2018 MLS Season comes to an end for Orlando City with final day loss as New York Red Bulls take title

A goal from Derrick Etienne Jr. in the 53rd minute condemned Orlando City to their 22nd defeat of a disastrous season on Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey. With the win the New York Red Bulls clinched the Eastern Conference MLS Supporters’ Shield as they played leap frog over Atlanta United who lost 4-1 in Toronto. Orlando, meanwhile, finished bottom of the league with just 28 points from 34 games, their lowest ever total since joining MLS in 2015.

Needing an Atlanta slip up and then requiring either a draw or a win to clinch their third Supporters Shield, the Red Bulls found it difficult to get through a resolute Orlando defence. The telling move came eight minutes into the second half when Etienne Jr. received a pass from Michael Murillo. He then sped through the box, sidestepped Lions defender Shane O’Neill and placed a right-footed shot into the right hand side of the net.

The goal settled the Red Bulls nerves having previously missed a 15th minute penalty as Bradley Wright-Phillips was clumsily taken down in the box by Mohamed El-Munir. Etienne Jr. stepped up and with a little help from Sacha Kljestan pointing to Adam Grinwis’ right, the Orlando keeper pulled off a good save.

In the 64th minute, Orlando had the ball in the net as Dom Dwyer headed home an El-Munir cross but the goal was correctly ruled out by the officials as Dwyer was a few steps offside.

New York Red Bulls will start the playoffs next weekend at home after a first-round playoff bye while Orlando City will now begin work on improving their team ready for the 2019 season.

Lineups/Substitutions:

New York Red Bulls – GK ⓒ Luis Robles, D Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Michael Murillo, Sean Davis, Tyler Adams, Alex Muyl (Daniel Royer 79’), Kaku, Derrick Etienne (Fidel Escobar 73’), F Bradley Wright-Phillips (Brian White 90+2’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ryan Meara, D Connor Lade, M Andreas Ivan, Cristian Casseres

Orlando City SC – GK Adam Grinwis, D Amro Tarek, Chris Schuler, Shane O’Neill, Scott Sutter, M Yoshimar Yotún, Uri Rosell, Mohamed El-Munir, ⓒ Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller (Josué Colmán 70’), F Dom Dwyer

Substitutes Not Used: GK Joe Bendik, D Donny Toia, M Will Johnson, Tony Rocha, Cam Lindley

Attendance: 20,023

 

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