Henry takes to the distributor role
With no real creative engine in the middle of the field, but the league's leading scorer up top, Head Coach Mike Petke has opted to drop Thierry Henry further back into the midfield to spur the Red Bulls' attack.
It's not a bad idea -- as Henry gets involved in the build-up even without being tasked with playmaking duties -- but it hasn't quite worked out yet. But tonight, it did.
Henry had a hand in all four New York Red Bulls' goals assisting one. First he slid a great pass from Eric Alexander across goal to Bradley Wright-Phillips, then cooly finished his own. For the third, he made an easy pass to Lloyd Sam who finished and finally springing Alexander forward for the fourth.
There's no cap space and little will to blow up the team. If this incarnation of the Red Bulls is going to work, it depends so much on Henry in the middle of the field pulling the strings. Tonight, we saw how well it could work.
BWP keeps tearing it up
Wright-Phillips scored today, his 15 of the season in 17 games. With the Red Bulls officially at the halfway point, Wright-Phillips is scoring just a shade under a goal a game -- 0.882 goals a game to be precise.
Strikers are streaky, but I personally have been waiting for Wright-Phillips to cool off at some point this season. But he hasn't. Don't look now, but he's on pace to break the MLS single season goal-scoring record.
Winning in spite of the defense
Both Henry and Luis Robles were pleading with the defense during the first half to, for lack of a better term, get their shit together. They played better in the second half, but Matt Miazga did have a very poor first 45 minutes.
That comes with playing an 18-year-old center back. Miazga is going to be learning on the fly. But the most important thing is staying with him through it and making sure he doesn't lose confidence. A lot of people in the Red Bulls organization like Miazga and now that he's in the fold, he needs to stay there so he can continue developing.