The Red Bulls came into Week 8 having beaten D.C. United in D.C. 2-0 rather unexpectedly (at least, from where I'm standing), with the opportunity to right the ship and shake off a slow start as the season moves on from it's early stages.
All in all the totality of the performance wasn't terrible. The Red Bulls have had an awful time when playing Sporting recently, and "recently" is more than just a year in this case. When they played the Revolution on the weekend, it looked a bit more like the Red Bulls we expected heading into the season.
The issue with all this, is that, despite a decent performance followed up by a strong one, the Red Bulls tend not to build from week to week, something important when the third longest tenured player on the team is sophomore left back Connor Lade.
If the Red Bulls are going to make noise this season -- and that's always the goal what with the "win now" mentality -- the upcoming match-up with Toronto FC has to be a dominant one. They proved they can win on the road against D.C. Now they need to show they can build on the progress they make from game to game.
As far as standings go, the week's performance puts them in fourth in the conference, two points behind the Montreal Impact and tied on points with the Philadelphia Union (they win the "goals for" tiebreaker). They aren't too far off the pace of the East-leading Sporting, who have 14 points and one less game played. They're two points behind both Montreal and the Houston Dynamo. In the Supporters' Shield race, they're eight points behind FC Dallas with one more game played.