“Desperation.” “Must have it.” “Need to keep our confidence high.” “Must win game.”
These are the adjectives that were thrown at the New York Red Bulls as they started with two draws and two losses this season. But there was no loss of confidence with this side as they felt the bounces didn’t go their way.
With some players injured and a Brandon Barklage Suspension the Red Bulls were facing a Philadelphia Union side that was looking to add some points to their early season and it was all New York with possession and chances.
Subbing on for Tim Cahill was Thierry Henry in the 59th minute and he made sure the full three points came to the home side. A nice cross from Peguy Luyindula to Henry in the area with two defenders on him settled and smashed it inside the near post in the 81st minute.
With his sprained right MCL Henry showed well along with Tim Cahill who was coming back from Australia Duty for World Cup Qualifying, but originally it was thought that he wouldn’t play because of the cross country trek. That was not the case and started the match.
But the first goal of the game was very important to the Red Bulls as they were facing a 300+ minute scoreless streak and it broke thru by Dax McCarty in the 55th minute. Fantastic cross from Jonny Steele who was on the far side of the field and as the ball got to McCarty a strange slice went off the inside of the near post and past MacMath for the early lead.
“Out of all the previous games, beside the second half of Portland we didn’t play well, but we got the result and I’m very happy about that.” Said Mike Petke, “But there is more work to be done and now we move on.”
When asked about getting his first win as a head coach, he just shrugged it off and decided to move on, but he felt that getting the win was important and felt it wasn’t as such of a must win as many have reported in the New York press.
But just when you thought a win wasn’t going to happen, it came from a Conor Casey Equalizer in the 63rd minute. Sheanon Williams made a long throw in towards the area and out of nowhere Casey leapt in the air and headed the ball past Luis Robles. While that was an amazing goal, there was some controversy.
Markus Holgersson felt he didn’t touch the ball over the far touch line and felt it was a throw in for New York, but the flag went the other way. To be honest the officiating crew with Silviu Petrescu was horrible all match long to both sides. Doesn’t matter if they are Canadian or American all sides suffer with horrible officiating.
But with Philadelphia trailing by a goal and fighting to equalize it was inside 2nd half stoppage time where Casey attacked the ball and as he leapt for it gave Luis Robles a flying hip check and took him down. Robles after the game was alright and joked about it after the match.
But at the end of the day the Red Bulls broke two streaks, a scoreless drought and a winless streak. They get ready for last place Chicago at the fire house.