Red Bulls Earn A Tough Point On The Road, Draw Columbus, 0-0

"Alex Horwath has a big debut for the Red Bulls in 0-0 draw on the road" Image/Dave Martinez

A patchwork New York Red Bulls side managed to escape Columbus with a 0-0 draw yesterday afternoon. Facing a week to week turnover of seven starters to international duties and injuries alike, a healthy Crew side tested the Red Bulls defense early and often. Carlos Mendes and Stephen Keel formed the central defensive pairing, and they managed to hold the line and protect rookie Alex Horwath, who replaced a concussed Greg Sutton.

Though he didn’t face much danger, the rookie keeper did his part to avoid it. Horwath managed to thwart several chances created by the Crew with well timed dives to disrupt the pass. Fellow debutant Luke Rodgers kept very active in his role up top as well, but never seemed to mesh with his partner Mehdi Ballouchy, who played a quiet, and rather ineffective game. Out of the two shots on goal the Red Bulls managed all game, only Joel Lindperes near blast in extra time managed to test the Columbus Crew.

Today belonged to team defense. The defenders held their line perfectly against the on rushing Crew, catching the black and yellow for six offside calls. Stephen Keel and Carlos Mendes lead the backline well, while Miller and Solli shut down the wing attack. The makeshift midfield may have been ineffectual in its offensive creation, but their ability to backtrack and choke the Crew’s passing game compensated for the teams heavy losses in the starting eleven.

Overall, it was an ugly point on the road. But under the circumstances, it was probably just as good as a win. After all, isn’t the measure of a champion found in the teams ability to beat back adversity? If that is the case, then mission accomplished.

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