New York Red Bulls are well aware that there is a goal-scoring problem on the team, especially after their 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union last night at Subaru Park. The game was marked by an inability to cash in on chances created and once again highlighted the team's lack of finishing at the top of the offense.
"You keep plugging away," said Armas after the game. "Emphasizing all of the things that are important in the final third, which is not so easy. Decision making, the type of pass you can give to get guys running behind with quality. We'll keep working at that as we take a hard look."
It is easy to point out that New York has not been able to adequately replace all-time leading goal-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips. Since the beginning of the season, New York has only scored more than one goal on one occasion. That was an opening day win over FC Cincinnati back in February. Since then the team has relied on ugly goals and staunch defense to grab their three wins.
That pressure on the defense is something that may not be sustainable. As shown in the game against Philadelphia, one mistake costs far more when the offense isn't able to produce. Despite great efforts by both Aaron Long and Tim Parker, the team walked out of Chester with nothing to show for themselves.
"If you can play like we did in the second half then you're going to create chances. And there were a few really good chances that we created in the second half. Before you're scoring goals you have to create chances and that hasn't been easy for us.
"You've got to step on the field for 90 minutes. That's the standard and if you do that, now you have another five or six chances, another five or six shots and then you can see."
Despite New York's inability to score, the team has been searching for solutions. The line-up has drastically altered over the last few games to include Jared Stroud and the formation has gone from the 4-4-2 that was expected to start the year to a few different ones to better position the team moving forward. Thus far nothing has worked but it isn't for lack of effort.
"We're trying different combinations up the field, some different guys, some different formations. This is what we're going to do."
New York will have a quick turnaround and play the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. The team is currently 3-3-1 with pressure mounting not to fall below .500. Both Armas and the team know there is work to be done and whether or not their changes make a difference will be known rather quickly.