Red Bulls ‘getting annoyed’ despite unbeaten start after Wednesday’s draw

New York Red Bulls remain Major League Soccer’s only unbeaten side this season as they extended their streak to seven to open the campaign in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena.

The result means the Red Bulls have now tied back-to-back games 1-1 at home after Sunday’s tie with LA Galaxy, and with just one win in four, players are starting to get frustrated with the slow starts to matches as the team have conceded the first goal in all four of their draws so far.

“It’s getting annoying,” Sacha Kljestan said after the game. “It’s not the way we want to start games. I think it just comes down to a little bit of focus. Our mentality has been so good to come back, but it’s like ‘Why are we putting ourselves in those positions?’

“Sometimes it comes down to individual plays, sometimes it comes down to just having a good mentality from the kickoff.”

Red Bulls players react to draw with Rapids on Wednesday (via New York Red Bulls on YouTube):

The Red Bulls missed the opportunity to go top of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night as they remain a point behind New England Revolution and DC United after eight weeks, though New York have a game in hand over the Revs.

They have scored the first goal in all three of their victories so far this season but conceding first in their last two at home is something goalkeeper Luis Robles is also frustrated with.

“We don’t do ourselves any favours when we give goals up at home,” Robles said. “Now we’re chasing the game, down a goal.

“That changes the entire dynamic of the game. Instead of being able to pressure them in their half and find chances, now we’re spraying balls over the top and, at the moment, it’s looking a little desperate.”

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English winger Lloyd Sam also mentioned the concerns over the Red Bulls’ slow starts as a largely disappointed tone seemed to come out of the team dressing room after Wednesday’s draw.

He thinks that the unbeaten streak will only last a short time longer if they continue to concede first and revealed the team are desperate to now “bounce back”.

“We’re giving ourselves a mini mountain to climb. We normally get a goal back but it’s too much to get another goal.

“One of these days it’s going to be too much to bounce back. We’d like to bounce back and get the three points. Tonight we bounced back and got a draw. It’s not really what we want at home.”

Are the early slips a major concern for the Red Bulls? 

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Wednesday, April 29th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 8/11 – Draw 13/5 – Colorado Rapids 15/4

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening in the only midweek game in MLS to kickstart Week 9’s action.

The Red Bulls are the only remaining unbeaten side this season and will want to keep that run going for as long as possible after an encouraging start.

Jesse Marsch’s side are sitting third in the Eastern Conference and can go top with a win here. By stark contrast, the Rapids are at the foot of the Western Conference table after eight weeks.

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The Red Bulls earned a solid point last weekend against LA Galaxy at home and will be keen to kick on in a game they should win on Wednesday. As we know from games already this season there have been many freak results so the Rapids cannot be written off.

Colorado have only won the once so far in that 4-0 thumping of FC Dallas and since then have lost one and drawn one, including Saturday’s clash with Dallas once again. Pablo Mastroeni’s side are finding goals hard to come by and have scored just six in their seven games so far this season.

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Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam have been in fine form and have five of the Red Bulls’ ten goals this season, and they will be key as usual and could prove to be a real problem for the Rapids defence in this one.

Team News

New York Red Bulls have one injury going into the game as Ronald Zubar is likely to miss out again, but other than that, Marsch has a near on fully fit squad to choose from. Damien Perrinelle is one booking away from a suspension so is on thin ice and will be hoping to stay out of the referees book, having played in every game so far this season, while Roy Miller could return to the side at left-back.

Colorado Rapids are set to be without Sam Cronin and Marc Burch through injury while Marcelo Sarvas will have to watch on from the sideline as he is suspended.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/D/W/D

Colorado Rapids’ last five: D/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – The Red Bulls remain the only unbeaten side in MLS and that should still be the case heading into the weekend after this one.

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Key Player: Lloyd Sam – The English speedster has started the season really well, scoring three in six and will fancy his chances of netting again on Wednesday night.

