Prior to yesterday’s match, the Red Bulls’ back four played a grand total of ten starts in Major League Soccer competition. If you add the keeper to the mix, it’s just 17. Only two of the five players are regular starters on the team. The average age of this quintet? 23.7 years of age.
Regardless of the numbers, the defensive line and their star rookie keeper played above and beyond expectations. Tyler Ruthven played a steady partner to an impressive Markus Holgersson. Brandon Barklage was equally effective on the defensive end as he was on distribution. Connor Lade enjoyed a fantastic bounce back game as well. All in all, the young guns did what the starters failed to do all year; help Ryan Meara earn his first career shutout.
Now putting things into perspective, the Revolution are hardly an offensive dynamo. Outside of Saer Sene, you would be hard pressed to find an attacking threat amongst them all. Still, the victory was a major feat for a team that needed three points in an absolutely daunting situation. You can credit the backline for that result.