For the estimated 300 Red Bull fans that made their way to the PPL Park in Philadelphia, a win against Philadelphia Union seemed almost imminent. Having acquired Dwayne De Rosario from Toronto FC, it seemed that the team had every resource they could possibly need to run circles around any opponent.
Not only do they have young Juan Agudelo, but Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. As many fans put it, “At this point, even a tie would be disappointing”.
Coach Hans Backe utilized his 4-4-2 formation, with Henry and Agudelo up in the front, with hopes that De Rosario would get the opportunities to either striker to close the deal.
No lack of attempts as the Red Bulls had 12 shots on goal, yet the Philly defense seemed too strong to break through. For many of the fans, this brought sheer frustration since the Red Bulls seemed to have possession of the ball for the majority of the game, yet the all star line up could not make it count when it mattered.
As for Thierry Henry, this game clarified what many fans feared; he has yet to score a goal this season, and almost seems unenthused to be playing for the Red Bulls, regardless of the fact that he has promised to lead the team to victory. For many, that remains questionable.
Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak stated that “We need to be effective, smart and efficient” and that it is exactly what his team brought to the field. It wasn’t a beautiful game, but at this point beauty doesn’t count, goals count.
And young Torres found the net for the Union and they have their 3 points. Backe was not too happy following the game, and simply stated that, “It is ridiculous to lose a game like this.” Yet Backe still managed to praise his team for the best first half in an away game in over a year.
For Coach Hans Backe, there is some work to be done on finding that missing element between the players that will finally lead the New York Red Bulls to victory for the first time in 16 years. All the resources are on the field, yet still lacking is the chemistry amongst players.
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