Two weeks later, things are not quite as rosy for head coach Jesse Marsch and his team. After a disappointing 0-0 draw at home against the Philadelphia Union, the Red Bulls lost 2-1 on Saturday night against the New England Revolution. The loss leaves them seven points off the top in the East and third in points per game in the conference.
“I think just not good enough. We were pretty honest with ourselves after the game, not enough good performances," Marsch said following the match. "Not enough desire on the field to take care of the game. Not enough sharpness to create chances. Then, it winds up that when you play against a combative team that you’re not rewarding yourself for creating little moments, because you’re just not able to be sharp.
"I don’t think we got enough out of our pressing and counter-pressing. I don’t think we got enough out of our play with the ball. I don’t think we got enough out of our game plan. I don’t think we did well on set pieces. We gave up two goals off of throw-ins – one at the end of the half. In a lot of ways, just short. Just short in a lot of areas. If you combine that with not having good performances, then you’re going to probably be on the wrong end of the result.”
Of course the Red Bulls were missing three key starters as Tyler Adams and Tim Parker were featuring for the US men's national team against Ireland and right back Michael Murillo is busy preparing for the World Cup with Panama.
New England created the better chances on the night, with an expected goals value of 1.53 to New York's .37. The Revs are now even on points with the Red Bulls, with RBNY having two games in hand on Brad Friedel's team.
“They’ve [the Revolution] had a tough week. They’ve had to dig in. They got two draws, and so it meant a lot for them to make sure to squeeze everything out of this game, and they played with a little bit of desperation, a little bit of edge, and we didn’t. We played like we just thought we were going to be able to take care of the game, and in some ways, maybe that early goal fed to that."
Again, we had an honest conversation with ourselves to make sure that we don’t listen to the talk that’s out there. We don’t watch the power rankings. We don’t start thinking that we are better than we are, because that’s the way to put a big halt into the progress that’s being made within our season. It’s normal that you have a game where you’re not at your best, but we have to make sure that this is not a habit and that we learn from it and that we grow from it.”
The Red Bulls will face crosstown rivals New York City FC at Red Bull Arena in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night (7:30 pm ET) and will return to MLS play on Saturday against Columbus Crew SC (5 pm ET | ESPN — Full TV & streaming info)