It wasn’t pretty but the New York Red Bulls managed to grind out another result on the road putting them at the forefront of the Supporters Shield race. A pragmatic game plan from the Chicago Fire head coach, Veljko Paunovic, forced the Red Bulls to battle for points on the road at Toyota Park.
Tyler Adams’ performance vs Chicago continues to validate McCarty trade
The Fire deployed a 3-4-3 in hopes of clogging up the Red Bulls midfield much like they did against New York earlier in April. Leading that charge in the midfield was former Red Bull, Dax McCarty, who hoped to stifle familiar opponents just days after an U.S. Open Cup exit.
The first half was a stalemate seeing both teams go into half with a lack of clear-cut chances or rhythm in possession. At the same time, Tyler Adams was a lone bright spot in a game which lacked any real fluidity. Adams finished the half on 30/36 passing and 5 key recoveries on the defensive side of the ball.
BWP Goal 101, Courtesy of Adams
There couldn’t have been a more emblematic play than the one that saw Bradley Wright-Phillips tuck away the only goal of the game. In the 55th minute, Tyler Adams pressured Dax McCarty into an uncharacteristic mistake from the MLS veteran. The tackle spilled out to Daniel Royer who spun and found Bradley Wright-Phillips without a look or hesitation.
Once again Tyler Adams shows his work rate as an out and out #8. But Adams’ pressure is not only visible in the heart of the field, but his dogged play also carries out to wide positions. A true subscriber to the Red Bull high press philosophy, Adams’ motor allows him to press in all areas of the field. And this sort of play from Tyler Adams is becoming a common theme of recent weeks.
Against the New England Revolution, Tyler Adams’ pressure in the corner forced a free kick in which the Red Bulls scored off of. Against the Columbus Crew, Adams won back the ball for the Red Bulls near the touchline and passed it to Kaku who found Royer for a goal. Losing at home to Sporting Kansas City, Adams played an inch perfect cross to Marc Rzatkowski to score his first goal of the game. These plays are the reason for Chris Armas’ willingness to ocassionally play Adams at the right attacking midfield position.
Adams and McCarty
With all that said, the decision to move on from Dax McCarty proves evermore fruitful. There’s no arguing that the rise of Tyler Adams deeply affected the Red Bulls front office to part ways with McCarty while his value remained high. And even though McCarty remains an excellent MLS defensive midfielder, at age 19, Tyler Adams seems just as tenacious and poised with even more nuances to his game.
While it might have just been one play of the game, an important one at that, in all it represents how the Red Bulls philosophy and youth movement is well worth the risk.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography