Marsch: Player Choices ‘Unbalance Teams’

Matt Kremkau

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Jesse Marsch had a large selection of talent to pull from in his team’s 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon and it appears to be part of the plan. In his third year with the Red Bulls, he is looking to “unbalance” the opposition.

“I think the ability for us to make changes within the game from personnel perspective and from tactical perspective means that we can unbalance teams,” said Marsch. “I think its exciting to know that each game you’re going to have at least three on the bench that can give you minutes and be very effective.”

The second striker position appears to be a revolving door next to Bradley Wright-Phillips. Initially Gonzalo Veron was slotted into that spot but removed because of injuries during the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League. For the first week of the season, Sacha Kljestan played in that role and now Derrick Etienne Jr. in Week 2. The signing of Fredrik Gulbrandsen gives Marsch a third option and he could be featured in the starting XI next week.

“Part of the reason to bring in Fredrik Gulbrandsen in here is because we think he could be a really good partner with for Brad (Wright-Phillips),” said Marsch. “Sometimes we’ll use Sacha up there, which we’ve done already. Sometimes we’ll play with two, sometimes we’ll play with three.”

While the options seem plentiful, New York has only scored one goal from a Red Bull shoe out of three this season. Both of their game winners in Atlanta and against Colorado were own goals. Scoring woes early in the season are nothing new for the Red Bulls. Last season the team started its first two weeks with scoreless efforts against Toronto and Montreal. The own goals are a welcome sight for Marsch and his team.

“We’ve been rewarded with two own goals in here in the first two games,” said Marsch. “As the season goes on, I think we’ll get sharper and better, and we won’t need to count on own goals as much.”