|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Garry Redman
HARRISON, NJ - And ninety or so minutes later, a scoreless deadlock was all the Red Bulls fans going to get.
The New York Red Bulls returned Harrison with the intention of "righting the ship" at their home opener Saturday evening after dropping a 1-0 result to Orlando City last weekend. Meanwhile, Nashville SC easily dispatched New York City FC, 2-0, and looked to sweep the New York area teams in the first two weeks of the regular season.
Former Red Bulls midfielder Alex Muyl looked to put the visitors in the lead in the 69th minute when he took a pass from Hany Mukhtar and managed to shoot the ball past New York goalkeeper Carlos Coronel. Still, the goal was denied when the linesman raised his flag, confirming that he was offside to the relief of the home supporters.
Dante Vanzier came in for Elias Manoel in the 72nd minute and wasted no time trying to make his debut memorable. However, he repeatedly stumbled as he took passes from forward Cory Burke, as the Red Bulls threatened often but could not crack the stout, organized Nashville defense.
While the New York defense did its part to keep the team in the match, Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis was also up to the task. Thwarting the Red Bulls with key saves, keeping the home side off the scoreboard, and ending the evening with a scoreless draw, the supporters went home disappointed as the referee blew the final whistle.
Despite the result, the Red Bulls earned their first point of the season, while Nashville SC walked away with their second straight clean sheet to start the season.
The Big Picture:
The good news after two matches played is that the Red Bulls haven't given up a single goal in the run of play. While that's a start, the main concern is the near ineptitude in front of the net despite the added attacking players the team signed over the off-season.
While Coach Struber thanked and praised the supporters for the "fantastic atmosphere" during the post-match press conference, he felt that the team "didn't deserve to win the game," despite the efforts of Cory Burke, Cameron Harper, and Luquinhas.
The goals will surely come sooner than later as the players continue to play and get to know each other on the field. Still, patience is something that's in short supply among the Red Bull faithful, as their team now much find a way to win a match amongst the frigid confines of Allianz Field in Saint Paul next weekend.