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Derrick Etienne’s goal for New York Red Bulls may loom large in Atlanta clash

Sep 22, 2018; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls midfielder Derrick Etienne (7) reacts after scoring a goal against Toronto FC 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 Bulls’ 2-0 win over Toronto FC Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.

Etienne to the rescue?

Bradley Wright-Phillips’ suspension for yellow card accumulation leaves a massive hole in the club’s attack for the clash against Atlanta United next Sunday that will have serious Supporters’ Shield implications.

Derrick Etienne is the most likely candidate to get additional minutes, which makes his stoppage-time insurance goal against Toronto FC that much more important.

“It’s good for ‘D’s’ confidence,” Wright-Phillips said. “Derrick on his day is one of the best wingers in this league. He ain’t showed it, but that’s the potential he’s got. It’s good he can have this confidence going into the next week if he’s needed.”

The goal was Etienne’s fourth of the season and first since May 12 when he scored in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

“It’s always good to get goals, especially as an attacking player that’s what you want to do,” Etienne said. “But to be a professional, you can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. There’s other plays I messed up that I could have done better on so nothing is ever perfect. It’s good to get a goal, but the most important thing is to win.”

Making an impact off the bench

Red Bulls coach Chris Armas used all three of his substitutes in the second half and each player — Etienne, Alex Muyl and Fidel Escobar — performed well, according to Red Bulls captain Luis Robles.

“They were great, the subs were great,” Robles said. “They really were. Everyone who stepped on the field — Fidel, Alex, Derrick — the hustle, the work. I think they’re part of the reason why we’re able to get that [first] goal. Derrick created it, the deflection, Kaku staying with the play so the subs were great.”

Kicking Cancer

Red Bulls players wore custom cleats for warmups prior to the match against Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena. The custom cleats were designed with Pediatric Cancer Patients in partnership with Tackle Kids Cancer.

Following the match, the Red Bulls reunited with the children, who designed the cleats while spending a day at Red Bulls practice this summer.

“i just think as professional athletes we have such an incredible platform because people are willing to invite us into their life and just spend a few moments with them and you never know what sort of positive impact you can have on a person’s life,” Robles said. “And yet, from what I hear from the guys when we go to the hospital, when we go to the Special Olympics or a number of great causes this organization has invested in, they go thinking they’re the ones putting a smile on everyone’s face, and yet its the experience that changes them and they understand the responsibility that comes with having the opportunity to be a professional athlete.”

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