Jesse Marsch: New York Red Bulls "have to be fighters" down stretch

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a red-hot summer run, the New York Red Bulls are winless in six matches since Aug. 12, and have stumbled their way into postseason uncertainty.

The club traveled to Columbus Saturday on the heels of a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City in the U.S. Open Cup final, missing out on yet another trophy. But they didn’t find any more success against Crew SC, losing 3-2 to remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Despite the disappointing run, Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch said he has no doubt in his team’s abilities. He said the Red Bulls have been “unlucky that we’re not coming away with more,” and said the results have been largely due to circumstance.

“We’ve had some tough road games, we haven’t managed to do enough at home, we’ve had to rotate guys to prepare ourselves for the (Open) Cup run, but all that is behind us now,” he said. “All we can do now is control what’s in the future, and I know I’ve got a group of young men who are up for the challenge and ready to dig in and do whatever it takes.”

But Marsch admitted his team has struggled.

He said the squad has put itself in a position where they need to “pile up some results” in a “tight” table, but said the key is that the Red Bulls’ playoff chances are still “in our hands.”

“We haven’t done ourselves favors with results, and it’s put us in a difficult position at the end of the year, here,” he said. “But we’re not afraid of that. We’re going to find a way to dig ourselves out and get ourselves rolling again.”

Despite the mounting challenge from the Montreal Impact, Marsch said his players “have got to be fighters” and find the momentum that’s abandoned them of late.

“There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself,” he said. “You just have to find a way to physically regenerate and then put a group out on the field that can go after it in the biggest way possible.”

On the heels of six winless MLS matches, does Marsch still think he’s coaching a playoff team? He didn’t hesitate to reply.

“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “No doubt. It’s a good team.”

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