Two goals in the first six minutes proved to be all of the scoring at BMO Field on Saturday night as the New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 with MLS cellar-dwelling Toronto FC. Jan Gunnar Solli put New York ahead in just the fourth minute before Danny Koevermans equalized for the hosts, and neither side was able to finish the chances they created in the remaining eighty-four minutes.
The Red Bulls looked flat and sloppy in possession for most of the first half; Kenny Cooper and the returning Thierry Henry didn't impose themselves upon the game as they have so many times in the first half of this season. Toronto played fairly well, carved out several good chances, and may have been unlucky to score only once, when Koevermans took advantage of some (more) terrible defending by New York off a set piece.
New York looked better after the break, but both Henry and Cooper missed fairly good opportunities to re-take the lead. For the Red Bulls, it was a disappointing follow-up to the brilliant performance against DC United, although a draw away to this Toronto side may not be as bad as it looks right now. The hosts have rebounded from their awful start to 2012 and look a halfway decent team -- although nowhere near good enough to rebound and make the playoffs.
The most obvious concern for Hans Backe will be that his team may slip into a mid-season slump, as they did last year, and the upcoming fixtures don't look great for the Red Bulls: away to New England is usually a tough game for New York, and that is followed by three games in seven days against Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The Red Bulls will have to get back to the fluent passing that they have demonstrated they can use to control games in the first half of this season in order to keep the Eastern Conference title race alive.