RBNY Defensive Struggles Begin

Backline collapses in opening day loss
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Monday, March 10, 2014

Branded Bulls – column on Red Bull NY (RBNY – NYRB) & the New Jersey area soccer scene.

It’s finally arrived for everyone that supports the game in North America – the beginning of a brand new season in MLS. And Red Bull New York has had the spotlight shining on them so bright as the start of their Supporters’ Shield title defense took place in Vancouver.

But on this season opener it would be a new rookie head coach for 2014 that would take the full 3 points in his debut, as former Welsh international Carl Robinson got his first victory in charge of the Whitecaps. They pressured the Red Bulls all game long and handled Tim Cahill well.

But a new player on the right side of the RBNY backline had a very poor debut, as Richard Eckersley just made mistakes and got caught out of position too many times. He conceded a penalty in the first half by keeping his arms up in an un-natural position, and then he kept players onside when there were chances being converted.

He allowed Kenny Miller to chip Luis Robles and kept Sebastian Fernandez onside as he smashed a great ball into the near upper ninety that was placed perfectly. On this day, the backline looked beaten over and over with the speed of Darren Mattocks and Kenny Miller up top.

But if there is some bright spots from this loss outside of Bradley Wright-Phillips first goal of the season wiping out the clean sheet, it was the play of Lloyd Sam and Peguy Luyindula that showed plenty of promise for the season. Sam was very deadly down the right side of the field and his crosses were good as he set up the lone goal.

Luyindula held the ball well and brought it up the field with ease, but sadly there were no real chances in the second half as all attacks died inside the Vancouver area. Yes the Red Bulls were missing both Jamison Olave and Thierry Henry due to the field turf that’s used when sharing with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League, but this side had enough quality on the field to try and get points of any kind tonight.

Get ready for the home opener at Red Bull Arena next week when they host the Colorado Rapids and new head coach that was just hired on the eve of his first game in Pablo Mastroeni.

NEXT UP: March 15 – Red Bull New York vs. Colorado Rapids, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J. 4 p.m. EST, MLS Live, MSG Network.


Ramapo College
Club Domestic:
Red Bull NY
Club Foreign:
PSG, ManU, Maccabbi Haifa
Original New York Cosmos fan, reborn soccer fan since 1994 USA World Cup. Feuerstein’s Fire podcast host. Covers NY Red Bulls for SN, and promotes all levels of American soccer from both sides of issues.