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Bruised, battered Alex Muyl puts in strong shift in Red Bulls’ loss to Orlando City

Mar 23, 2019; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl (19) controls the ball as Orlando City SC defender Shane O'Neill (12) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

HARRISON, N.J. — Here are three things we learned from the New York Red Bulls1-0 loss to Orlando City SC Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.

Muyl the unsung hero

In a 4-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes a week ago at Red Bull Arena, Alex Muyl was the offensive hero with his first MLS brace. In defeat Saturday night, Muyl showcased his versatility in a solid defensive performance.

When Connor Lade went down with a quad injury midway through the first half, Omir Fernandez came off the substitute’s bench and Muyl slotted in at left back. It’s a position that’s not foreign to him, but Muyl hasn’t played there in a match in a while.

It was yeoman’s work for Muyl, who was bruised and battered throughout, taking a ball off his face and his midsection and appearing to injure his left knee late when making a recovery run and sliding to break up what would have been a sure Orlando insurance goal.

“Alex came in and did a pretty good job at left back, I’d say,” Red Bulls coach Chris Armas said. “We’ve used him in that position before so we felt comfortable going that route.”

Seeing Yellow

Red Bulls captain Luis Robles was booked after the final whistle by referee Allen Chapman for dissent. The genesis of his displeasure was rooted in Orlando’s late-game time-wasting tactics, specially when Orlando defender Kyle Smith threw the ball away following a foul by Uri Rosell on Bradley Wright-Phillips in midfield.

Robles raced out to midfield to scream at Chapman, and then sought out the referee to complain more. After being shown the yellow card, Robles was restrained by Red Bulls assistant coach CJ Brown.

While Robles didn’t want to talk about his card after the game, Armas explained the frustration.

“You could see that it was a deliberate attempt to slow the game down and they were taking time, which, as a league, I don’t think we want this to look that way and it’s being addressed,” Armas said.

Honoring ‘Flo’

In a heartwarming salute to their fallen teammate, all the Red Bulls players wore No. 22 warmup tops in the pregame for Florian Valot, the midfielder who went down with a season-ending ACL injury a week ago against the Quakes.

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