(photo by Matt Kremkau)
New York Red Bulls are hoping to put the sting of last night's loss behind them quickly as FC Cincinnati looms on the horizon. The team will need to avoid losing to remain in the MLS is Back tournament, a fact that captain Sean Davis is keenly aware of.
"We've got to turn the page quickly," said Davis post-game. "We know this is a big game. They're a team that got three points today and they're going to be giving everything in this final game to get a result."
Davis and the Red Bulls know Cincinnati well. They've already played them once this season in a harrowing win that saw the midwest club make a valiant comeback. It was the first game at Red Bull Arena and showcased the team's dynamic offense but also exposed some of their defensive issues. Those are the same issues that Columbus took advantage of to grab a victory on Thursday night.
The game plan more than likely won't change but there is an expectation of execution. New York thrives on moving the ball and pressing the offense but they also relying on scoring early in order to dictate the game. Should that not happen, the Red Bulls have shown signs of being too rigid and unable to breakdown teams late in games.
"We didn't create enough until late in the game," said Davis about New York's offense against Columbus. "We need to give ourselves a chance to get on the board, to put pressure on them from an offensive standpoint. That's something we're going to have to take a look at."
While the signs were disconcerting, it is worth noting that New York has started the season in a positive manor despite the latest result. The departures of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles have been cushioned by strong play from Florian Valot and David Jensen. However, there will be growing pains through the year. The Crew exposed some of these deficiencies, even if they were ones that have lingered with the team for years.
Thankfully the obstacle isn't incredibly difficult for New York. They have to avoid a loss against a Cincinnati team that does concede goals. New York should be seen as the favorite but we know that history has been against them in the past. Davis and his team will hope to put this loss behind them in order to proceed in the tournament.
"We need every guy to be up for the game, up to meet the demands and tonight we didn't do that. We have to look at each and every guy. We know we can do much better."