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Red Bulls defense collapses in 5-4 shootout loss


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Just plain ugly.

There’s no other way to describe the performance by the Red Bulls on Saturday night. The offense finally woke up, scoring four goals and provided some glimpses of the quality that has long been expected of it, but on this same night the normally-reliable defense played the worst 45 minutes a defense has ever played in club history.

I will offer my take on the match on Sunday, but for now please feel free to share your thoughts on the match. Who do you think deserves the most blame for Saturday’s terrible defensive performance?

Vent your frustrations in the comments section below.


  1. Osorio needs to stop with the 3 man backline. I can see Barcelona, Milan, Arsenal or other top teams pulling that one off, but these are the Red Bulls. There has to be 4 in the back at all times!

  2. Just make the playoffs. If RB gets there, they could be dangerous. Ideally Angel/Kandji up top, Rojas in the middle, VDB and Richards on the wings, Stammler/Pietravallo d-mid and Cichero Parke and someone else in the back.

    This was one of those games. Cichero was off and the left side got broken down a fair bit. Our lineup was a puzzler, but one not likely to be repeated.

    Kandji showed some promise, as did Mbuta, and Magee was effective.

    This team could certainly come together well in the next few weeks, and in the playoffs someone would have to come in and deal with the turf.

  3. Tim I’m sure Ives realizes that not everyone is a Red Bulls fan. But since Ives is at every home game with access to players and coaches I’m sure you can forgive him if his coverage centers on them from time to time.

  4. I had season tickets in 1996. Our defense was better then. This franchise is just a perpetual joke. I get so psyched to pull for them and watch every game only to be disappointed time and time again. I have to find a hobby to take up all this time I spend on RBNY, or just another team.

  5. i think the absence of Van Den Bergh has exposed the overall weakness of our defense. If Van Den Bergh plays than Rojas can go back to an attacking role and we will gain defense on the wing with Van Den Bergh. Cichero was definetly a flop today, and Conway is not horrible but he is definetly not good which is just not good enough for the New York Area. I believe they’ll rebound back next week, and anyone who says they haven’t seen anything from Rojas is crazy, he continue to push the ball up and take on guys opening up space. Every team needs a player like Rojas, and when he plays in the attacking mid role everyone will see how important he is to our offense.

  6. I didn’t notice, did we have a second keeper on the bench last night? Big Mac and Mbuta were good in their debut, which is good, because it will push the entire offense. All we can do now is put this behind us and prepare for a tough match against TFC.

  7. I agree with Adam. For starters yes CONWAY sucks and has and always will be second string. For some reason we always get slow defenders and Omar Cummings could have had 7 goals that night. The whole back line was slow and Rojas sorry to say has shown me nothing. He cannot play defense and run back and play offense. Just does not have the speed. DVB was really missed.

    Missed penalty on colorado in first half cost us another goal. The defense tends to fall asleep and does not pick up the man and sits back and watches the ball.

    Let up we can rebound next week.With so many goalies out there next year anybody but Conway. He never knows when to come out and or stay in the net and is very unorganized.

  8. Yeah, the defensive positioning was terrible, but there were moments that Conway could/should have been able to back them up and he didn’t.

    Eugene said that the numbers spoke for themselves with Conway. Not really, as the mistakes he makes to this point haven’t cost us. When he drops a cross or misplays a 50-50 ball this season, there’s been someone there (Goldy, Stammler, Parke) to clear the ball. Tonight he didn’t have that option and he got chewed up. His GAA isn’t indicative of his talent level, this league isn’t talent rich and he’s not in the top 5. His record is what matters here, frankly, and against the best teams or in the big games he just plain chokes.

  9. Osario has gotten the team back into the playoff picture and brought in some quality players. Tough crazy loss last night. As a neutral I am looking forward to the RSL vs RBNY game in two weeks. It should be a huge game for both clubs in the new venue.

  10. to me i think it was just a off-day, every team has one.

    the red bull defense completly let down the red bull offense.

    the whole back line is to blame, not osorio or conway.

    osorio couldnt go out there and help the defense and conway was just a dead man walking. poor positioning on the defense is what lead to this horrible defeat

  11. Tough loss but I think they’ll realign and bounce back from it. The defense will be tightened up and Stammler will partner Pietravello the rest of the way at d-mid.

    Don’t know why there is so much Jimenez hate considering the kid plays well, but if one defender in a back 3 (Cichero) is having a terrible night and he’s supposed to be the leader and organizer, for sure the rest of the defense will crumble.

