UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Frank Rost admits his English is a work in progress. But even in the German goalkeeper's native tongue, he struggled to find words for the Red Bulls 4-1 road loss to Colorado on Wednesday.
Signed last Friday as the club’s third Designated Player — putting RBNY at the league limit — Rost brings 20 years of Bundesliga experience to MLS and he was specifically inked to help shore up a defense that had been struggling for months. New York were suffering from a series of soft goals, oft from a lack of communication and poor organization, and head coach Hans Backe praised his new signing as the answer to these problems.
Then came Wednesday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park where the Rapids had three goals in 31 minutes and Rost looked shocked at the play of his new back line.
“A strange day,” Rost said. “It’s so — life is so.”
Now New York set about the process of washing the latest stinging Red Bulls defeat out of their mouths against FC Dallas on Saturday (6 pm ET, Galavisión). Rost is hopeful that the defense, bolstered with the likely return of center back Rafa Márquez to the starting XI, can turn things around.
“For me, the thing is to do it better next game,” Rost said. “We made mistakes, a lot of mistakes.”
Angry Agudelo: Two days ago, US national team forward Juan Agudelo tweeted that he was off in search of “my first touch,” the teenager’s obviously playful jest at his downturn in performance over the past three games. In his jab at himself, Agudelo was acknowledging that he has struggled since scoring a brace against Toronto FC three weeks ago.
Part of the problem with New York’s goal scoring woes, Agudelo said, is that the team is playing too much possession soccer.
“I feel maybe we need to be more direct,” Agudelo said. “I think we play too much side-to-side.”
Agudelo called Saturday night against FC Dallas “huge for us,” saying the team will come out united and perhaps with an edge. The young forward, while not citing any specifics, seemed to take exception to a soft midweek performance where Colorado were far more physically intense then New York.
“If we have to hit somebody and put them on the ground, it’s what we’ll do,” Agudelo said.
Rafa’s Return: Rost should be pleased at the return of Márquez to the lineup, a move which, in theory, can help with the back line’s shape and composure on the ball.
Márquez has been out since late June after suffering a hamstring pull in the Gold Cup final. He trained with the team on Friday at Montclair State University and looked happy to be back on the field.
“I feel much better, I feel 100 percent,” Márquez said. “So we’ll try to play the full 90.”
Though selected to the MLS All-Star Game in the fan voting, Márquez said he will not play and instead will be home, preparing for New York’s trip to London the next day for the Emirates Cup.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer