The Red Bulls suffered a disappointing loss this weekend in New England, a place where they haven't had a great history of success. A win would have put them ahead of DC and KC, in sole possession of first place in the East, and 3 points back of Supporters Shield leaders San Jose, with a game in hand.
But New York were outplayed for most of the match, and didn't take their chances, while New England took enough of theirs and sealed a 2-0 win.
Thanks to the geography of cable TV, I was able to watch this game in English, which at least made it more palatable to my wife. From my perspective the downside was the homerism of the New England announcing team. While not as provincial as the RSL folks, its still annoying, especially when your team is losing. But not unexpected at least.
The main thing I took away from this game is that turf should just be outlawed as a playing surface in this league. It was clear to me on TV that the ball was bouncing in ways that a soccer ball is not supposed to bounce. An argument could be made that both NE goals would not have gone in on grass, even though Nguyen's was a great strike. That second goal took a couple of bounces that could only have happened on turf. The NE announcers didn't shed any light on where the NY defenders were on the second and third opportunities on that play. My own guess is that they assumed the play would be called back.
The second thing is that injuries seem to finally have caught up with the team. They were missing 5 or 6 first XI players, depending on how you rate Solli and Holgersson. While they've done admirably well for the past 10 games or so without Henry and for the most part without Marquez, how long could they realistically keep it up? This game wasn't a disaster, they played decently enough, and honestly we are lucky this kind of thing hasn't happened more often over the last two months.
This leads to the third thought - where is our 3rd DP? At the start of the year, we needed an attacking MF. For a little while injuries made it seem like a CB was on the cards, and Nesta was rumored to be the answer. The Pearce trade helped to shore up the D, (as long as he's healthy enough to play,) and this game emphasizes the need for some offensive help, either a creative spark or a finisher, as Lindpere and Richards are not getting it done.
Luke Rodgers is still a possibility, but this team, with this amount of money behind it, in this market, in this position in the league, needs to sign a 3rd DP. Tomorrow will be two weeks since the transfer window opened. Teams like the Revs, the Whitecaps, Impact de Montreal, have all added players, some of which require a week or two to get match fit.
Obviously we want the right guy, but what is taking so long? This is the time to gear up for a run, not just at the MLS Cup, but the Supporter's Shield, which, I don't think I have to remind anyone, would be the first major trophy in team history. So get a deal done already!
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