By all accounts, the New York Red Bulls should have beaten up on the Chicago Fire. Sure, the Fire hadn't lost at home since April, but Chicago had a -8 goal difference coming into the game with New York at +8. An early own goal by Chicago seemed to signal good times for the away side, but it wasn't to last. The travelers gave up 2 goals in the first half, the last one right before halftime. If not for a late game goal by Bradley Wright-Phillips, this would've been one of the worst feeling results of the year. Thankfully the team came out of Chicago salvaging a point heading into their first Champions League match.
The two goals given up in the first half can be directly tied to the Red Bulls' backline not doing their job. On the first goal by David Accam, no Red Bull defender except Dax McCarty stepped up to challenge the shot. The problem is, Dax was coming in from Accam's side, not from in front of him. After the goal last week by Thomas McNamara, you would think the back line would've learned to step up and challenge the guy holding the ball, but apparently not.
The second goal can be blamed mostly on Sal Zizzio. Zizzo was the fullback responsible for covering the back post. When the cross came in, Zizzo, who stands at 5 feet and 10 inches, came into the center and tried to jump for the ball. He instead should've paid attention to the guy running in on the back post uncovered.
45 minutes and 6 stoppage time minutes, and the Red Bulls notched a total of 0 shots on goal in the first half. Their only goal came from a defender making a mistake in trying to clear a poor Mike Grella cross. It wasn't until the Red Bulls actually got constant pressure on Chicago late in the game for the Red Bulls to finally notch a goal.
The draw means the Red Bulls still have not won a road game in 2016 outside of the first New York City FC match. They also have more losses (7) than draws (4) on the road. If this team wishes to make a serious push towards MLS Cup, they will have to play on the road, and they must get better at doing so. If this form continues, missing out on MLS Cup would not be surprising.