Road Weary Red Bulls Sputter Late – Again

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

The New York Red Bulls were moments away from a hard fought three points on the road. Then all of a sudden, it was as if they had lost concentration, dropping points for the second road match in a row.

Head Coach Jesse Marsch summed it up plainly after the match. “It’s frustrating for all of us because there’s two games where we give away late goals, and instead of walking away from this road trip with two good performances that lead to four points we walk away with one.”

The Red Bulls lost at Salt Lake on Wednesday and gave up an added time equalizer against the Crew. The late collapses are a disturbing trend, especially ahead of a busy week of action. The Red Bulls face the Philadelphia Union in US Open Cup competition and then roll into Yankee Stadium on the weekend for another edition of the Hudson River Derby. With the lack of training opportunities in a supremely congested schedule, the answers to the Red Bulls malaise aren’t so clear.

“Sometimes when you don’t get enough training in the week, you don’t have enough sharpness,” Marsch said. “Not sure what the reason is behind that. Listen, the rest of our season is like this. We have a lot of games, we have CONCACAF coming, guys have got to be able to deal when they don’t have enough training, when they have heavy legs, when things are tough.”

“They’ve got to still play well. We can’t show up to tough places to play and have three guys that play well.”

Midfielder Felipe Martins agreed with his coach. “I think the mentality is there, the work is there. Just a couple of plays we’ve got to be more alert. It’s little mistakes that costs us points. I think we’ve got to work during the week. Now we have two big games coming up and do better in what we didn’t tonight.”

Now, instead of being above NYCFC in the standings, the Red Bulls hold onto third place in the Eastern Conference. City will be out for blood in just a week’s time, looking to avenge their 7-0 spanking at the hands of the Red Bulls in their last outing. As the race to the playoffs continues, points dropped in June could have a profound impact come October.

Felipe, for one, understands. The Red Bulls put in the work to get the lead twice this road trip. Losing points by giving up goals late is not a good look for a club that won the Supporter’s Shield just last season. And if they want success, it will have to come while running the gauntlet.

“I think it is a big disappointment for us,” Felipe said. “Especially those two games as we were up 1-0 and then we [gave up] late goals. I think we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to stick together until the end of the game and don’t concede those goals.”

  • William

    This teams performances have me weary a subpar side who barely beat a USL side.