Final Thoughts: Red Bulls 2-0 DC United

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DENY GALLAGHER
Staff Writer

It was an afternoon that began with all eyes looking toward the Petke protests in the South Ward, but at the end of 90 minutes, all the talk was about the team’s dynamic performance against rival DC United.

Here are some takeaways from Sunday’s Red Bulls v. DC United match:

Business As Usual

It was a hot talking point during the offseason. Can Bradley-Wright Phillips replicate his monster 2014 campaign without the support of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill?

It didn’t take him long to address his doubters. In the 25th minute, Dax McCarty sent a searching ball (and I use that term very loosely) into the box that found an on-running Wright Phillips. With a flick over his head, the Englishman was able to beat DC United keeper Bill Hamid for a sensational goal on the volley.

It had flash. It had flair. It showed stability.

For years, Red Bulls/Metrostars supporters have seen world-class goals from likes of Gio Savarese, Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, and Thierry Henry.

With the control, the flick, and the finish, Red Bulls fans saw the same product they have for years — minus the legendary resume. Not only did Wright-Phillips prove his quality once again, but the entire organization was able to prove that Sunday’s result was business as usual.

Patchwork Defense Proving Strong

The absence of Ronald Zubar and Roy Miller against DC United certainly did not bring comfort to Red Bull fans ahead of the home opener.

And it didn’t get much better when Damien Perrinelle, Matt Miazga, Kemar Lawrence and Chris Duvall were the announced starters.

Despite that doubt, the foursome played as a unit, giving the makeshift DC attack little room to breath — and less time to challenge Luis Robles.

Perrinelle has been heralded by Dax McCarty as the best defensive player on the team through preseason and into the present day.  The French journeyman certainly showed his class in leading the back four and shielding his partner, Matt Miazga, from some of the blushes which come with young players.  That isn’t to take away from the young defender; Miazga certainly earned praise for his contributions as well.

While questions persist on the back line, the team’s depth players are proving more than capable of answering the call.

Ides of Marsch

For the first time in ages, the Red Bulls have a manager that is more concerned about the product on the field than making headlines off it. Both Petke and Backe were guys who would tell you exactly what they thought. Jesse Marsch wants to let the team’s quality, and more importantly, the results speak for themselves.

There is no right or wrong way to coach a team in any sport. However, with RBNY’s new noisy neighbors up in the Bronx, publicity became that much harder to get in the media capital of the world. At the end of the day, New York soccer became a battle for the back page, just like it is in all the other sports. If Marsch is successful on the field, he should get comfortable making headlines off of it.

  • Do you think the lack of Espindola,Johnson and Silva had something to do with it? DC was woefully bad, not RB being blissfully good. Cmon now how about some real objectivity for crissake…

  • Joe

    What makes you think that Mike Petke was more concerned about headlines off the field than the product on the field?