victory San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-6) who themselves haven't won in their past four games.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press and USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.