Scoring goals and winning is nice, isn't it? Sure, we can talk about New England missing UFC fighter Jermaine Jones in the midfield and being in the middle of a losing streak, but that will only take away from the offensive juggernaut that, for at least one night, was the New York Red Bulls.
The match got off to a quick start with Bradley Wright-Phillips heading home a Lloyd Sam cross in the fourth minute. They work well together. Five minutes later Sam scored a goal of his own, finishing a ball played in by Mike Grella after some great hold up play. Sam started in an offside position, but worked his way back onside and the Long Island Ronaldinho (sure) was able to thread the ball to him.
Two goals in the first nine minutes isn't cool. You know what's cool? Three goals in the first twelve minutes. Sacha Kljestan played the ball to Dax McCarty who hit a great through ball to Wright-Phillips who did what strikers with Designated Player contracts do. (Finish.)
The Revolution pulled one back in the 37th minute on a confusing sequence. Lee Nguyen played the ball across and Andy Dorman put the ball past Luis Robles. The linesman signaled for offside and after some discussion the referee awarded a goal. Unfortunately the referee would be unable to help the Revolution score any more goals for the rest of the night.
After going in and out of the locker rooms at 3-1, fullback Anthony Wallace scored his first goal of the year to put the match out of reach. After an unsuccessful corner, McCarty played the ball to Wallace who was stationed outside of the box. His shot deflected off a New England defender (Jose Goncalves, I think [it was Goncalves]) and dribbled into the net past a hapless Bobby Shuttleworth.
The Red Bulls drew a penalty in the 87th minute after Sal Zizzo was taken down by Goncalves who was sent off with a red card. However, Zizzo was unable to convert from the spot, his shot off the rebound was saved as well, and Grella put the ball over the net. Regardless, the match was already 4-1.
What is there to say? The Red Bulls dominated.
The Wright-Phillips/Sam Connection
They certainly work well together, don't they? The two Englishmen have a great connection out there on the field. This team is at its best when Sam is operating on the wing and Wright-Phillips is finishing. But it goes beyond that. When Wright-Phillips is holding the ball up and can't find a passing option, he knows that he can hit the ball to the right side and Sam will usually be able to track it down.
Jesse Marsch deserves a lot of credit for adding to their responsibilities, but not overwhelming them.
High press has its drawbacks
The Red Bulls got lucky tonight.
"What? Lucky? They won 4-1. Shut up."
Thanks, but... they got lucky. The drawback of the high press is that you're going to deal with a few jailbreak counter attacks. And when dealing with said jailbreak counter attacks, your center backs need to be almost error free and keep the ball in front of them. Damien Perrinelle and Matt Miazga got the job done tonight, but just barely. I hesitate to throw around the word "shambolic," but they got beaten off the dribble quite a few times. They recovered, but it's something to keep an eye on. Teams with fast, creative, dynamic front lines like New England can rip apart that high line of defense with a few good passes. When your destroyer (Dax) frequently finds himself in the attacking third while the other team is breaking forward, you're asking a lot of your center backs.
Avoiding the summer slump
The Red Bulls are going to make the playoffs. Even if they go on a bad losing streak, they're going to play post-season matches. Six teams out of ten make it and the Eastern Conference is an ice cream eating contest for the lactose intolerant.
However, wins like this over conference foes help to increase seeding and ease the tension come September and October. It's always nice to have a point cushion instead of being forced to grind out results late in the season. Hell, forget about late in the season. The more points the Red Bulls accumulate on matches like this, the more focus they can comfortably place on the Open Cup. And everyone should want to win the Open Cup.
- Denis Hamlett was the head coach because Jesse Marsch was suspended. He coached a good match and looked dapper in his suit.
- Connor Lade had a decent game. I'll always support him. He's a good player who works hard and manages to find his way onto the field regardless of who his coach is. Also, he's a Homegrown so we're forced to root for him. But I want to anyway.
- It's disgraceful that the South Ward stole "Twist and Shout" from the Sons of Ben and continues to do it after every goal.
- The previous thought is a joke.
- Anatole Abang should have taken the penalty.
- Was this the best match of the season for Felipe and Kljestan? Maybe.
- How about Anthony Wallace? After spending most of the season with New York Red Bulls II in USL, he appears for the senior team and has quite a good match. Between Wallace and Lawrence, are we seeing a certain Costa Rican stalwart become redundant?
- I watched this movie called Druid Peak. It was pretty good. You should watch it if you come across it.