Frustration is the only word to describe the emotion of many Red Bull fans who counted on a win against Vancouver Whitecaps; a team currently on a 10-game winless streak. As mentioned in my previous article, the RBNY defense seems to be unraveling in front of our eyes with every match they play.
As the team headed to Vancouver, a few familiar faces were missing from the line-up including Thierry Henry, Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez, Chris Albright and Robinson. The most influential player missing is definitely Henry, and for some even Marquez.
Personally I think the only player whose presence was deeply needed last night was that of Thierry Henry who seemed to find amazing chemistry with Luke Rodgers; a chemistry that has yet to appear between Rodgers and Juan Agudelo.
The first half of the match saw energy and attacking from both sides; Vancouver attacking ferociously in the first 4 minutes but defensively Stephen Keel and Tim Ream were on top of their game, not allowing Vancouver access to the net.
This forced the hand of RBNY and Rodgers leading the pack with an attack in the 5th minute, followed in the 8th minute by a long shot from Jan Gunnar Solli that unfortunately missed the net.
Vancouver found the net in the 15th minute, but it was called offsides to the dismay of the Whitecaps fan base. But it was yet another reckless mistake by the RBNY defense that would lead to a penalty kick for Vancouver.
This would be the 3rd game in a row where RBNY would surrender a penalty that would lead to a goal for the opposition; this time the mistake would be off of a tackle from behind by Carlos Mendes.
Eric Hassli would be the player to find the net in an effortless manner and put Vancouver in the lead in the 23rd minute of the match, with his 4th goal of the season. This would bring the amount of goals given up by RBNY to 5 in the last three matches.
With RBNY under pressure, Agudelo attacks in the 28th minute that leads to a corner kick, one that didn’t bring the desired results for RBNY.
And merely 5 minutes later in the 33rd minute, RBNY golden boy Luke Rodgers found the net, assisted by Solli, granting Rodgers his 5th goal of the season. At the end of the first half, the score was 1-1 and would remain that way until the final whistle blew.
The second half was lacking in both energy and enthusiasm; which would add to the frustration of RBNY fans who are hungry for a win, and a return to a winning streak.
Austin da Luz came in on the 69th minute for Mendez. 86th minute Dwayne De Rosario took a free kick for RBNY, yet failed to find the net. The young Corey Hertzog came in on the 91st minute for De Rosario.
RBNY would walk away with a point, placing them in 2nd position in the East and trailing two points behind Philadelphia Union.
More importantly, I believe the game highlighted the defensive flaws, as well as the decisions that will have to be made by Hans Backe during the Gold Cup when six players from the RBNY squad will be away fulfilling international team duties.
Perhaps in the next match against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, June 4th Backe will surprise all of us with a defensively stronger side so that we may once again experience a victory.
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