Analyzing Red Bulls convincing win over NYCFC • Latino Sports


Analyzing Red Bulls convincing win over NYCFC


Harrison, NJ – Prior to the match officially kicking off, the paltry away banners melted into insignificance with the Smurfs banner unveiled by the Red Bulls faithful, the South. And it was time to begin the first MLS, “New York vs. New York” derby.

Both teams started brightly, but NYCFC’s disjointed play was immediately exploited by a couple of good runs from Lloyd Sam. And in the 4th minute, Sam bobbled a cross to Bradley Wright-Phillips (BWP), and it’s 1-0. The South Ward pulls of an elongated 5 minute run of Twist and Shout.

Some strong tackling and team pressure kept NYCFC at bay. Conversely the Red Bulls’ fullbacks have been a source of strength rather than, as in prior seasons, an area of concern. But the central midfield has largely been bypassed, which means that even more will come from the Red Bulls’ wings (pun unintended).

Khiry Shelton pulls off an egregious dive outside the RBNY penalty box, getting Matt Miazga a yellow. The resulting free kick concluded with a disqualified NYCFC goal. Perhaps justice was served.

Then in the 25th minute, in the space of seven seconds I see a nutmeg from Sam on NYC, resulting in a bodycheck that might have been a penalty shout, resulting in a snap shot from Felipe resulting in an acrobatic save. It’s all happening here!

NYCFC’s sloppy possession and scrappy playing style makes for a very uneven game. They’re fluent neither in attack nor defense. Seemingly every aerial duel is a chance for their players to be display aggression, but rarely amounting to anything.

The Red Bulls were forcing turnovers, and NYCFC’s supporters fell back to one of their two chants. It seems that the away crowd is as listless and uninspired as the players. The attendance according to the announcement is 25,217. I love the atmosphere of a filled out Red Bull Arena.

Then as the crowd picks up in the 49th minute, so does the home team. Lloyd Sam broke through behind the NYC line, rushed past a lunging keeper and directed a shot hoping to lob a rushing defender. But it’s headed away, and the score stays 1-0.

In the second half, NYCFC went on the attack again, but yet another counter attack resulted from RBNY. Sam broke on the right, squares it on the opposite flank for an unmarked Kljestan on the left to power forward, who squared it back for BWP to casually saunter through and tap it under Josh Saunders. He must be feeling rather let down by his defence.

2-0 to the Red Bulls, and he NYC fans’ response is to quietly watch the game pass by, then anemically chant at the RB players taking throw ins near them. In the 65th minute, BWP broke through thanks to a curiously high back line being maintained by Kreis.

Ordinarily, that would be considered throwing in the towel. But it does force NYCFC’s strategy to change from “pass it to David Villa” to something (hopefully) more wholesome. And finally, Kreis throws on Ballouchy. Like a desperate general throwing in his final reserves against Caesar, hoping to make a dent against an implacable foe.

And out of nowhere, NYCFC scored a goal in the 76th minute. It’s 2-1, and a glimmer of hope for NYC, perhaps? Patrick Mullins dragged the sky blues back into relevance in this game. The away fans found their voice for a minute or so, and then are drowned out by super sub and NY fan favorite Dane Richards.

NYCFC seem to be content leaving the flanks open for NYRB to attack, I think because their home pitch is so narrow. Perhaps they are too used to playing in a narrow field, and they seem to restrict their own options. The teams traded yellow cards, and 4 minutes of added time was play.

Felipe breaks down the left, crosses for Duvall who cuts in and shoots with his left. But Saunders saw it all the way, and Duvall is not going to emiulate Robben’s signature move just yet. A few worrying crosses from NYCFC, an off-side breakaway from NYRB, and the referee calls the game. And the crowd erupted!

It’s 2-1 to the home team, and New York, as the fans say, is Red.

About Nimish Batra

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