SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jesse Marsch shuffled his deck Wednesday night against the San Jose Earthquakes, but the coach’s cards still came up empty for the New York Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls started three Homegrown players for the first time in 2016 -- including an MLS debut for 17-year-old Tyler Adams -- but it didn’t help New York emerge from their deep early-season funk. Instead, San Jose pounced on a pair of mistakes and converted them into a 2-0 victory.
“It was good to get them on the field and give them a little bit of experience, specifically Tyler,” Marsch said of his young trio, which also included Sean Davis and Anatole Abang. “I actually felt like as the half went on, he really got himself going. . . . Tyler has a really bright future, and it’s important for him to get some of these experiences under his belt so that he can continue to progress.”
Said Red Bulls goalkeeper and captain Luis Robles: “It was a tough game to come into. I thought for the most part, it was hard for [Adams] to get established, but there were a lot of good things that he did. The kid’s got a bright future and we expect big things out of him.”
Adams opened alongside Felipe as a deep-lying midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 setup. He improved, in Marsch’s estimation, as the first half went on, but was pulled at intermission in favor of more firepower after the Red Bulls went down in the 40th minute thanks to Fatai Alashe’s deflected shot.
“It was amazing, to get the start for my first [MLS] appearance and debut,” Adams said. “But obviously, it’s unfortunate not to get the win. It’s a hard time. . . . We just have to be competitive and be confident in everyone, like we are, and I think we’ll be successful.”
That day can’t come soon enough for the Red Bulls, who were shut out for the fifth time in six games and committed costly turnovers to help set up San Jose’s scoring opportunities.
“Losing’s tough, especially when you keep losing games the way that we do,” Robles said. “It just seems like it’s ‘Groundhog Day,’ in that regard. . . . We’ve got to be honest with ourselves from the standpoint of our effort. And the quality is just not what we’re capable of.”
With the goose egg, New York’s scoreless streak reached 277 minutes -- the longest in MLS this year. A glorious chance fell to Abang in the 58th minute thanks to a Sacha Kljestan through ball, but the Cameroonian slipped while taking the shot and missed the target.
“We can’t seem to prevent ourselves from giving away bad mistakes and making bad errors that cost us goals,” Marsch said. “And then we can’t seem to make a play around the goal. . . . If we continue to do those two things, it’s going to be extremely hard to get results. Extremely hard.”