HARRISON, N.J. (AP) _ Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a goal and set up another as the New York Red Bulls defeated D.C. United 2-0 on Sunday in a home opener that was marked by disgruntled fans chanting support for former coach Mike Petke who was fired after last season.
Lloyd Sam scored his second goal of the season for the Red Bulls’ other goal, while Luis Robles recorded the shutout with five saves in the home debut of new coach Jesse Marsch.
Chris Pontius sent a penalty kick about five feet over the crossbar in second-half injury time to keep D.C. United off the board.
The biggest surprise came at the start of the game when the Red Bulls’ most loyal fans behind their goal chanted “Michael Petke” over and over and held up a banner “Legends Deserve Better.”
Petke led the Red Bulls to the playoffs in both his seasons as coach, guiding them to the Supporter’s Shield in 2013 and within a round of the MLS Cup last season.
Wright-Phillips, who tied the MLS single-season record with 27 regular-season goals in 2014, got his first in the 25th minute. He took a long pass from Dax McCarty on the edge of the box, took a touch to settle the ball and then right-footed it into the corner of the net beyond the reach of goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
A takeaway by Felipe Martins sent Wright-Phillips toward the goal in the second half and he found Sam on the right side of the penalty box for a shot that beat Hamid short side in the 71st minute.
The Red Bulls, who saw Thierry Henry retire after last season and a massive roster overhaul, had the better of the play in the opening half, taking nine shots and getting five corner kicks.
D.C. United had two excellent chances with the best coming in the 33rd minute when Robles made a sprawling save on a shot in the box by Chris Rolfe and McCarty then had to make a sliding tackle to clear the loose rebound.
Pontius also got off a good header on a United corner kick in the 37th minute, but it was right at Robles and he had no problem catching it. Rolfe also had a good chance in the second half after Sam’s goal.