[Editorial] Not Okay: Lamenting First Team Mediocrity

Dear Reader,

This is a departure from my usual fare on this site. Indeed, it is a departure from my usual writing anywhere. But you need to hear from me this way.

Because I hear you.

You don’t really want to hear how the Red Bulls have so many points, have only conceded so many goals. That is little consolation when the team falls 2-3 at home. The fifth home loss, more than any season since Red Bull Arena opened its doors. That still puts them in fifth place in the Eastern conference. So yeah– the Red Bulls are actually doing okay. But as we well know, just okay is not okay.

If the playoffs were tomorrow, RBNY would be right in the mix. They’d go up against NYCFC, with the Philadelphia Union waiting in the wings. How confident are you in that path to MLS Cup?

If you look at the defenders we have… and the midfielders that we have on the field, and it’s not by any means a quality problem.

Captain Luis Robles

Before the beginning of the season, I predicted that the team had no reason to miss Tyler Adams. With Sean Davis, Kaku, Marc Rzatkowski, and Alex Muyl in the midfield, they should have been able to cover the loss. But Davis disappears and Muyl is asked to drop back in games. Kaku has found himself on the receiving end of suspensions and the remaining cadre of midfielders are left to rotate among themselves. And for what it’s worth, RB Leipzig and the US Men’s National Team are missing Tyler Adams as well, due to injury. So I guess I was wrong. That should surprise no one.

I actually find it refreshing that Brian White and Daniel Royer are neck-and-neck for the team’s Golden Boot. Add in the goal contributions of the backline and other homegrown players, and once again the team is… okay. But you know what’s fun? Bradley Wright-Phillips giving opponents multiple-goal thrashings. Will we see that again before the regular season runs down?

Just our good stuff wasn’t good enough tonight.

Chris Armas, post-match press conference

It would take a lot more for manager Chris Armas to lose the locker room. He came in mid-season for Jesse Marsch as “the player’s coach.” He was the one the players would run through a brick wall for. In that regard, the mighty have not fallen. He hasn’t lost them- but it’s starting to sound like he ‘s lost you. The hashtag #ArmasOut has crept into RBNY social media. The team sees it, and the front office sees it. I do have to ask if that’s really the best response to the team’s current bout of okay-edness. It might feel better in the short term, I understand that. How long will that last?

You vent your anger, and that’s okay. Demand more minutes for a player or an impact signing in this transfer window. Expect players to have the fight and the passion that you have come to know. Continue with those expectations. That’s what the team will respond to.

Signed,

A girl, standing in front of a team, asking them to annihilate opponents.

About Sylvana Budesheim

Wife, mom, teacher, soccer aficionado. Sometimes wrong but seldom in doubt.

View all posts by Sylvana Budesheim →

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