Earlier in the season, I mentioned that Bouna Coundoul would cause some adventures along the way if he remained the starting goalkeeper for the Red Bulls for the entire season. Well, it only took three games, and Coundoul's terrible misplay of a deflected Jesus Padilla shot paved the way for a 2-0 Chivas USA win over the Red Bulls in Carson. The Red Bulls weren't very good in any facet of the game, but outside of Coundoul's blunder, the Red Bulls were no worse than Chivas on the day. Padilla added a goal late in the match (one that actually counted for him, as the first was scored as a Coundoul own goal) as the Red Bulls were pushing for the equalizer.The loss was the first for the Red Bulls on the season, as they fall to 2-1-0, and remain on 6 points in the Easter Conference table.
The Red Bulls were very poor in the final third. Throughout the match, the Red Bulls and Chivas shared the possession fairly evenly, but the Red Bulls didn't create many chances. Juan Pablo Angel had a couple of half-chances, his best coming on a header off a Jeremy Hall cross that didn't trouble keeper Zach Thornton, and went wide. Newly signed striker Salou Ibrahim had an opportunity in the second half, but his looping shot missed the frame. Outside of that, the Red Bulls didn't really put much pressure on the Chivas USA backline.
The defense for the Red Bulls was still pretty solid. Tim Ream was the Red Bulls' best player on the field throughout the match, as he broke up numerous Chivas forays, and as usual, did extremely well distributing the ball from the back. Chivas' first goal falls on Coundoul, who should have done better, and the second goal was really just a result of the Red Bulls having about 7 attacking players on the field while going for the equalizer. It was a gamble that didn't pay off, but it was good to see Hans Backe throw caution to the wind; that appeared throughout the game to be the only way the Red Bulls would score.
So the road futility reared its ugly head again, but the Red Bulls taking three out of a possible 6 points in back to back road matches isn't the worst thing in the world. Now, the Red Bulls get to return to the friendly confines of Red Bull Arena, where they'll host two winnable games in a row. On April 17th, FC Dallas comes to town, and the following week the expansion Philadelphia Union visit for the first time. We'll have more reaction and analysis of today's loss coming shortly.