Real Salt Lake drowns out Red Bulls
Added by Jake Landau on March 18, 2012.
For the New York Red Bulls it was a painfully similar showing as the opening game against Dallas. 70 minutes of completely inferior play followed by possession stints with a lacking offense. Hans Backe started the game with a 4-5-1 formation trying to flood the midfield and control possession. Even with a defense heavy lineup with Dax McCarty and Taino sweeping in front of the defense, Fabian Espindola got behind nine players on a breakaway and nut-megged goalkeeper Ryan Meara.
Unusual for Hans Backe, he instructed wingbacks Solli and Miller to stay back and focus on defense, this plan was disregarded as the first RSL goal was a result of a Palsson turnover and a space left vacant by Jan Gunnar Solli. Going into the half Red Bull had little to be happy about, Thierry Henry was left on an island to face the opposing defense all by himself, the midfield was not distributing as it should and they had given up a soft goal.
After the half, Taino came off for infamous sub Medhi Ballouchy, and Kenny Cooper was inserted into the forward position. The second half looked much better cosmetically, controlling the ball for long stints and putting pressure on the RSL back line. However the back four for Red Bull made another mistake allowing the ball to cut into the box and be knocked around until it met the back of the net.
Down 2-0, there was not much to do but wait for the 90th minute. Ryan Meara really stood out and made a few more amazing saves. The defense and sweepers provided little help to the rookie making only his second start. Keel and Holgersson left him out to dry on both RSL goals and Red Bull were again lucky to not be down three or four goals by the end.
Next up, New York makes their home debut against Colorado as they start an underwhelming 0-2-0, they look to use the home advantage for an important victory.