    Conway can also play and he’s been very good up until this game. Is he a great keeper? No, but he’s pretty good for this league and his numbers speak for themselves.

    I agree that Rojas can’t play left wing effectively because he can’t defend at all and doesn’t provide enough in the attack from that position. I should hope that experiment is over and Rojas is put back in the attacking mid role. The team is much more effective with him there.

    Overall, the offense looks largely together but now the defense needs to tighten up and I’m sure Osorio will be drilling that into them all week. The team needs van den Bergh back for his possession and his ability to attack from the left wing and take long-range shots. Hopefully he comes back soon and they’re back to playing as they were in August.

    Tough loss, but I don’t believe the team sucks and I don’t for a second believe that Osorio panicked. That’s utter nonsense. He can take the blame for tinkering, but ultimately if your centerback doesn’t show up and your midfield isn’t keeping possession, there is not much a coach can do.

  12. If anything im glad to see that the same problems plague other respectable MLS teams as ours (i know youve had probs in your FO and youve not won cups but im trying to identify here).

    Theres a certain small amount of hope that is given to our club in such dire situations (yeah, it is our second year but, sigh, patience is a virtue).

    All things considered, its on a different scale but its similar probs none the less.

    For the record the only teams i truly hate are columbus and montreal. S’pose its not entirely relevant but figured it might be worth mentioning as sour comments are almost certain to follow.

  13. ROJAS has to play in the center !!!!

    Stammler is a defensive MID !!! Play Stammler and Pietra as defensive MIDS..should have played Mbuta on the left instead of Rojas.

    and I have always said this and I will say it again. Conway sucks ! We need a REAL keeper.

  14. re: Tim

    And piss poor goalkeeping. I am over this Conway experiment. He’s a career backup at best and it really shows against:

    A) quality finishing sides


    B) under pressure

    The guy’s got no poise and he goes from hero to goat on the SIMPLE plays, not getting beat on amazing shots. Last week with Hejduk, he played the cross so wrong that a mis-hit ball beat him for a fluke goal. This week, 3 of the goals were saveable by a keeper with a modicum of intelligence. He just sucks so bad.

  15. Rojas and Stammler were definite head-scratchers wrt where they lined up.

    The defense still isn’t shored up and there’s not much that can be done. Not enough talent or speed to play 3 in the back, and we don’t really have the fullbacks to play 4 in the back. What to do?

    When Cichero has a stinker like tonight, it’s like the Mets bullpen back there, cuz you don’t know what to expect out of any of the rest of them on any given night.

    On the bright side, it looks like there’ll be competition for spots in the offensive half of the field when everyone is healthy and available.

  16. Hey, I am all for some Conway hatred, please keep it coming. That dude costs us points with his lack of focus and he’s a terrible decision maker. I said that in the PbP thread, thought, so let’s say something here that’s different.

    Osorio is an effing idiot for thinking that Rojas had any interest in defending. That was a dumb idea. Cichero was exposed big time because of this lack of commitment to the other half of the field.

    Mbuta and Kandji (who we should ALL sing “The KANDJI Man” to! Let’s make it stick) look like studs to build on, although, everyone seems to debut alright for RBNY this season, then suck the rest of the way.

    Ugh. When are the Wilpons getting their team in Queens so I can stop driving to Jersey for this b.s.? There is literally NO commitment to winning with this franchise.

  17. Jimenez is a flopping fish on the left. He is terrible. Cichero looked terrible as well, a utterly ridiculous decision to try and head a ball 8 inches off the turf on the Petke goal. And we have to move past Mendez, he is simply not good enough to be a professional footballer. That defense made me actually utter the phrase, “we need lietch and Goldwaithe in there.” I’m repulsed.

  18. Osorio needs to pick a lineup and stick to it no more random computer generated BS. Steth at attacking mid, rojas on the wing again, and mendes in the lineup?

    oh and where is Conway’s head at? just pay attention to the ball instead of fighting with conor casey.

  19. Jorge Rojas has no interest in playing the defensive side of the wingback role in a 3-5-2. That killed NY in the first half, as Colorado repeatedly went down the right hand side and forced Jiminez out wide, exposing Cichero.

    Osorio panicked and switched to a 4-4-2 midway through the first half, when the logical move was to swap Stammler with Rojas and let Stammler lock down the left and let Rojas play where he is useful in the middle. The 4-4-2 never got organized and two more goals were leaked before the half.

    Jon Conway doesn’t inspire much confidence in a defense either.


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