After a two-game winless stretch in MLS, Jesse Marsch (pictured) wants his New York Red Bulls to return to the form that saw them win their previous four games. (Photo courtesy of the New York Red Bulls)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a four-game run that generated maximum points as they conceded no goals, the New York Red Bulls -- a 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League qualifier – picked up only a point from their last two outings, both on the road.
Although the loss to Real Salt Lake (1-2) on Wednesday and Saturday’s draw at Columbus Crew SC (1-1) were disappointing to head coach Jesse Marsch, he was more concerned by what was the determining factor in both results – the conceding of late goals.
Against RSL, a 1-1 deadlock was snapped by Jordan Allen’s 87th minute deflected strike, while Ola Kamara hit a 90th minute equalizer for Columbus.
New York now has a 7W-2D-8L record, good for third place in the Eastern Conference, only three points behind table-topping Philadelphia Union.
“It’s frustrating for all us because we gave away late goals,” Marsch said after the Columbus stalemate. “Instead of walking away from this road trip and having two good performances that lead to four points, we walk away with one.
“In some ways, a point…probably just…but giving it away at the end is no good and not having enough guys that play well is no good.”
Marsch made seven changes to his line-up from the setback at Salt Lake, with only goalkeeper Luis Robles, defender Gideon Baah, as well as midfielders Felipe Martins and Alex Muyl, starting both encounters.
Despite the short turnaround time and travel between games, the 42-year-old refused to make excuses, pointing to the fact that with the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) quickly approaching, the schedule promises to become more challenging.
“Sometimes when you don’t get enough training in the week, you don’t have enough sharpness,” remarked Marsch. “Listen, the rest of our season is like this. We have a lot of games. We have CONCACAF coming.
“Guys have got to be able to deal when they don’t have enough training, when they have heavy legs, when things are tough, they’ve still got to play well.”
The Red Bulls return to action Wednesday at Philadelphia for a U.S. Open Cup match. In the SCCL, they will face Group F opponents Alianza and Antigua GFC.