The enigma that is the New York Red Bulls squad continues.
With a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the tight Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls suffered yet another inexplicable letdown on the road, losing 3-2 to Chivas USA at StubHub Center. The result dropped the Red Bulls to 1-5-2 in their last eight matches away from home and once again left them befuddled as to how to solve their increasingly frustrating problems on the road.
“I’d probably be coaching Barcelona next year if I could answer those questions every week. I don’t know,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters. “We had many opportunities, especially in the first half, could’ve been up 3-, 4-nothing in the first half. No disrespect to Chivas, they’re definitely in a rebuilding year, so just no disrespect, but we’re a much better team than them.
“But this is MLS, and again the parity issue is proven -- that any team could win on any day. And they come in today and they got the goals, and we didn’t. Credit to them.”
It was not just about the goals New York conceded, though surrendering three times against Chivas USA -- a team that had one win in their last 19 games and had not scored more than once in a single match since April 27 -- is indeed concerning.
After an opening 45 minutes in which Fabian Espindola failed to convert two clear looks on goal, the Red Bulls were unable to generate much from the run of play for the remainder of the match verses the Western Conference's bottom team. At 2-1 late in the second half, Thierry Henry had a golden opportunity to equalize, but he somehow screwed his shot wide of the net. Petke made sure to point that out during his postgame interview with television newscast MSG while also issuing an apology to the disappointed Red Bulls’ faithful.
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“I apologize for that loss,” Petke told MSG after the match. “We lost to one of the worst teams in the league. We had many chances, we didn’t capitalize on them, made some mistakes and had no creativity in the second half. We looked like we were confused out there.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.