Returning from London where they won the Emirates Cup, you would think that the pre-season tournament would have given New York Red Bulls a lift especially when confronted with a trip to Real Salt Lake.
It wasn’t so as the problems plaguing the club have re-appeared and you can sense the frustration on the field. Nat Borchers would convert a big goal in the 13th minute on a corner kick from the far side by Kyle Beckerman. Somehow Borchers was allowed to get into the area and headed in the chance; He wasn’t covered well by the defenders.
Towards the end of the first half, with the Red Bulls down by one, you would have thought they would come out of their funk, but all of a sudden a big rip from Luis Gil from three yards away found the back of the net. Either Frank Rost was screened or he thought it wasn’t going to be that difficult to stop.
But the final nail of the coffin came in the 76th minute when a long cross came into the Red Bulls area and on a bounce it hit Roy Miller in the left forearm and right away the referee signaled a penalty. Alvaro Saborio took the spot kick and converted it inside the far post.
With the great conversions of goals from Real Salt Lake, you have to give them credit for their defense as well. They pressured the Red Bulls every inch of the field. No matter where the ball was and who had it, you saw two or three defenders on a Red Bull player. But once again Real Salt Lake frustrated the club to no end.
What has happened to this club, the New York Red Bulls? What’s happened to the swagger and the confidence they had at the beginning of the season? They started out well with four wins, three draws and a loss. Since the home defeat to Chivas-USA on Sunday, May 15, their record for the last sixteen games has been two wins, nine draws and five losses.
For the first time this season the Red Bulls have lost in two consecutive matches and they are at .500 average. In their first eight matches of the season the goal difference was eleven for and three against. Since May 15 the difference has been twenty six for and thirty against.
Firing two assistants during pre-season, controversial coaching changes, and a blockbuster trade to bring in Dwayne DeRosario only to throw him away at DC United — and at the same time throwing away all their bench depth and let’s not forget injuries to Luke Rodgers and currently Jan Gunnar Solli picked up a right quad strain, and you can see why the club has been in peril.
The supporters are demanding the club fire Hans Backe right now for this current season and with all his talk of only going for the Supporters Shield, ignoring the US Open Cup and his ho-hum display of rarely making substitutions, I believe he needs to change things up and quickly as the performance against Real Salt Lake was disgraceful.