Red Bulls hope derby domination lifts their season

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

BRONX – The pendulum has swung from great to terrible all season long for the New York Red Bulls — and they are certainly hoping their emphatic win over New York City FC keeps momentum on the positive side.

Things have definitely not gone according to plan for the 2016 Red Bulls. After getting bit by the injury bug early on, they’ve spent much of the season on their back foot. Between the disorganized play in the back to the lack of finishing in the front, the beginning of this season has been one that New York would like to forget.

But the memory of Saturday’s 7-0 win over New York City FC is one they hope lasts forever.

“(There were) a bunch of guys on the field who wanted to express just how much they wanted it. It’s been a tough start of the season for us, there’s no doubt. But I felt like in all ways we wanted to go out and make sure this was going to be a performance whether we won or lost that we could hang our hat on – that we could say now ‘Now we’re turning a corner. Now we’re in a big game, and we know what that’s going to take,” Marsch said after the Match on Saturday. “And we were going to do everything in our power to put it on our terms.

“Not in our wildest dreams would we have predicted 7-0, but I think it was an expression of the belief and commitment that this team has for each other and a chance for them to show – mostly themselves – what we’re all about.”

Head Coach Jesse Marsch has weathered frustration and has had an uphill battle to keep his troops focused on the task at hand. On Saturday afternoon, Marsch’s troops capped off a current stretch of matches that has seen them lose only once in their last 6 matches.

But this one was special.

With the one loss coming against DC United, Marsch and his players spoke a lot about how they wanted that performance to be an abberation. The 2-0 loss came mostly on listless play and defensive errors as they stumbled yet again on the road. Even in victory, they showed little improvement against Chicago

Saturday, however, was a statement match.

“It was a question of how much fight they have versus how much fight we have,” Marsch said. “I think we learned a ton from a week ago in DC where we laid a goose egg, and we felt like we never wanted to do that again. I think alot of it had to do with our ability to step on the field and know what it meant to really go after it.”

Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored a first half brace, agreed with his coach.  “We wanted three points. We haven’t been very good on the road. There was a lot we wanted to accomplish in this game and we did all of it.”

Keeper Luis Robles didn’t have much in the way of business on Saturday, but even he saw the importance of turning in a good performance against the Red Bulls’ crosstown rivals.

“The first seven games were brutal. We just wanted to find our way, and we feel that we’ve been slowly able to do that,” he said. “Coming into this game, our strategy was to just let them play. For us to be able to flexible and to execute (the game plan) well, not only is it a positive for us, but it brings a lot of confidence.”

According to BWP, it was that kind of effort that was the engine behind the total domination of City. However, building on that success is what matters most.

“With the workrate and endeavor – I feel like we were back to normal for 90% of (this match),” he said. “It was good. Everyone was working, reacting. We were clinical, and now we need to bring that in every game – not just a derby.”