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Highlights: Own goal decisive as New York rises to top of Supporters’ Shield chase

Sep 22, 2013, 10:41 PM EDT

The week-in, week-out results haven’t been overwhelming, but group them all together and you have a team that’s now leading the Supporters’ Shield race. After their 1-0 win this evening at Red Bull Arena, that’s where New York sit, a four-game winning streak leaving Mike Petke’s team one point clear at the top of the league.

Credit the first year coach for getting his team re-focused after Aug. 25th’s loss at Chivas USA, with wins over D.C. United, Houston, and Toronto preceding today’s 1-0 over Dallas. But to get today’s result, New York needed some unexpected help from FCD midfielder Erick, whose inexplicable play of a Jonny Steele cross made his 76th minute own goal the decider. As you’ll see in the highlights, above, it was one of the most beguiling touches you’ll ever see, with some kind of lack of balance, spasm, or brain cramp leading to New York’s only goal.

To New York’s credit, they were the slightly better team throughout, but there are a number of games you saw that about a team can’t claim more than a point. On Sunday, Red Bull needed some unexpected help from a particularly generous source.

With the result, New York are now three points clear of Sporting KC in the East. Still, the only win they have over a playoff team since Aug. 3’s 3-2 at Sporting Park is their victory over the then-collapsing Dynamo. In that sense, Red Bull’s rise hasn’t been particularly impressive, even if all the points count the same.

When they visit West-leading Seattle next Sunday, we’ll get a better idea of what Petke’s team’s capable of, but until then, the Red Bulls have the league’s second best attack, a defense that’s allowing 1.20 goals per game, and the most points in Major League Soccer.

  1. gillyrosh - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Always wary of any streak from this Jekyll and Hyde NY team.

  2. perrinbar - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    You guys are hip to the stats and stuff, could you please stick to talking about things in terms of PPG and not total points? MLS schedules things terribly, but it’s incredibly misleading to say that the Red Bull are leading the standings when the Sounders have 2 games in hand and a higher PPG and SKC has a game in hand that puts them even if they win. I realize games in hand aren’t actually points, but it is still painting an inaccurate picture.

    • Richard Farley - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      It’s not painting an inaccurate picture to say they’re leading the standings. They are. If you want to point out Seattle have a number of games in hand, feel free to do so. At the same time, don’t underestimate people’s ability to know that point totals don’t tell the whole picture. People are smart enough to remember/know other teams may/may not have games in hand.

      • njsurfchick - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM

        Egggggs-actly. Thanks for giving us some credit, Richard.

  3. talgrath - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Pumped for next week’s game between the Red Bulls and the Sounders. The winner of the game between the Sounders and the Red Bulls could clinch a playoff spot, depending on how things shake out in other games.

  4. braxtonrob - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Beating FC Dallas (my club) right now is like beating your little sister – meaningless.

    • njsurfchick - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      3 points are never meaningless.

  5. bishopofblunder - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Olave made a great save in goal in this game. [sarcasm]

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