Marsch: ‘Imperfect’ Season Opener

New York Red Bulls


New York Red Bulls Coach Jesse Marsch sees his team’s Major League Soccer season opener as an “imperfect” performance after a late winner against Atlanta United. The opposition controlled most of the game but New York was able to conjure two late goals and steal a win.

“Imperfect is what I would call that performance,” Marsch said. “It’s early in the year so we are still working through getting our group sharp and getting the tactics down. Atlanta tested us in a big way in the first half and we took a punch but hung in there.”

Marsch’s tactics were noticeably different than n years past. The 4-4-2 formation didn’t provide the same level of high-pressure the team became known for employing. Instead, New York appeared more interested in building play with two strikers but found itself giving up possession and not regaining it in the midfield.

“We talked about it at halftime just giving a little bit more,” Marsch said. “I thought, for the most part, in the second half, the effort was really good. Obviously, a great comeback and a lot of spirit within the team.”

New York was also missing Gonzalo Verón was scratched after an injury during the CONCACAF Champions League. Sacha Kljestan stepped in to fill the striker gap, which also strongly affected their midfield play. No time-frame was put on Verón’s recovery. Another week without Verón could continue to slow the progress of Marsch’s new system.