Many pixels have been spilled on blogs, on Twitter and on message boards decrying the Red Bulls awful road form.
The win at Sporting Kansas City aside, the Red Bulls have not been road warriors, posting a 4-7-3 record. If they were going to win silverware this year, that had to be fixed, and tonight's game against a Chivas USA team in shambles was the perfect time to turn things around.
Why? Because as bad as the Red Bulls have been away from home, Chivas has been worse period. Before tonight, their last win came more than a month ago. Before that? March. The last time they scored more than a goal? April.
Not to belabor my point or anything, but Chivas USA is bad. Really, really bad.
And there was reason to believe things might be looking up that don't involve kicking a team while they're down. Mike Petke said all the right things heading into the game, talking about making some changes and attacking from the opening whistle. Instead, the rookie head coach trotted out the usual line-up, the only change was Ibrahim Sekagya filling in at centerback for the injured Jamison Olave.
The results were roughly the same.
Those who turned into MSG would've been forgiven for thinking the Red Bulls and Chivas switched jerseys before kickoff. The Red Bulls looked listless, constantly losing the ball in the midfield and seemingly content to pass the ball around the back. Chivas pressured the Red Bulls, created chances and, all in all, looked like a dangerous team. Certainly not the team Red Bulls fans were expecting to play against.
In the end, a goal from Javier Morales and two, one a penalty, from Erick Torres felled the Red Bulls. Dax McCarty headed home a late one, but it was too little too late. Overall, a miserable game from a team who can't figure out how to get it done outside Red Bull Arena.
Still, the Red Bulls sit six points off the Supporters' Shield pace with eight games to play and remain in a three-way tie for second in the East with Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union. There's more at stake than just getting into the playoffs, there's still two trophies on the table. But that could change if Petke and company don't make some changes.