Putting Last Night's Draw in Context, and Not Necessarily a Good One


If you'll allow some hyperbole, the Red Bulls' road form is roughly two notches above simply picking the ball up and running with it.

But last night, they cobbled together enough...well, they had enough of something to leave Kansas City, Kansas' Livestrong Sporting Park with a point from the team they're chasing for first place in the East to keep the deficit at two while building their lead over the third place Houston Dynamo.

So positives for sure in the outcome, but last night's draw against Sporting Kansas City is a troubling result, statistically, as the match stands out as especially bad in a string of especially bad games.

The Red Bulls' last three road games -- all defeats -- saw nothing come from a 60/40 split in possession advantage against the New England Revolution, the Red Bulls keep pace with the Montreal Impact shots-wise while holding a possession advantage and in Houston, more set-piece opportunities than the host.

Last night the Red Bulls were out-possessed by SKC to the tune of 61 percent to 39 percent, outshot 14 to 3 (none of the Red Bulls' shots were on goal, while 3 of Sporting's were) and conceded five corners to their hosts, while not tallying one for themselves.

Whether you want to view it as a miracle or Tim Cahill's adept-ness at headers that forced a Sporting own goal is up to you and your place on the sports optimism scale, but that the Red Bulls were able to salvage anything from this game is really something.

The silver lining in all this, besides the soccer gods bestowing a point upon us, is that the other two games in this season series will take place within the confines of Red Bull Arena, where the team is unbeaten.

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