Nine days ago, the shorthanded Red Bulls went to Foxborough, Mass., where they haven't won in nearly two decades, and pulled out a 2-0 win over the East-leading New England Revolution.
Then, Saturday, the same shorthanded Red Bulls (Head Coach Mike Petke only made three changes) made the trip out to Long Island to get absolutely trounced by the NASL New York Cosmos in the Open Cup.
It's been a few days, and I've rolled these two results around in my head a bit. After much reflection, I've come to the conclusion that there is only one way to rectify those two performances, and it's extraterrestrial intervention.
Like the 1950's sci-fi classic, the only explanation I have for the complete lack of effort and desire Saturday night was that several of the starting XI were replaced in their sleep by in-human look-a-likes grown in large seed-like pods, possibly cultivated in the wilderness around the Red Bulls Hanover, N.J. training facility. These impostors, utterly devoid of emotion and
individuality soccer playing ability, were the ones that took the field Saturday night at Hofstra.
How else do you explain the complete and utter lack of, well, anything happening Saturday? The going-through-the-motions-ness of it all? It was monotonous, uninspired and boring. Peguy Luyindula showed how good he was in space a few times, but had no one to give the ball to. Chris Duvall showed some emotion late in getting a red card.
But that was it, no one else had anything about them. No one seemed like they wanted to win.
I mean, it's one thing to get beat, but it's one thing to get beat while showing no desire, no effort, no urgency. A few times this season the Red Bulls have played from behind, but they took control of the game and had enough about themselves to equalize or win.
But they showed no interest in any of that Saturday night. It can only mean it wasn't really the Red Bulls out there. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.