HARRISON, N.J. – If someone were to label the New York Red Bulls the “gold standard in the East,” the last person you would predict to utter those words would be Ben Olsen.
However, after his side was thrashed by New York 3-0 in Harrison on Sunday night, bravado made way for a rare moment of humility from the DC boss.
“If you don’t take care of the ball at times, they’re well drilled in punishing you for mistakes in bad areas. Do that once or twice, and you find yourself chasing the game against what I think right now is the gold standard in the East,” Olsen told reporters after the match on Sunday night.
“I give them a lot of credit; we weren’t at our best, and they played well throughout their team.”
The stats back up that assertion. New York outshot DC 24-9, with an 8-2 edge in shots on target. They out possessed their guests 56.5% to 43.5%, seeing their passing percentage (82%) and total passes (569) far outpace DC United’s possession (75%) and attempts (431). In fact, had Bill Hamid not tilted saves 5-2 in favor of DC, the outcome would have been far worse.
All of that added to a resounding Red Bulls victory — and a scoreline that could have been even uglier than the 3-0 final score.
“I think they’re a good team, and we weren’t as good as them tonight,” Olsen concedes. “Early on, we had to rely on Bill, but they do a great job of pressing. If you can’t deal with that part of them, that’s what it’s going to look like.”