Ten shots on target.
That summed up the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night and yet the manager is still drawing the ire of the fans. Despite dominating a large portion of the match, RBNY could only muster a draw against the New England Revolution at home on Saturday.
“If we could play 34 games and take 22 shots and give up six, I think it’s going to be a good year,” RBNY manager Chris Armas said. “I thought in the first half we had a real grasp on the game and we could have scored a few goals.”
He’s not wrong, the Red Bulls dominated the Revolution in the first half, the two-striker formation of Brian White and Daniel Royer cause the visitors problems. Both played a big part on the first goal as the Royer’s cross into White was deflected out to Marc Rzatkowski who took his chance well to put RBNY up.
RBNY’s midfield controlled the play with Cristian Casseres Jr. breaking up a lot of the Revs attacks as the visitors looked to break on the counter. Even after White’s early departure due to a leg injury and Bradley Wright-Phillips coming on to replace him, the Red Bulls were still in firm control of the match, but lacked the execution.
“We had chances,” Wright-Phillips said. “Normally I’m concerned that we wouldn’t get enough chances, but today we couldn’t complain. I think we just got to be better. I mean me personally I had two decent looks at goal.”
The Revolution were much better at the start of the second half and were able to tie the game on a quick counter. Despite the goal, RBNY were presented with high quality chances late in the second half that weren’t converted. Royer and BWP were both denied by New England goalkeeper Matt Turner from close range.
Armas has deserved some criticism for his team selection this season at times, but on Saturday night a lack of execution cost RBNY not their manager. The decision to start Rece Buckmaster over Michael Murillo isn’t what cost the Red Bulls the game, the inability to convert high quality chances into goals did.
“There’s a lot of positives for us to take and we’ll also look hard as we do and keep getting a better understanding of what it’s going to take to win when it’s right there,” Armas said.
Whatever the case may be RBNY have a tough week coming coming up with trips to D.C. United and NYCFC the performances in those games will determine if they are a playoff team or not.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photograhpy