HARRISON, N.J. – After Jonny Steele capped the scoring for the New York Red Bulls in Saturday’s lopsided victory over the New England Revolution, head coach Mike Petke turned towards his bench and let out a big scream of joy.
It was a sign of relief from Petke but one that also showed just how much the victory meant to him and his club.
After enduring a topsy-turvy few days in which they won a game on the road but also lost at home, the Red Bulls closed out their three-games-in-eight-days stretch with a rousing 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. The win is big for New York’s confidence after suffering a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and it also helped them cross something off their to-do list.
“We’ve been kind of waiting this whole year for that offensive explosion and to do it against a team that’s been the best in the league defensively actually feels pretty good,” Dax McCarty told reporters after the match. “We created tons of chances. … We put together a good performance.”
The start to the match was especially exceptional for New York, who came out of the gates flying. McCarty opened the scoring with a shot in the fourth minute and the Red Bulls managed to respond well to scoring an own goal two minutes later, as Fabian Espindola netted the winner in the eighth.
The second half did not begin as brightly for the Red Bulls but ultimately the hosts added two more goals through Thierry Henry and Steele, an emphatic exclamation point on what was arguably New York’s best performance of the season.
“We’re the New York Red Bulls. We should be doing that at home,” said Lloyd Sam when asked about how much confidence the win gives the club going forward. “We shouldn’t be just getting through games. People should be scared to come here. It needs to be more like that.”
As good as the victory is and as much confidence as the 4-1 triumph gives the Red Bulls, the club knows they now need to avoid the type of mistakes they have made in the past and starting racking up the wins.
“Now, let’s try and get on a bit of a roll here,” said McCarty. “It’s getting into kind of the meaty part of the season where you have some very important games [and] you want to try and separate yourself a little from the pack or you don’t want the pack to separate from you.
“We’ve played a couple more games than other teams, so we just need to make sure we’re getting wins.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.