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Red Bulls should have too much for the Rapids to withstand in this one, but given the unpredictability of MLS so far this season, Colorado have every chance of scoring and making a game of it.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, April 26th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 19/10

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls meet LA Galaxy on Sunday night in what is a huge fixture for both sides as the Red Bulls look to remain the only unbeaten side in MLS.

Jesse Marsch’s side have yet to lose a game, and sit at the top of the Eastern Conference on 11 points after five games.

They beat San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 last Friday and have now matched the longest undefeated start to a season in the club’s history.

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New York have now won both of their home games 2-0 this season and will look to continue that 100 per cent home record against the reigning MLS Cup champions.

LA Galaxy have won their last two games at home after a slow start by their high standards but return on the road for the first time in three weeks still looking for a first away win in 2015.

They have lost their past two away games to Vancouver Whitecaps and DC United, without scoring a goal, and so Bruce Arena must ensure his side up their performance levels if they are to walk out of Red Bull Arena with a win.

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Last year’s lone MLS meeting saw the Galaxy beat the Red Bulls 4-0 at StubHub Center, but New York can take confidence from the fact that they won the most recent home meeting in 2013.

Both the Red Bulls and the Galaxy play attacking football and that should lead to a really entertaining game between two sides eyeing up MLS Cup success come the end of the year.

Team News

New York Red Bulls have two doubts going into the game as defenders Roy Miller and Ronald Zubar are both likely to miss out. Other than that, Jesse Marsch has a fully fit squad to choose from and is likely to remain unchanged from the team that beat the Earthquakes last week.

LA Galaxy will be without goalkeeper Brian Perk for the season, while they have five doubts in the shape of Leonardo, Jose Villarreal, Robbie Keane, Kenney Walker and Mika Vayrynen. Gyasi Zardes will hope to return to the starting lineup, while Bradford Jamieson IV could start his second successive game after impressing last week.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/W/W/D/W

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy have failed to win in any of their last nine MLS games.

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Key Player: Lloyd Sam – The English winger has started the new season in fine form with three goals and one assist. Expect him to be involved in most of New York’s attacking play on Sunday.

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 LA Galaxy – The Red Bulls are favourites coming into this one, something rarely said of a clash with LA Galaxy, but will expect to remain unbeaten with another victory. They have won both of their home games 2-0 so far, while LA have failed to score away from home in their last two so another 2-0 looks to be on the cards.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: Red Bull Arena, Friday, April 17th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York 7/10 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose 18/5

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena in this week’s Friday night game and both clubs will come into this one in a confident mood.

The Red Bulls earned a valuable draw at DC United last weekend as a late Lloyd Sam goal sealed a 2-2 draw to keep Jesse Marsch’s side as one of just two unbeaten clubs in MLS after six weeks.

New York have only played four times so far, winning two and drawing two, but have won their own home game and their supporters will be eager to see them in action on home turf once again on Friday night.

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The Earthquakes put an end to their two-game losing streak by beating the top side in MLS, Vancouver Whitecaps, last Saturday.

San Jose have now picked up nine points from their opening six games and travel to New Jersey looking to climb into second place in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

The Quakes have not lost to the Red Bulls in four years and will take confidence from that record going into this one.

Last year’s only meeting ended in a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena, and three of the last four have now ended in draws between these two.

There are usually goals when these two meet and that should be no different on Friday night in what should be an entertaining game.

Team News

New York Red Bulls have three injury worries to defenders heading into the game as Roy Miller (knee), Ronald Zubar (hamstring) and Damien Perrinelle (foot) are all doubts, but should be fit to play. Bradley Wright-Phillips will continue to lead the attack with Lloyd Sam and Mike Grella likely to keep their places on the wings.

