Another gritty game, another result for the New York Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls grabbed their latest point on the road on Saturday, tying the New England Revolution 1-1 at Gillette Stadium with a gutsy performance from a team that was missing Thierry Henry and other key veterans. New York did not exorcize their decade-long demons in the match but head coach Mike Petke was happy all the same with the effort his team put out, especially considering that they are now undefeated in their last five outings.
“We could have won tonight and most coaches would be disappointed in that fact,” Petke told reporters after the match. “But we haven’t won here in 11 years, we didn’t lose, so a point in the road is very important and it’s really what, at the end of the day, sometimes you hope for.”
Initially falling behind to a goal from Diego Fagundez in the 54th minute, New York pulled level almost immediately. Lloyd Sam - who was one of the reserves called upon to start the match - netted the first MLS goal of his career a minute later, which helped pull the Red Bulls out of the hole they fell into and gave them a big point at the end of their three-games-in-eight-days stretch.
“Any time we can go on the road and come home with some points, it’s going to be huge for us,” said goalkeeper Luis Robles, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Saturday. “Today, it was a real battle for us in the sense that we had to grind it out in the end and I think it’s something we can just continue to build on moving forward.”
While the focus for New York now shifts towards resting after their busy week, the result against their northern rivals has continued to instill confidence in the club. After all, they now know they can pull out results without playing beautifully and that they can do so without some of their top players.
“It goes to show you the depth we have, the type of personnel we have on our team because of what Mike is helping us learn in practice,” said Robles. “It doesn’t matter who steps in, they have the talent to be solid.”