Gerhard Struber said he would keep his press conference short following a result he and his New York Red Bulls team will be eager to put behind them. This recap won’t be much different.
An early goal snatched by DC United youngster Kevin Paredes was enough to push the Screaming Eagles to a 1-0 win over an otherwise assured Red Bulls side in a somewhat low-intensity rivalry match Wednesday night in Washington. Though New York settled down after the turbulent early moments where they surrendered the lead (dominating most statistical categories), they were unable to convert their control into a goal and thus suffered their first loss in over a month.
The game began with the two young, pressing-focused sides both flying out of the gates, and it was in a moment of open play where the Red Bulls conceded early. Following a squandered breakout in which forward Fabio (paired up top with Patryk Klimala for the second consecutive week following injury) failed to find a streaking Andrew Gutman, DC then attacked the space behind the New York left back. Nigel Robertha roamed into open space, where his cross trickled through a Red Bulls backline scrambling back into place and into the path of Kevin Paredes, who blasted the ball into the roof of Carlos Coronel’s net for the lead.
Though the early goal put the Red Bulls and their mistake-pouncing style at a disadvantage, Struber’s team largely recovered and controlled the rest of the match. New York outshot DC 17 to 4 and, in a rare occurrence, even controlled the possession percentage by a margin of 60 to 40. The team manufactured several decent chances including a bending Tom Edwards free kick that tested a fantastic Bill Hamid, a free header that Fabio nodded just wide of the post, and multiple breakaways that lead striker Patryk Klimala got on the end of but failed to convert. But as the game reached its closing passages and Struber pulled many of his starting attackers to rest ahead of Saturday’s matchup with Montreal, the game fell out of reach for the Red Bulls, who never found an equalizer.
“We forget today. We forget this result,” said Gerhard Struber post-match.
“We know this opponent is dangerous...they play a very direct game, and I think in the first 10-15 minutes there are some topics where maybe we struggle with some of their power and their second balls. We lure DC outside of their comfort zone and into some wide areas and find some possession for ourselves in some moments. But in the end, we are not sharp enough to score today.”
His captain Sean Davis shared Struber’s assessment of the game and the need to not dwell on the frustration ahead of a crucial final week-and-a-half of the regular season.
“You can say it’s not a fair result, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all about three points. We generated good chances but we weren’t ruthless enough in either box.”
“Everybody is desperate for points right now and every game is so important. We have turn around and put ourselves in the best way for Montreal. We have to turn the page and move on quickly.”