Red Bulls, with playoff spot clinched, look to rebound from road loss

MONTREAL -- Despite playing their fifth game in 15 days, the New York Red Bulls were not using that — or anything else — to excuse a lopsided 3-0 road loss to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday.

Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles could not accept the way the Supporters’ Shield leaders closed out that match, which ended their six-game undefeated streak.  

“The guys are putting a lot into it and they’re pouring a lot out,” Robles said. “And you see the four games leading up to this in humidity, in heat, grinding out results, it’s required a lot of effort and the guys have answered the call. So I understand us coming out flat.

“What I don’t understand is towards the end it looked like we gave up, and in my opinion that isn’t Red Bull soccer. That doesn’t belong in our locker room, that doesn’t belong on the field, and I’ll do my best this next week to make sure that the guys’ heads are in the right place. But we need to learn from our mistakes and find a way to move on.”

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Midfielder Tyler Adams did not make the trip and defenders Tim Parker and Michael Murillo did not start in the wake of New York’s 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Red Bulls coach Chris Armas had full confidence in his starting lineup and did not consider the absence of Adams a legitimate factor in the disappointing result.

“We know we’re a better team when he’s in there, but look, [midfielders] Sean Davis and Marc [Rzatkowski] have been great for us all year and for years,” Armas said. “So it won’t be the first time we don’t have Tyler in there. And that’s not even part of it. For me, that had nothing to do with it, Tyler Adams. But he’s fine, he’s healthy. He’s going to national team camp, and yeah, that’s it.”

Armas and Robles each mentioned the two set-piece goals New York conceded eight minutes apart in the first half as cause for concern heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

“I know that we’re not perfect and we’re a work in progress. As it comes down to crunch time, we have to show an aptitude to learn from our mistakes,” Robles said. “And as we get a much needed rest for the next week, I know that some guys will leave to the national teams, some guys will take a few days off, which is needed or necessary after five games in 15 days. But as we take a step back, we realize we clinched playoffs, we’re still in first place and there’s still a lot of work to be done." 

“So it wasn’t our best performance; if anything, it was one of our worst. It might have been one of my worst games I’ve been a part of since being here at Red Bull, but I don’t want to be too hasty. Though the feelings are raw and visceral, some perspective is needed, and as we take a step back we realize that it’s one game.”