The New York Red Bulls started their two-game road trip with a 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo. The team has gone 2-4-2 on the road this season as they enter the second half of the regular season. While the comforts of Harrison make Red Bull Arena a fortress, the team cannot drop points away from home.
Houston have a history of making the cross- conference clash difficult. The Dynamo have the 5-2-5 game advantage on their home field. They took the game to the Red Bulls consistently in the opening moments. While RBNY tried to push their way to the Houston goal, Mauro Manotas took advantage of a turnover to score. The rumored Liga MX target had made several runs that showed why Cruz Azul may be showing interest in the forward. Not letting up in the second half, the Dynamo mastered the counterattack. The Red Bulls crumbled, allowing three more goals in the latter 45 minutes.
For a team that touts their depth, the goals have been too few and far between. Without striker Bradley Wright-Phillips for nearly three months, the Red Bulls are not without options. Their thirteen road goals have certainly contributed to one of the best goal differentials in the league. But an average of 1.6 goals per away game and several shutouts during the season has done the team no favors. Forwards Tom Barlow and Brian White could not connect at the goal, and Wright-Phillips could not turn the tide as a substitute.
Players have let their emotions get the better of them too often. Most notably, Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra has earned his second red card this season, again in the dying moments of a game. Earlier in the match, Michael Amir Murillo earned two yellow cards. Both will miss the next match against Atlanta United. Team captain Luis Robles, known for wearing his emotions as prominently as his armband, made clear his disapointment.
“The first emotion that I feel is embarrassment for our fans…”Luis Robles, in a post-match interview
With the return of Kemar Lawrence and Derrick Etienne, Jr. from the Gold Cup, the outlook for New York’s second meeting with Atlanta United is shaky at best. Defender Aaron Long will play later in the day with the US Men’s National Team for the Gold Cup final against Mexico. Without Kaku and Murillo as well, the Red Bulls are not at full strength. Which Red Bull side will take the field: the downtrodden travelers or the determined road warriors?
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography