The Red Bulls’ amazing unbeaten streak is over, and their season may end soon

Eric Bolte/Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls entered the MLS Cup Playoffs unbeaten in 20 straight matches. Their last loss came all the way back on July 3, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of New York City FC. Since then, they shot up to first place in the Eastern Conference and looked like the favorites to win MLS Cup.

Then they got beat by the Montreal Impact on Sunday.

New York's 1-0 loss at the hands of Montreal now has them one match away from playoff elimination. The two-legged tie will revert to Red Bull Arena next week, where the Impact only need a draw to eliminate New York. Moreover, because the Red Bulls failed to score an away goal, the Impact could also advance with any one-goal loss in which they score a goal.

That the Impact were able to keep the Red Bulls off the scoreboard was shocking. Now only are New York the second-highest scoring team in the league, but they feature MLS's top goalscorer in Bradley Wright-Phillips and the top assist man in Sacha Kljestan. Losing for the first time in 20 matches was shocking enough, but not scoring was unbelievable.

This Red Bulls team is supposed to be different than the ones that preceded them. The club has never won MLS Cup before, but this team was thought to be the one to break through. Nearly four months unbeaten will make people think that. So will Wright-Phillips and Kljestan. Now, with their backs against the wall in the second leg, they'll have to show that they are indeed different.

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