Red Bull Draw Again
The Red Bulls entered today's match in desperate need of a victory and to start the game off right. The Red Bull struggles are known league-wide and probably worldwide at this point, they have found the back of the net with a league-low six goals in eight matches. They need to improve their offense and fast. Their once-stellar defense has now let up nine goals in eight matches. They're 1-0-3 at home and 0-3-2 away not exactly the picture of success that is demanded and expected in the New York market. The good news is Chicago has struggled at home with a record of 0-0-5 and surrendered twelve goals in ten matches. The bad news is Chicago has scored twelve goals this season and can explode at any time of the match. For the Red Bull to leave with a win they need the defense that started the season giving up a league-low in shot attempts. The backline of Nealis and Reyes has started breaking down rapidly seeing Reyes account for far too many opponent goals and continued communication issues with his goalkeeper Coronel. Struber insists that Reyes is healthy and fine, but it does meet the eye test which shows a hobbling Reyes match in and match out and goals for the opponents, including two official own goals by Reyes. Struber says the machines say his team is fine and winning games, that they just need to find the net. while the computer might think the play is sharp and deserving of the win the facts are simple this team has 1 win all season and if not for some late goals would see this team easily with a record of 0-0-9 instead of 1-3-5. The fans in New York have been calling for the club to part ways with Struber, especially after the disaster that took place against San Jose seeing the team lose Dante Vanzeir their high-priced striker getting suspended by MLS after the game for 6 matches.
The match started in typical fashion for the Red Bull with back-and-forth battles in the midfield and missed chances inside the 18-yard box. Tom Barlow continues his woes when he had a wide-open chance in the 4' from point-blank range inside 5 yards and shoots the ball right to the goalkeeper Chris Brady. (VIDEO CREDIT: MLS)
Then in the 20' Manoel hits the crossbar from inside the box, leading to the continued anemic offense from the forwards this season. The club thought they fixed their scoring woes this season when they brought in Cory Burke from the Philadelphia Union and Dante Vanzeir the Belgian wonder, who is the second highest-paid striker for the club at $5.3 Million. Vanzeir has 1 goal and Burke has zero entering today's match. Chicago's Kei Kamara made them pay in the 34' when he beat Sean Nealis to the ball and headed past Coronel 1st post to open the scoring. (VIDEO CREDIT: MLS)
Chicago would hold the lead and bring the game to halftime without any real worries from the Red Bull side. Tolkin had a shot at goal but missed wide and never troubled Brady in goal. The half saw an additional four minutes played before the sides went to the locker room.
"Yeah, I think of course, we spoke and we planned today. A performance that we can create in the end a win. A performance, right? I think of course we dominated in their half and especially when we speak about first half of course. Two big, big moments, where it was a little bit unlucky not to put the ball in the net. I think in this direction, we were not so bright when the chances came so quick. I think that the setup with pressing the behavior with pressing I think shows the most of the time well. We have not always controlled to hold the game on one side I think in one or other situation that comes out in the second half and switch the game. Very good specially with the goal because a little bit on the left side not on the same page in this moment, but this is I think the biggest compliment for my boys that in the end, no one gives up and everyone believes that we can bounce back and it was a big signal. I think from the group, how close we are together. How big is our belief to go together to this special rally? And I would say yeah, I think it's only a question of time how we bounce back also with wins. The belief is so big, and I think football is sometimes a big test, we go right now I think the last few weeks for a very big test. And but for me, it's always the most important thing when I see a group in front of me, they believe in what we want and they follow the match plan and they are ready to bounce back, especially today. And do everything that the momentum stays in our hands yeah then my belief is big, and I my feeling is it's only again a question of time and when we bounce back with a victory." --Head Coach NY Red Bull Struber
The offensive struggles of the Red Bull continue to bite this team, they had numerous chances to take the lead but failed to produce quality last touches. Struber had Cory on the bench and at this rate, we should see him in the second half, the only question is when will Struber bring him on?
The second half started slow for the Red Bulls, leading to Struber subbing in Cory Burke in the 57' for Barlow who has done nothing special out there yet again for the club. Barlow has only 1 goal on the season despite having the most quality chances this year for the club. Dylan Nealis tries to head one in from six yards out, but it goes wide of the 1st post. Chicago brings on an onslaught of attacks and in the 71' Coronel makes a big save to keep the score 1-0 for the Fire. Tolkin seems to have upset the Chicago fans at some point as he is being booed on every touch now and in the 82', he fires a shot toward the center of the goal saved by Brady. In typical Red Bul fashion, they find a last-minute goal when public enemy #1 (Tolkin) takes a corner kick and places a perfect cross onto Cory Burke's head and he sends it toward the 2nd post and cleanly beat Brady who missed the ball. Tolkin starts to taunt the fans back telling them to shh following the goal by Burke. Tolkin registered his fourth assist of the season, which is a new single-season career high for the Chatham, NJ native. The defender has tallied nine career MLS assists. Tolkin’s four assists are the most among active MLS defenders this season. (VIDEO CREDIT: MLS)
The game is now tied at 1 - 1 and the half would see an additional 5' added. Tolkin nearly won the game in the 90'+4' but his chance went over the crossbar.
The Red Bulls manage to pull off yet another tie but also see themselves drop to dead last in the Eastern Conference. The only good news is they stay within three points of the final playoff spot. The fans in New York were unhappy with the result and are tired of the ties. The club is now 1-3-6 and could very easily be 0-0-10. The players are doing their best on the pitch but, at some point, something needs to change, before the rest of the league runs away with things. The Red Bulls have the high-powered Philadelphia Union coming to town on May 6th and they will look to bury their rivals further into last place and feed on the team's misery. Fans will be keeping a close eye on the team and front office this week and you can bet the fans will be vocal at the match if they don't walk out in protest again.