March 20, 2016
Five takeaways from the Red Bulls' comeback win
By Michael Lewis
Sal Zizzo was one of the Red Bulls' unsung heroes.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
OK, hopefully you have come down back to earth after the Red Bulls' exciting 4-3 comeback victory over the Houston Dynamo.
Here are five takeaways from the win:
Much needed three points
The Red Bulls needed this win for so many reasons, for their dignity, their confidence, for their first victory of the season and for sanity entering a two-week international break. Had they gone down 0-3 there would be a lot of naysayers out there on whether they could recover. We'll have to wait to see if this game will give them a big boost down the line.
During crunch time, players will emerge to take the bull by the horn, so to speak. Felipe did so Saturday night. He stuck for the equalizer with a 22-yard shot and with Sacha Kljestan about to lineup a free kick from just about the same distance in the 83rd minute, he asked his teammate to take it because he felt he could connect. It night be weeks or months before he scores again, but Felipe will continue to play a vital role in the midfield.
The spotlight usually focuses on the goal-scoring heroes, but the Red Bulls had many heroes. Start with Karl Ouimette and Connor Lade, who came on for the injured Gideon Baah and Ronald Zubar. Lade went to left back and played admirably as Kemar Lawrence, the starting left back, teamed with Ouimette in the middle of defense. Mike Grella, who replaced Gonzalo Veron, scored a goal. And then there's right back Sal Zizzo, who blocked Ricardo Clark's close-range shot with his face deep into second-half stoppage.
Veron cannot buy a break. Arguably the best Red Bull in the opening 20-or-so minutes, the Designated Player came up lame with a leg injury and was forced from the game. We don't know if it was a recurrence of the hamstring injury, which kept him out of the opening two matches. When he recovers, he deserves to be in the Starting XI. He's too good.
It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world
You canít make up games like this. Both center backs make bonehead plays that lead to goals. Three starters pull up lame with leg injuries, giving the coach no flexibility on his tactical moves. The team overcomes a pair of one-goal deficits and the hero turns out to be someone who isn't known for his goal-scoring yet he secures a rare brace.