Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
HARRISON, N.J.– You could tell from the early moments of Saturday night’s match against the New England Revolution that the New York Red Bulls had no intention of turning in another forgettable performance like the one displayed last Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
The Red Bulls faced a team not as strong as Sporting KC, but one with a defense that had been just about as stingy this year, and all New York did was jump out to an early 2-1 lead before closing out the match in style, with two late goals to secure a 4-1 thumping of New England at Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
Goals from Dax McCarty and Fabian Espindola helped offset a Brandon Barklage own goal to give New York a 2-1 lead after nine minutes. The match stayed pretty close all the way until the latter stages of the second half, when the Revs went pressing for an equalizer and the Red Bulls punished Revs rookie Andrew Farrell on a pair of late scores.
Johnny Steele unlocked the Revs defense with an 82-minute pass that caught Thierry Henry in stride as he raced behind Farrell before depositing a shot past Bobby Shuttlesworth to make the score 3-1. Steele added an insurance goal in the 89th minute when he slipped behind Farrell to latch onto an Eric Alexander cross for the final goal of the night.
“I think we’ve been kind of waiting all year for that offensive explosion and to do it against a team that has been the best in the league defensively, it’s actually, it feels pretty good,” said McCarty.
The Red Bulls controlled play in the first half, with only the Barklage own goal giving the Revs a sign of hope in the early going. The central midfield tandem of Dax McCarty and Tim Cahill did well to control play in the middle of the park and keep pressure on the Revs defense, which lost centerback A.J. Soares to a hamstring injury just 18 minutes into the match.
New England’s offensive struggles continued, with Jay Heaps’ side struggling to generate consistent chances. Jerry Bengtson did get some looks at goal, but squandered them, including one quality pass from Kelyn Rowe that sprang him behind the Red Bulls defense only to have Luis Rubles chase him wide of goal.
The Red Bulls saw improved play on the flanks as well, with Steele showing well after being benched in the team’s last game. He returned with a flourish, finishing the game in style with a goal and assist. He wasn’t the only winger to do well for the Red Bulls, with Lloyd Sam looking good off the bench in his first appearance of the year.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? See the Red Bulls hitting a run, or think they need to beat a top team before you believe they are for real? See New England turning things around eventually, or think they’re still missing too much?
Share your thoughts below.