HARRISON, N.J. – Thierry Henry couldn't be blamed for feeling déjà vu following Saturday night’s 4-1 win with Toronto FC.
The Red Bulls captain sat at his locker as he talked to reporters after the much-needed victory and, despite the resounding result, he once again stressed how disappointed and concerned he was with the team’s inability to play well from the opening whistle. New York had conceded early once again, falling behind lowly Toronto FC after a blast from Ryan Johnson from 35 yards out.
Lloyd Sam on latest NYRB win
Yes, Johnson's was a spectacular goal and yes, the Red Bulls fought back to earn three much-needed points. But Henry could do nothing but talk about the Red Bulls’ troubling trend, even deflecting questions about his heroic three-assist, one-goal performance to touch on the topic.
“I can’t get out of my head that we concede again early,” Henry told reporters. “I know it was a wonder-goal, but we should have been down 1-0 after 45 seconds. I’ve been saying the same thing since the beginning of the season, we have to come back into games and fight and use more energy than some other teams.
“At the end of the day, we did what we had to do, but every time we have to come out of a bad situation. That’s the way it is, you have to fight for everything in sport, but again, it’s tiring at times.”
It marked the third time in the last four league matches that New York have fallen behind early and in the only game that it didn't happen – at New England on Sept. 22 – the Revolution scored a fourth-minute goal that was called back for an offside that replays showed didn't exist.
On Saturday night, the sluggish start kicked in after just 45 seconds, when former Red Bulls trialist Quincy Amarikwa got in behind New York’s back line and hit a bouncing shot that skipped off the far post before rolling out.
The Henry Show: NY down Toronto 4-1
“It’s like a broken record,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “You never want to give up that first goal, but we did it. I thought the mentality was right to come back and get the goals. … Going forward, [we need] to make sure that we don’t give up that early goal.”
Resiliency is one word that can be used to describe New York’s ability to come back from the early holes they put themselves in, but Henry admitted that ability to rally will only last for so long.
Still, Henry and manager Hans Backe were unable to address how exacty to fix the problem.
“If I only knew,” said Henry. “It’s not that we’re doing it on purpose. I don’t know what it is but we have to rectify that somehow before the playoffs, because if you play against a top team, you don’t come back [from that].”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.