Week 8, Part 1: Red Bulls-Sporting KC in Review

The woes against Sporting continue.

April 17: Red Bulls 0, Sporting Kansas City 1

This one is a tough game to say anything about. Suffice it to say, last night was far from the result the Red Bulls (or us Red Bulls watchers) wanted.

Like we talked about earlier this week, this game carried a whole host of sports cliches with it. It was an opportunity to jump up the table, measure this team against last year and make a statement that, after some early-season woes, the Red Bulls are firing on all cylinders.

But that didn't happen, and the Red Bulls are stuck with their first home loss of the year.

Positives

  • It looks like Andy Roxburgh, et al. have found a player in Marius Obekop.
  • Fabian Espindola made his return and went the full 90.
  • If Juninho is going to miss a free kick, the best way he can do that is by nailing Aurelien Collin in the groin.

Negatives

  • Jamison Olave, the Red Bulls best defender and leading scorer, picked up a knock. It goes without saying, but I'll do it anyway, a back line shake up is the exact opposite of what this team needs.
  • Juninho won't play Saturday against the New England Revolution after a stupid red card late. Not that the Brazilian's actions absolve Jimmy Nielsen at all: He flopped like a fish in a performance worthy of an Oscar.
  • It's one thing for Peguy Luyindula to be snakebitten in front of goal. It's another issue entirely when it's Thierry Henry. The Frenchman missed a few chances I've grown accustomed to him finishing.
  • The result overall: The Red Bulls can't keep dropping games. The team is too talented. Their schedule is too favorable. They haven't had the best of times against Sporting in recent years, but if this win-loss-win-loss pattern keeps up, they'll be falling down the table even faster than they already are.

Notable Quotes

Henry, via the New York Post...

"They're a team. You have to give them credit...the best team won. Give Kansas City credit, they're a good team and once again they came here and we can't beat them,'' said captain Thierry Henry, who took Roy Miller's pass over Matt Besler's head and ran in on goal, but shot wide right in the 64th-minute.

"I don't think today we did create anything. The only clear one we had was because (Matt) Besler misread the ball. We didn't create enough. Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself.''

Juninho, via the Post, on his red card...

"The message was to speed up the game. I agree maybe I shouldn't have done it the way I handled it. But the message was to express that the ball is there, and he kept delaying. Every time the ball would go towards him, he would let it go by and go fetch another ball. It was just a little frustrating, and I lost my head.''

Relevant Statistics

Red Bulls Statistic Sporting KC
14 Attempts on Goal 13
5 Corners 6
13 Fouls 16
10 Crosses 11
78% Passing Accuracy 76%
52.6% Possession 47.7%

Source

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