Checking the Tape: Mistakes plague Red Bulls II vs Louisville

Hindsight is 20/20, but a look at last night’s 6-4 loss to Louisville City shows plenty of preventable errors and lapses in concentration. Four unanswered goals from Louisville negated New York Red Bulls II’s bright 2-0 start in the opening 15 minutes.

Checking the Tape: Mistakes plague Red Bulls II vs Louisville

John Wolyniec was visibly disappointed with the lack of effort post-game. “It’s tough, I mean we’re scheduled three days off so I think our guys kind of started looking forward to their break before the end of the game. I warned them about that before so it’s a little disappointing in that sense, you know little bit of an immature performance.”

Defender Hassan Ndam honestly owned up to the poor performance and reiterated the need to be better. “Today, Louisville did a pretty good job and scored six goals. The back four, who I just talked to – my teammates and my coach talked – we were not good enough. Nothing was great, we didn’t play like a Red Bull team. We have to put our head down moving forward and get ready for the playoffs. That wasn’t good enough.”

Reviewing the mistakes

On Louisville City’s opening goal, Ilja Ilic got in position to score off a redirected header. Chris Lema and Niko De Vera were both caught ball watching.

On the second goal of the game, the Red Bulls midfield didn’t check to Ndam as he attempted to play out of the defense. Steven Echeverria was too far away and didn’t provide an angle to receive the ball. Chris Lema stopped his run in-between the two defenders pressing Ndam. Ndam then forced a ball to Tinari which unfortunately deflected to George Davis IV who played in Cameron Lancaster to make it 2-2.

Louisville did well to create their go ahead goal. Cameron Lancaster drew out Kevin Politz from his central position opening up space for Louisville to overload the right side of the field. Oscar Jimenez’s cross to Ilic found the overlapping Davis IV for the goal. Switching the field against the Red Bulls can often exploit New York’s press on dribblers and in this instance it worked to perfection.

Despite the well worked play, Niko De Vera isolated by himself to defend two attackers. Jared Stroud was too far away from the play to offer help to the weak side. When the cross came in Steven Echeverria didn’t hustle across the field to close down Ilic or Davis IV.

Louisville’s 4th and 5th goal of the game both came from set pieces. The Red Bulls zonal marking failed to clear both deliveries which slipped past multiple defenders before going into the back of the net.

On the sixth and final goal, Ethan Kutler’s lackadaisical pass spurred a counter attack and Politz lost his 1-v-1 challenge. Both Ndam and De Vera slowed down after the loss of possession and didn’t provide help for Politz. The Red Bulls pushed very high up on the field in an attempt to get back into the game, leaving space in defense.

It was an ugly end to a 4-1-1 run. NYRB II enjoyed sustained success since their last high scoring affair against Louisville on June 30th. NYRB II’s home record remains strong. But their loss to Louisville City provides a wake up call ahead of their late season push for the playoffs. John Wolyniec’s side doesn’t play until August 21st. That gives him and his side plenty of time to correct the mistakes made on Friday night.

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

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