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San Jose Earthquakes look set to be without four players as Mark Sherrod (knee), Steven Lenhart (knee), Jordan Stewart (calf) and Shaun Francis (head) are all unlikely to feature. Adam Jahn will serve his one-game suspension for the red card picked up in Saturday’s win against Vancouver and will miss out. Chris Wondolowski travelled with the USA squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico but didn’t feature as he had a calf strain so he is a doubt for Friday’s game.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W/D

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/W/L/L/W

Key Stat: There have been 20 goals in the last six matches between these two sides and so entertainment is expected at Red Bull Arena.

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Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The English forward has two goals so far this season but always plays best at home and a return to Red Bull Arena could see him put in a big performance.

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – The Red Bulls have looked strong so far this season and are always a real threat at home. That should see them beat San Jose on Friday night but expect both teams to score in what should be a good one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, April 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Sunday, April 12)

Match Odds: DC United 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – New York Red Bulls 19/10

Match Preview

DC United host New York Red Bulls at the RFK Stadium on Saturday night as the Eastern Conference‘s top two sides clash in MLS for the second time this season.

The two met at the Red Bull Arena just three weeks ago when goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United in the first of the three Atlantic Cup rivalry matches this season.

Head Coach Ben Olsen and his DC side will be seeking immediate revenge and have recovered well since that 2-0 defeat to the Red Bulls with consecutive 1-0 wins over LA Galaxy and Orlando City.

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There was more good news recently for DC United who will be delighted to have welcomed midfielder Luis Silva back from injury last weekend as he scored a stoppage time winner on his return after only being on the pitch for 15 minutes.

New York Red Bulls have started the season well, picking up two wins and a draw from their opening three games with the most recent victory coming in an impressive 2-1 success away at Columbus on March 28th.

Jesse Marsch‘s Red Bulls team enjoyed a rest last weekend and the players have had plenty of time to prepare for this crucial encounter and will be aiming to remain the only undefeated team in MLS alongside Real Salt Lake.

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New York’s star-man Bradley Wright-Phillips has hit the ground running this season with two goals and two assists to his name already, so he will look to continue his fine form.

It promises to be another entertaining and feisty contest between the Atlantic Cup rivals in a fixture that has seen ten red cards brandished in a total of 32 meetings.

Team News

DC United’s Fabian Espindola continues to serve his ban and will miss this game and the next one before he will be available again. Midfielders Markus Halsti, Colin Martin and Nick DeLeon are also unavailable through injury, as is defender Steve Birnbaum. We’ve learnt this week that forward Eddie Johnson’s career is unfortunately all but over due to a heart condition.

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New York Red Bulls could possibly be without defenders Roy Miller and Ronald Zubar who are doubtful because of injuries.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L/W/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have made their best start to an MLS season since 2007 when they also won two and drew one of their opening three fixtures.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Englishman has started the season well and is living up to his Designated Player status at the moment. If he continues in the same vein of form, the Red Bulls will be serious contenders for honours this season.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-2 New York Red Bulls – This should be an excellent game and one that is impossible to predict. New York Red Bulls have looked impressive but DC is a tough place to go, so a draw seems likely.

Are the New York Red Bulls on track to win their first MLS Cup?

The New York Red Bulls have made their best start to a Major League Soccer campaign in eight years, since they went unbeaten through the first five games in the 2007 season, and things are certainly looking promising.

Few would have thought anyone would be saying the words ‘Red Bulls’ and ‘promising’ after four weeks of the 2015 season as an offseason filled with negativity filled even the most upbeat supporter with pessimism.

Transition

The Red Bulls are not afraid to change things. The club have had more head coaches in the league’s 20 year history than any other team and radical change is something Red Bulls fans have become accustomed to.

But when club legend and head coach Mike Petke was fired at the turn of the year, supporters felt let down. They reacted badly to the decision made by sporting director Ali Curtis to fire Petke, just a month after star man Thierry Henry had hung up his boots.

Tim Cahill then left the club in February and new head coach Jesse Marsch didn’t really have the fans on his side as they opened the new season away at Sporting Kansas City at the beginning of March.

