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Red Bulls’ spiral continues with loss to Rapids

There were “Fire Armas” chants at Red Bull Arena after Jonathan Lewis’ brace for Colorado.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at New York Red Bulls
Despite 19 shots from the Red Bulls, Tim Howard only needed three saves to earn the shutout.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls knew they had to get points in this match, but they also knew what was coming: a Colorado Rapids side who wanted to give their new head coach, Robin Fraser, his first win.

At Red Bull Arena, the Colorado Rapids did just that. They got two goals on the road, gave Fraser the victory and for North Brunswick, NJ native Tim Howard, a big win in his final match in his home state, as the Rapids defeated the New York Red Bulls two goals to nil.

Both goals were scored by former New York City FC midfielder Jonathan Lewis, who took advantage of his chances and made the Red Bulls pay. His first of two was scored in the 14th minute. The Red Bulls got a free kick and tried to be sneaky.

Josh Sims made a nice cross to Bradley Wright-Phillips who tried to head the ball inside the front post, but the ball hit the post, which led to a counter attack by the visitors. That is when Lewis was able to go down the far side and convert his chance.

First he juked Rece Buckmaster, then he caught Luis Robles off his line and bent an easy chance past him to get an early goal. For the rest of the match, the Red Bulls were able to find chances, but they couldn’t cash in. All match long they were chasing the game, until Lewis scored his second in the 87th minute to put a stamp on the match.

“From my standpoint, it’s pretty clear. We lost the game two-nothing at home and it’s extremely disappointing,” Chris Armas said. “I’ll take a hard look at what I’m doing...to put out a team tonight that I thought, we didn’t have the urgency, the execution, the desire to win that game. It’s on me, and, yeah, I’m gonna get it right. There’s five games left in the season, the most important ones are ahead, and we will find out who we are.”

This season has been a challenging one, with the Red Bulls (12-12-5) madly inconsistent. The South Ward has been patient, but in this match, after the Rapids scored their second goal, the supporters started to chant for Chris Armas to be fired.

“I didn’t even hear it, I was told in the hallway walking through,” Armas said. “But, it’s, my kids read stuff, they tell me different things along the way. I don’t get caught up in what people think. I mean, I was starting for the U.S. National Team and people said, ‘Why is Chris Armas starting for the National Team?’ You can’t let that affect you.

“But, I think the big thing is, I understand it. It’s part of it. They paid money to see us play. I’d be pissed off too, if I watched that performance tonight.”

The International Break comes at a good time, as the Red Bulls have five matches remaining, with the next two in the Pacific Northwest against Seattle and Portland.

Chris Armas and his coaching staff needs to find a solution very quickly, or else the playoffs could end in a bad way, or even worse, they could miss the playoffs entirely.