UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – If there were any doubts about the level of frustration surrounding the late goal New York conceded to New England in last weekend’s 1-1 draw, Dax McCarty squashed them on Tuesday.
After training, the Red Bulls midfielder revealed just how difficult it was to surrender an equalizer in the final seconds of a match that could have marked the end of a damning run inside of Gillette Stadium for New York, calling it as painful a result as he has experienced in his career.
“To go into that game 1-0 up in the 90th minute [and draw], that was probably the worst I’ve ever felt after a game and I’m not even exaggerating,” McCarty said. “That was a serious blow.
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“It’s a tough one to take, especially when you can break a 10-year curse and kind of be clear and thinking you win one more game and you’re in the playoffs."
McCarty insisted that no matter how demoralizing the draw felt, the Red Bulls are still a team capable of bouncing back and continuing to push for their spot in the playoffs. That starts at home on Saturday against Toronto FC (7 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“We’ve got a good, strong mentality here, the morale is pretty high, guys aren’t getting down,” McCarty said. “We know it’s in our hands. We know we can still win the East. I think the focus now has just got to be the next game against Toronto.”
Backe talks goalkeeping
Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette has been a quality addition to the Red Bulls since arriving in July, but his form has taken a dip as of late.
The veteran conceded a few soft goals in the past few weeks, and Backe admitted he’s had some conversations with his starting netminder about a recent tendency to come off his line early.
“He’s had some spectacular saves, I think it was the first half against New England, and there’s been some, I can’t say if it’s miscommunication with the back four, if you’re coming out for a cross or if you stay in goal,” said Backe. “It’s been some goals [given up], but we talk every time about it.”
Defenders set to make return
Backe also added that defenders Roy Miller and Digão will return from their respective injuries within the next week. Digão (left hamstring strain) should resume training by the end of this week, while Miller (groin) is expected to be back at the beginning of next week.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.