Red Bulls held scoreless – again – in loss to SKC

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

Harrison, NJ – The New York Red Bulls are officially snake-bit.

New York entered Saturday’s match only scoring four goals in as many games – a misleading number as Toronto, New England, and Montreal all managed to hold the Red Bulls off the scoresheet.

Sporting KC became the latest name to that list, taking out New York behind goals from Dom Dwyer and Benny Feilhaber in a 2-0 victory at Red Bull Arena.

“I’m not sure how to explain it,” Marsch stated after the match.  “I mean, I know that when I’m watching my team play that it’s a good team and that we’re in many ways we’re executing game plans the right way, and in a lot of these games I think we come out in many ways as the better team on the day but walk away with not enough goals and giving up too many. So obviously that is a recipe for losses.”

New York was without three of their first choice defenders. In addition to missing offensive linchpin Gonzalo Veron, midfielder Felipe Martins was also out of the lineup due to a suspension following his controversial red card in the previous match vs New England. In fairness, Sporting KC also came into the match without five of their regular contributors.

Nevertheless, on a rainy and cold Saturday evening, with the roster spread thin and a stagnant offense, the Red Bulls simply could not avoid the loss.

The match went much like previous losses. For large swaths of time, the Red Bulls controlled possession, but lacked finishing. The more frustration the Red Bulls faced, the sloppier it got.

With Connor Lade on the end of a tremendous run into the attacking third, the Red Bulls were left exposed on the first goal. Graham Zusi made his way up the wing, uncontested, leaving Karl Ouimette and Sean Davis to defend the cross.  As Ouimette directed Davis, Zusi lined up a beautiful cross to Benny Feilhaber who put the ball past Luis Robles in the 17th minute.

SKC’s second goal came off another defensive mistake. On a throw in, Chris Duvall, playing centerback in his first start of the season, got out muscled by Dom Dwyer. Dwyer put the ball passed a helpless Roblesin the 60th minute for the second and final goal of the match.

The Red Bulls had their chances. However, lack of finishing continues to be a major storyline for the Red Bulls. Striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, still without a goal, finished the first half with eight shots, and two on target. The most egregious miss from the former MLS Golden Boot winner, however, came with a second half PK attempt that was turned aside by Tim Melia.

“It’s frustrating as a striker,” Wright-Phillips said after the match. “When you get the chances, you want to put them away. But again, it’s just not the day.”

The Red Bulls (1-4-0) face short rest and a roster that continues to be thin. New York will travel to the West Coast to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.

Scoring Summary:
SKC – Benny Feilhaber (2) (Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer) 17′
SKC – Dom Dwyer (3) (Saad Abdul-Salaam) 60′
Misconduct Summary:
NY – Sal Zizzo (caution, dissent) 44′
SKC – Roger Espinoza (caution, foul) 74′
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Connor Lade, Karl Ouimette, Chris Duvall, Sal Zizzo, Dax McCarty © (Alex Muyl, 85′), Sean Davis, Sacha Kljestan (Shaun Wright-Phillips, 75′), Lloyd Sam (Anatole Abang, 65′), Mike Grella, Bradley Wright-Phillips
TOTAL SHOTS: 22; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1.
 
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Chance Myers (Saad Abdul-Salaam, 52′), Kevin Ellis (Ike Opara, 42′), Amadou Dia, Nuno Coelho, Roger Espinoza (Jimmy Medrana, 90+ 3′), Benny Feilhaber, Lawrence Olum, Connor Hallisey, Dominic Dwyer, Graham Zusi ©
TOTAL SHOTS: 7; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 4; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 6.
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Referee’s Assistants: Eric Boria, Craig Lowry
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
Attendance: 21,406