By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench Tuesday, August 25: 1-0 loss Sunday, August 29: 1-1 draw Wednesday, September 2: 0-1 loss
New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United
This schedule is running me into the ground. I can’t even imagine how the players are feeling at this point! And to be honest, not much of it has been worth writing about. The loss to Philly on the 25th was a snoozefest outside of the single goal. The draw in New England, a place that is very hard for the Red Bulls to find points, was only marginally more exciting. And let’s be clear: MLS is dealing with a lot of things right now. Sometimes, the games take a backseat.
The New York Red Bulls came into this Atlantic Cup matchup 1-1-1 since the end of the MLS is Back Tournament. But D.C. United has not even fared as well (0-2-1). With D.C. feeling a little desperate, the Red Bulls will have to be strong together.
Adding injury to insult, United announced Felipe, former RBNY midfielder and perennial fan favorite and foul magnet, tore his ACL in training. Even though Felipe had moved on from the Red Bulls, he is a heartfelt player that I can’t help but root for, and it’s a tough injury for anyone to face.
If I Get to Know your Name
When MLS has teams quite literally running triple-time, rotation is key. Sean Nealis broke into the Starting XI, and Omir Fernandez earned another start following his goal against the Revolution. Captain Sean Davis, on the bench in New England, came out swinging in this latest rivalry matchup.
You Look Like You’re Lots of Fun
There was no scoring in the first half, which I’ve essentially come to accept. But it was clear that New York was on the front foot. They were charging forward on the attack, dropping back quickly on the defense. It seemed every time a D.C. player tried to take the ball away, another Red Bull was there to reclaim possession. All D.C.’s breakaways were thwarted by centerbacks Nealis and Aaron Long.
Watch Out Here I Come
In the second half, the pressure built in the attacking third for New York. Corner kicks increased, free kicks at promising angles appeared. But nothing seemed to pan out.
But it was D.C. who got the last laugh. Eight minutes into stoppage time, Erik Sorga nailed a screamer from outside the box to snatch three points just before the final whistle.
You Spin Me
This is, plainly, a game RBNY should have won. They dominated the match, but couldn’t finish their chances. And you know what? I’m tired of writing those words. Fans are tired of saying them and reading them.
Other leagues have “big clubs” and “small clubs.” MLS has parity. Red Bulls New York has what it takes to be a “big club.” So. what’s holding them back? Is it the parity of an American soccer league? Or are there other elements at work? I would just like to move in a little bit closer… to the top of the conference.
Featured image: New York Red Bulls
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