Negative Soccer ‘Not a New Tactic’ Against RBNY

Matt Kremkau

By ANTHONY J. MERCED

Jesse Marsch had harsh words for the league and the opposition about the physical nature of play against the New York Red Bulls. This past weekend against Real Salt Lake, five yellow cards were issued against the away side, all in the second half. Never one to stray from addressing the situation, Marsch said:

“This is not a new tactic of playing the Red Bulls. Don’t allow their pressure, foul them when we get on the counter, break up their play when they have the ball, make it hard on their good attacking players. We’ve tried to alert PRO and the league… Oh and, I’m sorry, slow the game down almost obnoxiously. We’ve tried to make that clear to PRO and the league that this is a tactic and that it’s not good for the league.”

This isn’t the first time Marsch has been critical of the league and officials. Before last year’s rivalry game against NYCFC he spent time discussing his feelings on preferential treatment toward star players. Those comments most certainly got into the head of Patrick Vieira to the point where He was ejected from the game. Now, Marsch is directing his barbs again toward the league.

“If you want to watch entertaining football then, when a team gets a foul or a throw in or a goal kick and takes 30 seconds every time, nobody pays money to see that,” Marsch

said. “In an entertainment business, nobody pays money to see that. We were reminding the fourth official, reminding the fourth official, trying to get the word out to the first official and even when they started the second half, he didn’t want to do it until the 60th minute.”

There is some truth in Marsch’s words, however hyperbolic they may be. Last season  nearly every manager mentioned their strategy as being one that stifles New York with physicality or efforts to slow down the game.  The Red Bulls are known for their high-octane approach to the game and, while entertaining, it lends itself to obvious tactics that some may find far less bland. Whether Marsch sees them as bland or simply frustrating for his team’s results isn’t clear. However it is more likely that his team’s trouble scoring goals may be at the heart of it.