HARRISON, N.J. – There are plenty of positives to take away from the New York Red Bulls' third win of the season, extending their unbeaten streak to five to start 2015.
Yet the locker room still isn’t satisfied.
Despite downing the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Friday night, many in the RBNY locker room were quick to point to their mistakes rather than their accomplishments. As they look to avoid complacency during their string of positive results, the Red Bulls contend that winning games simply isn’t enough.
“I know that it’s a long season and there’s going to be dips but we need to minimize that,” goalkeeper Luis Robles said to reporters after the game. “There were moments where [San Jose] was the better team. Playing at home, we can’t have that. If we want guys to take us seriously around the league, not only do we have to defend our turf, but we have to make teams feel that when they leave, they got beat. I don’t know if San Jose can say that right now.”
Boasting the best points per game average in MLS, the Red Bulls have continued to earn results by any means necessary. New York has yet to allow a goal at home and midfielder Sacha Kljestan found himself on the scoresheet for the first time this season. But even his Man of the Match performance did little to assuage the feeling that more needs to be done.
“I’m not too happy with my performance tonight if I’m being honest,” Kljestan said. “A lot of us weren’t [at] our best today. Besides the result, we didn’t do a lot of great things. We’ve got a lot to improve and, me personally, I have a lot to improve on as well.”
It may seem odd that a team that has raced out of the gates as quickly as the Red Bulls have would be so critical of themselves. But the change of culture within the camp has caused each player to look past the results and focus on the performances themselves.
“I wasn’t impressed,” winger Lloyd Sam said. “I didn’t think we played well. But we got the three points, so we’ll take the positives. We can play a lot better than that. Credit to [San Jose], they were really good in the second half especially.”
While the bar may be raised, the Red Bulls still appreciate the results that come along with it. It may not have been their best match, but New York can enjoy another three points in the bag.
“We’re going to hold ourselves to a very high standard,” captain Dax McCarty said. “When we watch the tape, the general consensus is that we can be better in every facet of the game.
“This is a game we could’ve won four, 5-0 if we’re a little bit sharper. We’ll take the three points. It’s not all doom and gloom. We’re happy with the result and we’re happy that we’re unbeaten, but the sign of a good team is to never be satisfied and we certainly aren’t satisfied with the performance.”