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This Break Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time

It's going to be awhile before the Red Bulls play again. And that's a good thing.


Welcome to the world of MLS scheduling: The Red Bulls won't play a game for another eight days and they won't have a league game for another 19.

After playing far more games than most of their counterparts -- the most egregious example, four more than the Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps -- the Red Bulls get a lengthy break.

And that lengthy break couldn't have come at a better time.

In their last four games, all home games, the Red Bulls are 2-1-1. That record includes a 2-0 win over an amateur team in the Open Cup. The result against Reading United aside, the Red Bulls -- 1-1-1 in the last three league games -- haven't looked great.

They look uncomfortable, uninspired and lack creativity. They might've had more of the ball than the Whitecaps last weekend, but Vancouver had more going on offensively. Even though the breaks didn't go the Red Bulls way against the Columbus Crew, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw, the game was there for the taking a number of times. Against the LA Galaxy, the visitors had the more dangerous opportunities, and it took some late game magic from Juninho and Tim Cahill to secure the three points. Three winnable games and nine points. And the only ended up with four.

Frankly, the team just looked like it was out of gas.

The gigantic break gives the Red Bulls a chance to take a breath. Mike Petke, who lost it with the media post-game, then apologized, certainly seems like he could use a break. Thierry Henry seems frustrated more often than not. Fabian Espindola has gotten streaky again. The rest of the team is much the same.

Whether its the frequency of games, the early season travel, Petke running out of ideas or whatever, some time away from the rigors of professional soccer will do the team good.

This break will give the team some time to regroup and refocus before an important Open Cup match-up and a minor rivalry clash with the Philadelphia Union.

The eight game unbeaten streak has put the Red Bulls in a good position heading into the summer months. This break could get them in the right frame of mind to take advantage of it.