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But this team looks good. Real good. Henry is irreplaceable, there is no doubt about that, but his departure has forced the Red Bulls to improve as a team. They are playing as a collective group, rather than a group of individuals and Marsch feels that this team could be heading for success.

“This team keeps pushing,” he said after he watched his side beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Saturday. “It keeps coming together and I really like these guys. There’s something happening here and I think we all can feel it.

“I feel like we’re only going to get better so it’s been a good start but we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Optimism

Marsh’s comments were said with excitement. He knows he has a great squad at his disposal. Bradley Wright-Phillips equalled the single-season goalscoring record with 27 last year but he looks to be a more complete player under Marsch and has already started the new year with two goals and two assists in three games.

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It took Wright-Phillips eight games to get his second goal of the 2014 season on his way to winning the Golden Boot last time out and so he is already looking set for a better campaign so long as he can stay consistent.

His fellow Englishman, Lloyd Sam has looked in fine form so far and he has stepped up his game in the absence of Henry early on, while Sacha Kljestan looks like he was one of the signings of the offseason.

Red Bulls bosses clearly felt Marsch was the man to take this team forward and they certainly look to be going in the right direction at this early stage.

They have picked up seven points from their opening three games, drawing at Sporting KC before back-to-back wins against DC United and the Columbus Crew – all three are top sides who will expect to be in the MLS Playoffs once again this season, so they are impressive results for Jesse Marsch’s side.

New York Red Bulls after three games in 2015:

Table: New York Red Bulls after three games in 2015

Table: New York Red Bulls after three games in 2015

They have gone unbeaten through three games, picking up an average of 2.33 points-per-game – a total only bettered by FC Dallas so far this season.

That’s already a major improvement from the start they made a year ago as it took the Red Bulls seven games to pick up their first win in 2014.

New York Red Bulls after three games in 2014:

Table: New York Red Bulls after three games in 2014

Table: New York Red Bulls after three games in 2014

Mike Petke watched his side concede six goals in their opening three games against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Fire and Colorado Rapids last season. Vancouver made the playoffs last year but Colorado and Chicago were two of the worst teams, making their results against better teams this time around all the more impressive.

Success

The New York Red Bulls are a team that should be winning trophies and achieving success year by year. Things looked to be going perfectly when they lifted the 2013 MLS Supporters’ Shield but back-to-back playoff failures have cast further shadows over the club. Shadows that need to be removed.

The emergence of New York City FC has just reinforced the fact that the Red Bulls must deliver. They have to try and dominate the Big Apple as well as the rest of Major League Soccer and the start they have made will certainly fill supporters with early season optimism.

They were just one game away from the title game last season as the New England Revolution beat them in the Eastern Conference Championship game. Early improvements this season could lead to greater success come December.

It is early but the Red Bulls look like a side ready to win their first-ever MLS Cup in 2015.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 28 – 19:30 ET (23:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Columbus Crew 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – New York Red Bulls – 12/5

Match Preview

Columbus Crew entertain New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening as both sides look to build upon their first win of the MLS season.

The Crew beat Toronto 2-0 last time out and are currently sitting in fourth place, with three points from two games, while the Red Bulls are in second place with four points from two games after they beat DC United 2-0 last weekend.

The last time these two sides met, it ended in a 3-1 victory for Columbus and the hosts will certainly be hoping for a repeat result.

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New York Red Bulls are looking to kick into gear after getting that important first win with key man Bradley Wright-Phillips now off the mark. They need to start picking up the pace to show that they can deal with life after Thierry Henry and back-to-back wins will send out a message that they mean business.

Columbus Crew’s Kei Kamara also opened his account last weekend and he will be looking to add to his tally to show why the Crew signed him.

Both sides have started this season cautiously and have looked a little rusty in places, but as the games come thick and fast they will continue to ease into their flowing play.

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Federico Higuain is yet to open his account for the campaign and he will be eager to improve on last seasons tally of 11 goals.

This is an important game for both sides who will want to stake a claim for the playoff places and Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter will be confident he can lead the side to the playoffs once again.

Team News

Columbus Crew have just one known injury concern in the shape of Romain Gall (sprained knee). Though they will be without Justin Meram, Will Trapp and Waylon Francis, who are all away on international duty, so changes will have to be made.

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New York Red Bulls don’t have too many concerns but new man Ronald Zubar could miss out with a hamstring problem and Roy Miller has a sprained knee. Dane Richards, Kemar Lawrence and Karl Ouimette are all away on international duty. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam impressed last weekend, so Steve Clark could have a busy evening in-between the sticks.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s form: L/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W

Key Stat: These two sides have scored nine goals between them in their last two meetings (New York Red Bulls 1-3 Columbus Crew/New York Red Bulls 4-1 Columbus Crew). If that is anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.

Key Player: Federico Higuain – The playmaker is key to making the Crew tick and he can be the difference with the service to Kamara.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 1-1 New York Red Bulls – Neither side will want to lose any ground in the playoff charge, even this early on. We can expect Higuain to be pulling the strings for the Crew, while Wright-Phillips and Sam will look to pick-up where they left off last weekend.

Podcast: FC Dallas, BWP’s Red Bulls & Liverpool vs United thoughts

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford talks to Ben Ashton and Louis East from afar about FC Dallas‘ fine start to the new MLS season as well as Bradley Wright-Phillips and his New York Red Bulls side after their encouraging start. We also look back at last weekend’s huge Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester United and discuss Steven Gerrard after his red card cost the Reds.

We also have a brief chat about the international friendlies for both the USMNT and England National Team.

As always, be sure to get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_ or comment below about your thoughts on any of the topics discussed.

MLS Player of the Week: Week 3 – Bradley Wright-Phillips

The third week of the new MLS season is wrapped up and in the books so it’s time to pick our Player of the Week. This week’s award goes to New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips who put in an unstoppable display in the Red Bulls’ home opener to see of DC United 2-0.

Wright-Phillips got his first goal of the season in the first-half and then teed up Lloyd Sam for the second goal of the game to seal a first league win of the season against last season’s Eastern Conference toppers.

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BWP tied the single-season goalscoring record in MLS last season with 27 goals but much of the talk through the offseason was about how he would cope with the loss of Thierry Henry, who provided the Englishman with so many chances last year.

Well, early signs suggest it’s the same old Bradley Wright-Phillips and he will hope to replicate the display he put in against DC United for much of the season.

Bradley Wright-Phillips' statistics from the 2-0 win against DC United (Stats via Squawka)

Bradley Wright-Phillips’ statistics from the 2-0 win against DC United (Stats via Squawka)

The 30-year-old striker created four chances for his teammates and managed to get all four of his shots on target in an impressive all-round performance.

He completed 93% of his passes and had over 50 touches on the ball. Displays like that for the rest of the season will keep the Red Bulls in fine shape.

Wright-Phillips took his goal excellently too as he plucked the ball out of the air before setting himself up for a fine volley. He’ll take confidence from that goal and will hope to build on it when he faces the Columbus Crew next weekend.

How good was Bradley Wright-Phillips this weekend? Was he your Player of the Week too?

MLS Goal of the Week: Week 1 – Vote now!

The first weekend of the 2015 Major League Soccer season is behind us and we’ve seen all 20 teams in action in what was a dramatic but exciting round of matches.

There were 16 goals scored in the ten matches this week but it’s time for you to choose what you think was the best goal of the opening weekend.

We’ve picked what we think are the five best goals from week 1 and now it’s up to you to vote for your favourite before Thursday night. Voting will close at midnight in the UK on Thursday.

Goal A: Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders

Goal B: Lloyd Sam – New York Red Bulls

Goal C: Giles Barnes – Houston Dynamo

Goal D: Mix Diskerud – New York City FC

Goal E: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy