The final match of the New York Red Bulls’ long four game road trip finally came to an end in San Jose. After a strong second half by the Baby Bulls in their US Open Cup round three matchup with the USL Pro’s FC New York, you would think it would inspire the senior side to do well against the Earthquakes.
This was the first match with newly acquired Dax McCarty who looked dangerous in the middle of the field by servicing good balls to Juan Agudelo and Mehdi Ballouchy, but the first goal of the match belonged to the Estonian Joel Lindpere in the 7th minute.
A solid cross from the near side by Roy Miller found Lindpere and the ball bounced off two defenders marking him. Lindpere was able to pick the ball up and smashed it past Jon Busch for the early lead. Once again it was another strong start for the Red Bulls.
The Quakes earned a corner in the 37th minute and when the ball was delivered into the area, Bouna Coundoul leaped and grabbed it, but sadly lost control and dropped the ball. That allowed a free shot for Khari Stephenson who equalized. Meanwhile the keeper woes for the Red Bulls continue.
The Quakes did take the lead in the second half by a thunder of a header from Steven Lenhart in the 68th minute where he had plenty of room. A great long looping cross from Steven Beitashour from the far side bent into the area where Lenhart converted it. There was too much room and unfortunately a misread from central defender Tim Ream.
But once again a stroke of luck came back to the Red Bulls as Joel Lindpere was able to earn the equalizer in the 85th minute by forcing Bobby Burling to accidentally help him out. It was a great bending shot by Lindpere who aimed at the net. The goal meant another draw for the New York Red Bulls.
What has happened to the goalkeeper position with the Red Bulls? This was supposed to be a strength of this side and now it’s become a horror show. Dropping two points a game and making terrible decisions or having a meltdown when the call doesn’t go your way and allowing the opposition to put another goal in is not the sign of a well-rounded team.
Greg Sutton had his meltdown in Seattle while Coundoul has shown his gaffes and now not holding the ball to give a free shot. Has it been this easy to say that the firing of Des McAleenan has brought down both keeper’s abilities to play the position is the number one problem? It looks like it has.
Right now both Coundoul and Sutton have not shown the ability to be mentally tough and if the Red Bulls do get a keeper during the summer transfer window to fix the problem, then that’s what needs to be done. You can’t keep getting beaten by the opposition during corners and you can’t have mental errors that allow an easy chance for your opponents to get goals that are gifts.
Until that happens it’s time to get ready for a mid-week match at home against Toronto FC and the return of Dwayne DeRosario as DC United comes up three days later.