Backe happy with NY showing despite loss

Manager points to the number of chances created against LA

Rafa Marquez Atlas3

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HARRISON,
N.J. – Leading up to Saturday night’s match against Los Angeles, Red Bulls manager Hans
Backe said that the Galaxy would provide
a gauge of just how good his Red Bulls’ squad has become over the past weeks.
With new signings and confidence from three straight matches without a loss,
the Red Bulls had a chance to prove that they were for real.

The
“gauge”? Not there yet. Despite multiple chances, the Red Bulls lacked the
killer instinct of Los Angeles in dropping a 1-0 result to the top team in the
league.

“I’m
still rather happy with our performance,” Backe said after the match. “We
played rather relaxed and still created a number of chances.”

At
times, it seemed like new signings Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez were trying
to do too much, with Marquez struggling to link up with his teammates. When
asked about when his new signings would acclimate, Backe was honest in his
assessment.

“Next
year,” Backe quipped.

The
Red Bulls held an edge in chances, a 12-9 advantage in shots including nearly
double the number of shots in the second half. There was a clear advantage in
nearly every offensive category, including corner kicks. New York created
chances but couldn’t put any away, despite their expensive firepower.

“I
think we set the standard for our team in the way we played,” Backe said. “We
have improved all the time but it’s only one game against a top team.”

Earlier
in the week, the Red Bulls coach had said he wanted to avoid the panic that the
team showed in their two losses to conference leading Columbus. In those
matches, the Red Bulls had difficulty with the class and poise of the Crew.

Saturday night, despite a dropped result, the Red Bulls still put forth a fine effort in a game
that at times got ugly.

“We
created chances, we held the ball, we did a lot of good things,” midfielder
Dane Richards told MLSSoccer.com. “We did well. Los Angeles is a very good team
but we didn’t score. We still need more time, time together, but I think if we
get that time, we can be very, very good.”

Kristian
R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at
twitter.com/kdyer1012