Anytime you face an opponent on your schedule, you know who you might be facing from the opposition and how they want to prove you wrong so badly. That was former Red Bulls Academy player Derrick Etienne Jr. who was highly touted to make the big move to the senior side along with his former USL Championship side teammates in Tyler Adams, Florian Valot, Vincent Bezecourt, and so on to do something spectacular.
Even though he scored the game-winning goal to defeat Orlando City and earned the clubs their third Supporters Shield in six seasons back in 2018, the Haitian International showed some flashes here and there to become that fantastic attacking player.
Unfortunately, there were times the negative side did pop up from Etienne where he would make spectacular runs and when he got to goal, he would falter at the scoring chance. Yes, there were frustrations with Etienne getting great chances to convert, but sadly he would miss those big chances.
But since he joined the Columbus Crew in 2020 he started to turn things around. Won the 2020 MLS Cup championship, and now has broke out this season scoring big goals coming off the substitutes bench. Especially this past weekend's game when he brought the Crew back to life with his two goals late in the second half. A late equalizer in the 89th minute and then the winner in second-half stoppage time wasted an excellent chance for the Red Bulls to take home the full three points.
Any time you see former players coming back to do damage to the club that gave them their career or a chance to do something special, it has come to bite the team in red right in the backside. Giovanni Savarese, Kerry Zavagnin, Peter Vermes, Clint Mathis, Mike Petke, Juan Pablo Angel, and now add Etienne Jr. who has won MLS Cup or scored on the Red Bulls with a different team.
To get beaten by a former academy player of the club is just heartbreaking to watch because you always thought they would create these memorable moments for the Red Bulls and the fans, but sometimes even those who are touted to be something special just don't develop it, till they get somewhere else and burn the side that developed you.
This loss on the road really hurts, even though Derrick Etienne Jr. didn't celebrate scoring the first goal against his old side, he showed it in the game-winner and I bet he was thinking to himself, "I told you so " to Sporting Director Denis Hamlet. This hurts the Red Bulls, but it hurts a lot more because the loss was delivered to them from one of their former home grown players.