|Photo by Matt Kremkau
Didn't we see this situation happen before? Didn't we see this type of performance from the Red Bulls almost an entire week ago when they hosted Austin FC in midweek and pinned them inside their own end for forty-three minutes and never allowed them to register a shot until the next minute when the Red Bulls gave them a Corner and again couldn't defend a set piece to save their life and Austin FC equalized the match dropping two points.
Well, it happened again. After a masterful performance against DC United by scoring five goals and taking the full three points at DC United, they did it again against the Chicago Fire. They pinned the Fire inside their own area the entire opening half and attacked the net over and over again. They had multiple chances to score but were stopped. It did look like John Tolkin scored in the 16th minute, but it got wiped out on a foul by Frankie Amaya,
The halftime states were all in favor of the Red Bulls. Advantage on Shots, Shots on Goal, Corners, Possession, and so on, it was scoreless at halftime, but you had a great feeling that the Red Bulls were going to score that goal. Montreal was losing to Orlando, and everything was falling into place once again for this club to take advantage to jump over the playoff line. But sadly it happened again, and it was a succession of bad brakes.
Hassan N'Dam who was starting for the suspended Captain Sean Nealis earned a yellow card in the 49th minute, then he earned his second yellow card thirteen minutes later, which turned to red and the Red Bulls went down to ten men the rest of the way. The next play was a free kick that bent toward the Red Bulls net, and once again the failure to defend that set piece bit the Red Bulls again. Georgios Koutsias in the 64th minute converted on the Fire's first shot of the match.
It took sixty-four minutes for the Chicago Fire to create their first Shot and Shot on goal in this match to put the Red Bulls in a hole and force them to chase the match. Even though they tried to get that equalizer down a man, it was another futile attempt from them to level the match, even with the last gasp of hitting the crossbar just inside second-half stoppage time, the Red Bulls once again walked back inside the locker room in disappointment giving the Chicago Fire a lifeline, honestly that they didn't deserve.
Now with three matches left and the possibility of earning nine points will be a tall task to make that miracle run. They must leapfrog over Chicago, DC United, NYCFC & Montreal to at least threaten to get into the postseason. There could be some relief coming this Wednesday as FC Cincinnati clinched the Supporters Shield this past weekend, so maybe Pat Noonan will give some of his starters the night off, we all know Toronto is absolutely putrid and they just want the season to end, then the international break and heading to Nashville to finish up the season.
The clock is ticking and this current week is at least a six-point week. Get it right against Cincinnati, take down Toronto, relax during the international break, and find a way to get a win on decision day, because right now the Red Bulls need to make their own luck, it won't come from anywhere else. Don't allow yourselves to put the referee to make a bad decision against you. You are barely still alive, yet it feels so far away.