Head coach Hans Backe looked frustrated for words at times during his post-match press conference Thursday night, and simply couldn’t explain how New York dominated every offensive category and still came out on the wrong side of a 3-1 score line.
Here are four thoughts from New York’s third straight loss.
1. Improved Offense – After struggling last week to create chances in a 1-0 home loss to Seattle, the Red Bulls came out much better. They held the ball, looked dangerous and could have bagged four tallies if the goal was maybe a foot wider. Yet, errors plagued the backline. “If you look at creating chances and putting a team like Columbus under pressure like that - I feel a bit sorry for our players because they deserved to win the game,” said head coach Hans Backe.
2. Deplorable Defense – The centerbacks struggled against Columbus after a very solid pairing against Seattle last weekend. Tim Ream was clearly at fault on the first and third goals with Mike Petke beaten on a corner kick by Andy Iro for the second goal. The backline, which had done so well to start the season in staying compact and limiting chances, has fallen on tough times over the past three games.”It’s disappointing to be honest with you, we play well the whole game and three mistakes cost us a game where we were probably the better team,” forward John Wolyniec said.
3. Great Dane – He won’t get a lot of attention for his effort on Thursday night because his name wasn’t on the scorer’s sheet, but Dane Richards looked good playing up top with Juan Pablo Angel. Normally on the wings, Richards filled in for the injured Salou Ibrahim and was a constant presence up top, fighting for balls, creating opportunities and hitting the post with a second-half shot. “Up top, I’m able to roam around a bit more and create problems,” Richards told MLSSoccer.com.
4. Down, But Not Out – With the spector of finishing last year bottom of the table still fresh, the Red Bulls aren’t reading too much into three straight losses. Now at 5-4, the Red Bulls have some soul searching to do. “We’re not worried in the least,” Tim Ream said. “This is a team that bounces back.”
GK – Bouna Coundoul – Hard to fault Coundoul on any goal, and the keeper controlled his area very well. Third goal he could have come out better on, but Emilio Renteria was still in on him alone. Rating: 6.5
D - Chris Albright – In his first league start of 2010, Albright’s touch was off, but his defending was good enough. Once fully fit, will be a nice addition moving up that right flank. Rating: 5
D- Mike Petke – Had a difficult night in In his 300th league game. His man scored the second goal for Columbus on a corner. Rating: 5
D- Tim Ream – Bit of a rocky road right now for Ream, who’s seen a slight dip in form. Seemed to share some fault on all three goals, in particular the first and third Crew scores. Rating: 4
D-Danleigh Borman – Some solid play, and he moved into the attack well. Even though the defense gave up three goals, it was still not bad from Borman. Rating: 5.5
M – Jeremy Hall – First league start on the wing. No glaring mistakes but produced little offense. Transition from right back to the midfield will take time. Rating: 5
M – Seth Stammler – Some excellent ball possession in the midfield by Stammler and overall solid distribution. Needs to put start putting some shots on frame with his powerful foot. Rating: 6
M- Roy Miller –Backe singled out Miller for some praise with the left back forced to a central midfield role due to injuries. Solid play, smart passing. Impressive for a left back. Rating: 6.5
M – Sinisa Ubiparipovic – Tough match for Ubi, who is really a central player. Had some nice crosses and clanged a shot in the first half. Give him credit for tracking back and also for playing some nice balls to Richards up top. Rating: 6.5
F – Dane Richards – The speedy winger, playing out of position, was active all over the field and looked dangerous. Good control, smart passing and good work rate. Rating: 7.5
F- Juan Pablo Angel – Forced to drop back to the midfield too much to get and hold possession. Lacked killer instinct. Well taken second half free kick which hit the post. Rating: 6
M - Tony Tchani – Whiffed on his first chance in front of goal but a few minutes later scored his first league goal on a header. Good performance and improved work rate for the rookie. Rating: 6.5
F - John Wolyniec – It was the “Silver Fox” who did lots of battling up front, but rarely looked dangerous. Rating: 5.5
D - Carlos Mendes – His looping cross was the assist on Tchani’s goal. Looked fitter than a week ago during open cup play. Rating: 6
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.