Red Bulls: Peaking at the Right Time

New York takes 7 out of 9 points in league before next CCL Game
by Daniel Feuerstein   |   Monday, September 15, 2014

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

Red Bull New York put itself back on track for this big push to get inside the MLS Cup playoffs.

And to be honest, it hasn’t been easy. They had to face 3 Eastern Conference opponents who are at the top of the table, as well as fighting for a spot against DC United, Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union

The best thing about these games was that the defense looked solid and timely goals were scored by several top players for the club. It’s always been a problem for the Red Bulls to take a lead in these games, but that seemingly has been fixed.

When SKC came over at the start of the month of September they were in a slump and couldn’t get a positive result. Of course they have been playing well, but coming to Red Bull Arena they had to face a red hot Bradley Wright-Phillips and a surging Thierry Henry. A converted penalty in the ninth minute and then an unexpected rocket from just outside the KC area won goal of the week for RBNY. Things were looking great.

Big time rivals DC United came over, and suffered a red card as Fabian Espindola gave a high boot on the chest of Dax McCarty, which is still being debated as a yellow because studs didn’t strike McCarty. RBNY went on a mental lapse and couldn’t get a lead within 89 minutes and 49 seconds until Lloyd Sam finally sneaks one past Bill Hamid.

Now you have this big and wet match down in Chester, Pennsylvania, to see the Philadelphia Union being down a goal as the Red Bulls converted a penalty from Peguy Luyindula. Then came a tricky shot from Thierry Henry with a wet ball that gave Zac MacMath fits and into the back of the net. A late penalty against the Red Bulls saw them drop 2 points inside second half stoppage time.

But still, the club is feeling very good about themselves moving on to their next match on the road at Montreal for the CONCACAF Champions League.

It would’ve been nice to see the club go 9 for 9, but to be honest this was a great performance picking up necessary points to be in a good position for the playoffs. With only 6 games remaining — 4 at home and 2 on the road and 2 games against the Western Conference — it feels like the club has righted it’s self for that final push.

Sure there is going to be some form of interference with these Champions League dates going to Montreal and El Salvador to face F.A.S., but that’s been part of the territory winning MLS hardware, which is going to be interesting to see these next 2 mid-week dates being played.

Since a meeting once again with Henry and Mike Petke (this time a little more subtle and friendly) before the game against Sporting Kansas City, it seems that everything has been going well and maybe this last push is coming together at the right time.

Obviously the Supporters’ Shield is out of reach for the club, but it looks like they might have flourish of a finish in the 2014 regular season.

NEXT UP: September 17 — CCL: Red Bull New York vs. Montreal Impact, Stade Saputo, Montreal, Canada. 8 p.m. EST, Fox Sports 2, UDN.

Daniel FEUERSTEIN

Nationality:
USA
College:
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.
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