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3 Thoughts: Red Bulls blow it in last home game

The Red Bulls gave away a 3-1 win to the Columbus Crew, and possibly their only playoff game at home.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Coming Out Flat

Whatever it was, the Red Bulls came out flat all around. They couldn't keep possession of the ball for long stretches of the game, despite maintaining a (slight) majority of the possession. The defense looked like they were content to watch the ball for most of the game, and they did just that on the 3rd goal. Maybe the defense was missing the presence of Ibrahim Sekagya, but they had three other starters on the back line in Richard Eckersley, Jamison Olave, and Roy Miller. At halftime, Petke said "...they need to pull their heads of their you know what." Whatever he said the in the locker room apparently wasn't enough, because the team came out just as flat in the 2nd half, minus a brief spark by Lloyd Sam. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence for the Red Bulls (who had won 7 straight at home), and hopefully we won't see this again in the playoffs.

Lloyd Sam

Sam provided the one bright spot in an otherwise terrible game when he scored a goal in the 58th minute. He split two defenders and blasted a shot past Steve Clark. It was a great moment of individual play, but was the only one when the Red Bulls needed many.

5th Place (for now)

The loss knocks the Red Bulls down to 5th place, and opens up the possibility of the Red Bulls of having to play a one-and-done knockout match on the road. The Red Bulls still have a chance to finish 4th or 3rd depending on how games play out next weekend. They need to win and hope that Philadelphia plays spoiler against Columbus if they want to be in 3rd and avoid the knockout game. If they can at least beat Sporting Kansas City, they can claim 4th and have the knockout game at home.

Current Standings
Place Team Points Next Opponent Home/Away
3 Sporting Kansas City 49 New York Red Bulls Home
4 Columbus Crew 49 Philadelphia Union Home
5 New York Red Bulls 47 Sporting Kansas City Away