Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
HARRISON, N.J.– You could tell from the early moments of Saturday night’s match against the New England Revolution that the New York Red Bulls had no intention of turning in another forgettable performance like the one displayed last Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
The Red Bulls faced a team not as strong as Sporting KC, but one with a defense that had been just about as stingy this year, and all New York did was jump out to an early 2-1 lead before closing out the match in style, with two late goals to secure a 4-1 thumping of New England at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
Goals from Dax McCarty and Fabian Espindola helped offset a Brandon Barklage own goal to give New York a 2-1 lead after nine minutes. The match stayed pretty close all the way until the latter stages of the second half, when the Revs went pressing for an equalizer and the Red Bulls punished Revs rookie Andrew Farrell on a pair of late scores.
Johnny Steele unlocked the Revs defense with an 82-minute pass that caught Thierry Henry in stride as he raced behind Farrell before depositing a shot past Bobby Shuttlesworth to make the score 3-1. Steele added an insurance goal in the 89th minute when he slipped behind Farrell to latch onto an Eric Alexander cross for the final goal of the night.
“I think we’ve been kind of waiting all year for that offensive explosion and to do it against a team that has been the best in the league defensively, it’s actually, it feels pretty good,” said McCarty.
The Red Bulls controlled play in the first half, with only the Barklage own goal giving the Revs a sign of hope in the early going. The central midfield tandem of Dax McCarty and Tim Cahill did well to control play in the middle of the park and keep pressure on the Revs defense, which lost centerback A.J. Soares to a hamstring injury just 18 minutes into the match.
New England’s offensive struggles continued, with Jay Heaps’ side struggling to generate consistent chances. Jerry Bengtson did get some looks at goal, but squandered them, including one quality pass from Kelyn Rowe that sprang him behind the Red Bulls defense only to have Luis Rubles chase him wide of goal.
The Red Bulls saw improved play on the flanks as well, with Steele showing well after being benched in the team’s last game. He returned with a flourish, finishing the game in style with a goal and assist. He wasn’t the only winger to do well for the Red Bulls, with Lloyd Sam looking good off the bench in his first appearance of the year.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? See the Red Bulls hitting a run, or think they need to beat a top team before you believe they are for real? See New England turning things around eventually, or think they’re still missing too much?
Share your thoughts below.
I said this last week. Petke should start Steele and Sam. Red Bulls need to play with wingers. Against KC, Petke went with four central players in midfield. Last night, Red Bull attack looked very fluid especially in the 2nd half when both Steele and Sam were on. Petke should leave the four central midfield pairings to the genius Jurgen Klinnsmann. No need to steal that great idea.
I wish RBNY played like this every game =/
Thierry Henry is a great soccer player… he can bring Red Bull to winner the MLS..
One other thing, given the absolutely huge emotional issues the Revs are facing, I wasn’t the least bit surprised by the outcome. It was bad enough when Kevin Alston’s diagnosis came in, but add Matt Reis’s father in law being one of those critically injured in the Marathon bombings and Chris Tierney’s girlfriend being among the injured from that explosion as well, and it’s an extraordinary amount of stuff to be dealing with as a team.
On a different note, I find as much fault with McCartney as Farrell on the Steele goal. I remain of a very different opinion than this site of McC’s performance in center back. I think he routinely pushes up in to midfield, leaving gaping holes behind him, which we see exploited on a regular basis. He perform okay most of the time, but his mistakes almost always yield goals.
Having just watched the full highlights at mlssoccer.com, I saw four quality chances for the Revs. Certainly better than I’ve seen from most of the games this year. I think we’re continuing to have finishing issues, but that chances are starting to come. The goal, which was the best ball in I’ve seen this year from Nguyen, of course, but also the cross from Fagundez when he went to the end line before cutting back to Bengston and the Rowe through ball to Bengston both should have been finished. Yes, Robles did well to push Bengston wide, but his touch around the keeper went 14 yards away from him, not the two he needed to create the empty-net chance. Again, not doing for club what he’s consistently done for country. Also, the Goncalves chance should have been finished. That’s a glorious chance begging to be roofed, and he goes low to the legs of Robles.
So again, finishing, finishing, finishing. Revs could have been in the lead by the 60th, rather than down.
feel your finishing pain, RBNY has had that problem as well all year as well. We had our share of chances that should have been finished. The solidarity between the supporter groups was awesome touch !