April 10, 2016
5 takeaways from the Red Bulls' loss
By Michael Lewis
Sean Davis enjoyed a strong game at midfield for the Red Bulls, subbing for the suspended Felipe.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
It has been one rough start for the Red Bulls, who are 1-4 and lie ninth in the MLS Eastern Conference.
With that in mind, here are five takeaways from their latest defeat, a 2-0 home setback to Sporting Kansas City Saturday night.
When a striker is at the top of his game, it seems that everything he or she touches turns into goal. When a forward can't score, he or she loses confidence. Case in point: Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is still searching for his first goal of the season. He has had plenty of opportunities, including 10 shots on Saturday night. Just how does a striker get out of a funk? There are many ways. Sometimes it is as simple as keeping on plugging away. Sometimes it is in the most innocuous way, such as the ball hitting his butt and going into the net without the striker even striking. I've seen the latter happen too many times to discount that.
Every team goes through this spell during the season. For the Red Bulls, it's happening at the beginning of the schedule, where everything is magnified in black and white in the league table. It seems whatever they do, they can't get it right, whether it is converting chances into goals, outplaying the opposing team, yet giving up goals or having the opposition score while a player is lying prone on the field. Sooner or later this will end, but when?
Sean of the very much un-dead
He wasn't Felipe, but the young midfielder acquitted himself quite well in place of the suspended Brazilian. He looks like he will have a bright future in front of him. With captain Dax McCarty and Felipe as the central mid mainstays, it will be difficult to find the American some much-needed playing time. But he proved he deserves to play.
The sixth choice
Yes, the second goal was on Chris Duvall. But you have to remember that he started a game at center back for the first time in his career. All in all, he did as well as you can expect. You have to remember that Duvall is the Red Bulls' sixth choice at the position. Damien Perrinelle is still recovering from his knee injury suffered during the playoffs. Gideon Baah and Ronald Zubar are sidelined with hamstring injuries. Kemar Lawrence, a left back, was moved inside before he injured his knee in the New England loss. Canadian international Karl Ouimette has been the mainstay in central defense. The bright side is that Baah and Zubar are on the mend. It can't get any worse, can it?
There are different ways to get out of a bad streak. Sometimes it is returning home from a long time on the road. Sometimes it is hitting the road. After struggling through their opening five games, the Red Bulls will play in San Jose and Colorado on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. Can that be the tonic for the team? Or will it exacerbate itself on the road? One thing is for sure: a change of scenery can't hurt.