HARRISON, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls have not tasted defeat in more than a month, and they head into the international break atop the Eastern Conference table.
But based on their demeanors following their 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Wednesday night, you’d never know it.
HIGHLIGHTS: New York 1, Chivas USA 1
“We’re all disappointed not to have gotten a win,” goalscorer Kenny Cooper told reporters following the game. “We’ve been on a great run of wins in the last five games, it would have been nice to make it six. Obviously a point is better than none, but we’d rather have three.”
Whether it was the case of their consecutive game winning streak coming to an end or them ruing their missed chances, the Red Bulls were clearly frustrated following the draw at Red Bull Arena. In fact, Cooper was one of the few high-profile players who didn’t decline to speak with the media.
Head coach Hans Backe, however, was pleased with the overall performance.
“We should have won this game, but the way we dictated the game in the second half is much, much better than before,” said Backe. “We had our chances, we didn’t took them and sometimes games end up, not always logical in football, but overall I’m pleased with the performance.”
Backe had asked his team to hold onto the ball better after recent weeks in which they relied more on direct soccer. Against Chivas, the Red Bulls were able to win more of the possession battle and build up attacks.
Still, they fell behind early in the second half when former Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Ángel (who Red Bulls saluted with chants throughout the game) hit a side volley past Ryan Meara.
The Red Bulls responded through a goal from Cooper not long after, and then hit Chivas USA with wave after wave of attacks. New York had their chances, but another goal never came, leaving them more aggravated.
“We were a little unlucky tonight not to get that second goal,” said Meara. “But that’s how it works sometimes.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.