UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Fans looking for some kind of unrest in the New York Red Bulls camp simply aren’t getting their fix for drama this week.
Despite being mired in a six-game winless streak and coming off a 1-1 draw at home against the Columbus Crew, even tempers and level heads are prevailing ahead of the team’s matchup against the New England Revolution on Friday (8:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
Forward Thierry Henry called the last-gasp goal from Crew rookie Rich Balchan last Saturday a “screwball” play and said that New York have to step up and begin executing on the field and in the locker room. Henry said he thinks that there would have been a fiery reaction post-match at one of his former clubs if there was a late-game goal conceded like against Columbus.
“In Europe, we would have had a fight easy, because that’s unacceptable,” striker Thierry Henry said of the Crew’s last-gasp goal last Saturday. “Sometimes as men you have to say what’s on your chest and move on. It’s nothing personal.”
No one on the Red Bulls is faulting one another for the effort over the past six games, but there have been repeated breakdowns during this stretch that have led the team to get just five points from their matches over the past five weeks. Spotty play on set pieces at the start of the winless streak and then three straight games with a penalty kick conceded was followed by Saturday night’s late-game meltdown.
The recent play led to practices laced with some heated verbal altercations last week, but head coach Hans Backe said he’s been happy with lighthearted and loose workouts this week.
“You need to see [the reaction] in a competitive game. I think it is difficult to see in practice. Some teams, you can see in practice, they go bananas,” Backe said. “I think we need to wait till Friday.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer