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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What did we learn in Kansas City’s hard fought draw with New York?

It was honours even between Sporting Kansas City and New York Red Bulls as both sides were desperately seeking a win, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Here are our key takeaways:

1. New York finally stopped the rot.

The Red Bulls had lost three games on the bounce coming in to this fixture and would have been desperate to take anything from the game.

The strike from MLS top goalscorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, made sure that they didn’t suffer a fourth straight defeat, which would have been their most losses in a row since May 2010.

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2. It was a game of nearly moments for Sporting Kansas.

There were numerous occasions in the game when Sporting thought they must have scored, only to be denied at the last.

The young right back Igor Juliao burst down the right hand side in the 2nd minute of the game and saw his delicate chip cleared off the line.

Minutes later, New York were spared their blushes by the frame of the goal when a Benny Feilhaber free-kick cannoned back off the crossbar.

Then in the second half, Luis Robles made a great save from Antonio Dovale and denied him of his, and Sporting Kansas City’s second goal, after a fine left footed strike looked for all the world as if it was heading into the back of the net.

Sporting certainly dominated large periods of the game and will be kicking themselves for the fact that they didn’t come away with all three points yet again.

3. Sporting Kansas City can’t buy a win.

Since the comfortable 3-0 win at Montreal Impact on 10th May, they’ve gone on a four game run without a victory.

And in doing so, they have further handed the initiative to New England Revolution who are now four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, with a game in hand.

Antonio Dovale put them 1-0 up against New York, and they have lead in both of their last two games only to be pegged back, so they will need to stop giving up points from winning positions.

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4. Bradley Wright-Phillips won the ‘Battle of Britain’.

Much attention was drawn to the fact that the two top goalscorers in MLS, both of whom are British, were going up against each other in this game.

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dom Dwyer both went in to the game tied on 10 goals-a-piece for the season so far.

Wright-Phillips was lively all game and was a constant thorn in the side of the make-shift Kansas City defence.

He had a few chances well saved, but importantly tucked away the goal that brings New York that crucial point to stem the flow of recent defeats.

At the other end, but for a headed chance in the second half that sailed over the bar, Dom Dwyer was particularly subdued and didn’t really influence himself on the game too often.

 

Sporting Kansas will face a tough trip to third-placed DC United on Saturday hoping that they can get the win that has been eluding them over that last few weeks. One thing for certain is that it won’t be easy as DC United haven’t lost on home soil since a 3-0 opening day defeat to Columbus.

New York Red Bulls will hope to build on their first point in four games when they travel to Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution on Sunday 8th June. It promises to be an extremely tough test against an in-form and dangerous New England side who are undefeated in their last seven games, picking up six wins and a draw in that time.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube:

 

What we learnt in Portland’s crucial win against the New York Red Bulls

Maximiliano Urruti stole the show with two goals for Portland Timbers as they came back to seal a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls. Here are the key talking points to take away:

1. Bradley Wright-Phillips is lethal.

It may seem obvious, but New York Red Bulls simply cannot afford to lose Bradley Wright-Phillips if they want to have a successful season. Should he get injured, you fear for where they are going to get their spark from. He is the joint top goalscorer in MLS alongside Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City following his penalty on Saturday. The English forwards have both notched 10 goals already this season. His link up play with Thierry Henry is improving by the week and the duo have plenty of goals in them.

Photo: Smiley N. Pool/AP

Wright-Phillips moved back to the top of the goalscoring chart alongside Dom Dwyer on Saturday night (Photo: Smiley N. Pool/AP)

2. A tale of two goalkeepers.

Donovan Ricketts of Portland Timbers had a great game between the sticks as he made numerous crucial saves to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry. On the flip side, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, who is usually so reliable, had another below par game, and a nightmare moment in conceding the first goal.

3. Maximiliano Urruti is a very exciting player.

The 23-year-old is certainly a player to watch. Not only did he bag himself two goals but he was lively all game, and caused real problems for the New York Red Bulls defence. You can see him going on to score a lot of goals this season if his form continues. That’s four in four for the Argentine and he was undoubtedly man of the match against New York.

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(Photo: Urruti is in fine form and looking dangerous for Portland)

New York Red Bulls have now lost three on the spin, and will face another stern test as they look to make amends when they travel to Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday, who sit in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls fall to 6th and must turn things around quickly.

Portland Timbers will hope to make it two wins out of two on Wednesday when they face Chivas USA, who sit at the bottom of the Western Conference. Portland are now unbeaten in five and will hope to move into a playoff spot with a win on Wednesday.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube: