The New York Red Bulls sat at .500 on the year (4-4-5) coming into their match against Western Conference front runner Vancouver Whitecaps. For the first time this year, they are now below that mark after a 2-1 loss to the visitors. Bradley Wright-Phillips had two chances to put the Red Bulls on the board with penalty kicks in the first and second half, with both being saved by David Ousted. The Whitecaps got two goals, the first by Kekuta Manneh in the 15th minute and the second by Kianz Froese in the 77th to stun the home crowd. Anatole Abang pulled one back in the 82nd but the Red Bulls couldn't come close to drawing even.
The team is now on a 4 match losing streak in MLS, and have not won a match since they beat New York City FC in May.
BWP on Penalties
Bradley Wright-Phillips had been pretty automatic when it came to penalty kicks this year. So when he misses not one, but two PKs, it of course is a big deal. The starting striker has been on something of a scoring slump, so this would've been the perfect game to get off it. However, in his two PK attempts, Wright-Phillips took unconvincing kicks. Both times he did not slow his run up at all, something that has become a go to for most players. Both times he put his kick to the right of Ousted who guessed right, but not with any real power, and at waist height. They were easy balls to defend for a keeper. They had an impact as he was visibly dejected most of the game, and more importantly, they were the difference between a win and a loss.
Settle down Kljestan
Sacha Kljestan saw a straight red card very early on in the match after elbowing and kicking out at Vancouver's Kendall Waston (who admittedly went down easy). It probably should have been a yellow to both players instead of a straight red, but Kljestan clearly started the incident, minutes after pushing players away during Wright-Phillips' first PK. Kljestan will now miss the team's next match on Wednesday when Real Salt Lake comes to town.
So much for that
The Red Bulls beat the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-0 midweek with most of their starters in the US Open Cup. It seemed like the perfect way to launch into a good run of form for a busy summer. Instead, the team squandered the good feelings from that match as they came out flat and ineffective against an admittedly very good Vancouver side. They'll need to bounce back quickly as the busy summer schedule could spell doom for a playoff spot if the team doesn't fix itself quickly.