RBNY Notebook: Marsch Looks to Fans for Support

Matt Kremkau

By ANTHONY J. MERCED

Red Bulls logoCoach Jesse Marsch has struggled to motivate the Red Bulls, citing a recent loss of identity. He appealed to the club’s fans for support, and invoked the mythical “12th man.”

“We need the 12th man,” Marsch said. “That’s where we’re at right now. We need everybody behind the team, everyone in the organization, all our fans, we need to push this team through and help them become what we know they can be.”

While trying to put a motivational spin on the team’s current three-game losing streak, Marsch sidestepped the team’s troublesome tactical issues. Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips struggled to make a productive connection largely because the midfield has not provided quality distribution. The Red Bulls have failed to spread the field or impose their high press. That was apparent during the team’s lackluster 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy last the weekend in which they were forced to chase the game after yielding two goals in the opening 10 minutes.

Marsch tried to make his case to the fans, who sat through 90 minutes of bad soccer from the Red Bulls (5-6-1, 16 points) last week.

“I apologize to the fans after Sunday’s performance,” Marsch said. “Over the last two years, even you could look back to the past eight years, and say this team has been fun to watch when we play at home.”

Collin Nearing Return

Aurelien Collin‘s injury has left the Red Bulls with a hole at center back. He may back soon, but it won’t be against first-place Toronto (7-1-4, 25 points) on Friday night. TFC comes to Red Bull Arena riding a six-game winning streak.

“Most importantly, we don’t want to put him in a position to get re-injured,” Jesse Marsch said. “He’s back out here again and I think he’ll be in training soon. Good, positive, signs.”

Collin has been out with an abdominal strain since April 22. In that span, New York has only one win and zero shutouts in four games. Damien Perrinelle has slotted into Collin’s position but hasn’t developed the same partnership with the rookie Aaron Long.

Red Bulls II Struggling

NYRB II (3-4-2, 11), the reigning champion in the United Soccer League, has also been on a dreadful run. Last week, they lost by 5-1 to the Charlotte Independence and then dropped the second game of the doubleheader at Red Bull Arena to the Los Angeles Galaxy II, 2-1. The team led in both games, only to surrender leads because of poor defensive positioning.

Hassan Ndam and Justin Bilyeu have developed a solid partnership, but at times find themselves trapped up the field. The pressure heaped on them isn’t helped because the team hasn’t been able to produce on offense in the way it did in 2016.

Red Bulls II returns to MSU Soccer Park, where they have yet to lose a game, host the Ottawa Fury (1-3-3,6) on Saturday.