The New York Red Bulls are winless through their first five games of the year and unbeaten in their last four, but the Red Bulls are choosing to focus on the latter.
A shorthanded New York side picked up a hard-earned point on the road on Saturday afternoon with a 2-2 draw in Montreal, where the Red Bulls lost last year. In this year's game, New York fell behind early but scored twice in quick succession to take a 2-1 lead into halftime.
The Red Bulls then missed a penalty kick and conceded an equalizer in the closing 45 minutes to finish with a tie for the fourth straight game and move to 0-1-4 on the season.
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It was not the desired result, but one the Red Bulls will happily take back home.
“At the end of the day, to come into Montreal and get a result, you take it,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters after the game. “We’re still unbeaten in four games, we seem to like ties, but it’s early and still the beginning of the season.”
What made the result even more impressive was that New York were playing without Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave because of the turf at Olympic Stadium and without the injured duo of Tim Cahill and Richard Eckersley.
The Red Bulls had to rely on starting goalkeeper Luis Robles quite a bit to avoid their second defeat of the season; he made six saves in only the first 25 minutes. But Robles himself was pleased with New York's response in surrendering the early goal, as the Red Bulls rallied from a poor start to earn a tie for the fourth consecutive weekend.
“The one thing that is important to take from is we were down early 1-0, and it showed a lot of character for us to not only fight back, but to get into a lead and finish off [a result],” said Robles, who finished with a career-high nine saves. “
We definitely gave away a lot of chances, but at the end of the day, there’s a point to take home, and there were a lot positives offensively. This was our first game we had multiple goals, and we actually had some really good opportunities.”
The Red Bulls might still be without a win in 2014, but the mood emanating from the club remains one of calmness and confidence. That's not just because improvements are being made, but because the losses are not piling up.
“We’ve been playing some decent stuff; things just haven’t gone our way,” said Jonny Steele, who had a goal and an assist. “But we just keep working, and at the end of the day we’re unbeaten in four. You’ll take that going in. Four points can [be the difference in getting] you into the playoffs.”