After two days of drama in Harrison following the sacking of New York Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas, it was time to get back on the field. Unfortunately the team’s poor form took an even further dive in a 3-0 loss Sunday night to the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena.
The scoring opened in the 36th minute, when Philly starlet Brendan Aaronson found narrow space to strike a bending shot past Ryan Meara. As the Union moved the ball up the field, Alejandro Bedoya made a solid pass to Aaronson, who settled and teed it up.
Yet the Red Bulls created chances and remained competitive in the match until late. Kacper Przybylko, the lone goalscorer in last week’s 1-0 Philly win over the Red Bulls, once again scored with ease in the 68th minute. Twenty minutes later with the game winding down Matthew Real was played a good ball by Ilsinho and ripped it hard off the inside of the back post and in to close the rout.
The team’s veterans spoke about both the responsibilities the players feel for the dismissal of Armas and the need to help young and newly-added players keep focus in the midst of turbulence.
“Ryan Meara said it really well that there is a culture at this club of winning and being a premiere team in this league. When we look at the performance that we put on at home that is just not good enough.” said Tim Parker, “Two straight home losses isn’t something that this club is used to, the fans aren’t used to and we are not used to. That is something that we have to look ourselves in the mirror, judge ourselves and be very tough on ourselves because at this point moving forward it is now us playing for our jobs [after seeing the head coach let go].
“I think we are going to have to have a talk with a bunch of guys, not just the young guys I think it is everyone. We have to prove that we want to be here and that we deserve to be here”
Bradley Carnell, officially designated as the team’s interim manager only yesterday afternoon, had hoped for a better result in his opening game in charge but looks forward to getting the players back on track when the fog of the previous two days settles.
“Yeah, you could feel what we’ve been trying to work on the last two days, trying to renew the guys energy and just create this little sense of a calm, controlled environment, keep the emotions intact.” said Carnell ,“For 68 minutes, you said it wasn’t mean to be today, but for 68 minutes, there was a sense of that, and I could feel that. The players, they played their guts out. It’s just unfortunate that the guys can’t reward themselves.
“Listen, there’s some good stuff to reflect on, there’s some good moments in the game to look back into, and you know, on the one side I’m excited about attacking the new week, and on the other side, I need to give the guys a bit of time off to reflect, decompress and renew their energy for the coming games.
We have to be self-critical at the same time, and we can’t be happy with the last two goals. The way we concede these goals is very light-handed. I’d like a little more urgency when the ball turns over, a little more aggression on plays, stepping to the plays, staying true to who we are.”
For the first time since the end of the MLS is Back tournament the team will have a full week’s rest, giving plenty of time to decompress from a leadership change and two painful defeats. Facing DC United this coming Saturday the Red Bulls will be looking for revenge as well as confidence as the club begins its approach to a new era.