So I don’t know how to voice my frustration with the New York Red Bulls anymore. The match on Saturday was their easiest fixture for the rest of the season and definitely written up as a must-win affair. Vancouver was (and still is) the absolute worst team in MLS but they managed to come into the Cathedral of Football and outplay one of two marquee franchises in the league. Here are the highlights for you. A little analysis after the jump.
Solli should not have been sent off, that was just a mistake by the officiating crew. Definitely a yellow card, but that’s not a red card. On the other side, Vancouver should have gotten a red card for hauling down a New York attacker which resulted in a free kick for Thierry Henry on the 86 minute mark. But let’s be honest guys, New York put themselves in a position where the referee could affect the outcome of the game.
Dane Richards is still a pretty terrible footballer. Sure, he’s real fast and sometimes he can use that speed to poach goals. But on the real, he’s terrible at dribbling, passing, trapping, taking on a defender and shooting as we saw in the first half when he was played in wonderfully by Dax McCarty in the 8th minute of the game.
And then there’s Rafa Marquez, who has yet to show up for New York since the Gold Cup break. The nostalgic heydays in the beginning of the season weren’t even that great, but at least he was a presence on the field. Moving Marquez to midfield allowed him to play nice long balls, like he did on the Agudelo goal, and also subtracted him as a liability in the back line. Carlos Mendes isn’t the most skilled defender in the world (or even on the team) but he works himself ragged for the team and that is something no one will ever say about the Mexico captain.
New York is now sitting outside the last playoff spot looking in. The Red Bulls are on 33 points from 27 games, while D.C. United have accrued 34 points in 25 games and Houston have 35 points from 28 games. It’s not impossible for the Hans Backe’s men to pull one out of the hat and make something of the season, but they’re cutting it awfully close.