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Red Bulls Win but Know Improvements are Needed

photo by Matt Kremkau

by Anthony J. Merced

New York Red Bulls finished week three with a record of two wins and one draw after winning their home opener on Saturday over FC Dallas. Despite the early season success, head coach Sandro Schwarz knows that there are improvements to be made before the team can be considered one of the top teams in the league.

"We have to impove for sure, especially in the second half," said head coach Sandro Schwarz after the game. "We were too passive and didn't control the game and so many mistakes. Then you lose a little confidence. But this is the third game in the season and and there is a quality to win games, especially with this performance in the second half. I don't want to criticize too much."

New York dominated the first half with a controlled pressure that is quickly becoming their new trademark. In the past, the Red Bulls were known for their chaotic press that worked hard at winning the ball back and made for uglier games. Now, with new designated player Emil Forsberg, the team is holding the ball better and finding more precise passes to split the defense. Unfortunately, it didn't lead to more goals and the team scrambled to secure the game in the second half.

"Most of the time, we had problems when we lost the ball," said Schwarz. "This was the problem, especially after 20-25 minutes. We controlled the game but then the original plan changed, especially in the second half."

Despite the criticism that both the media and the team levied on their performance, the team is undefeated entering week four. Seven points out of nine sees them as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference with room to improve. Next week will represent their biggest task as they travel to play reigning MLS Cup Champions Columbus Crew SC. While it will be a challenge, they finally got captain Emil Forsberg onto the score sheet which should give them confidence.

"It felt good, it's an amazing feeling to score the first goal," said Forsberg. "I'm happy we got the win, undefeated so far. I think we're taking steps every day. We didn't play our best game in the second half but we stood through. We fight for each other and these kind of wins you accept either way."


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