Although the team has openly admitted it wasn't happy with the collective performance in Sunday's comeback win over Portland
, you can't argue with the three-point result. The victory not only allowed New York to move within two points of first place Sporting Kansas City, but also jumped back into the Top 3 of Power Rankings across the board. Another three points on the road at Livestrong Sporting Park this Sunday could place New York first overall in the Eastern Conference and potentially even move them up to the No. 2 spot in Power Rankings.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at this week's rankings.
MLSsoccer.com says we're a "weird team."
Not sure if that's a compliment or not, but the step up to No. 3 is appreciated:
"How do you quantify New York? They’re capable of falling behind 2-0 at home to one of the worst road teams in league history, needed to desperately rely on their journeyman ‘keeper to keep them in the game (again) and still came away with the full three points. Weird, weird team."
Well, thanks for that. Onto ESPN Soccernet
, who says the Red Bulls can't keep defending the way they did against Portland and expect to win. Valid point. Good thing Hans Backe and company feel the same way and walked away from that result happy with the points but ready to strengthen up on D (without taking away any credit from the heroic play of Bill Gaudette
"The Red Bulls beat Portland in spite of themselves, conceding two preventable goals -- and it could have been more -- before conjuring up an inspired fight back to win 3-2. New York knows it can't defend that poorly and expect to win again."
Sports Illustrated placed emphasis on the defense as well, but also showed some love for the aforementioned Gaudette
"Between all of the trades this season, the Red Bulls' capture of goalkeeper Bill Gaudette has proven to be one of the more valuable acquisitions considering how he has covered for some defensive miscues in the absence of injured rookie Ryan Meara."
So there ya have it - Week 23 Power Rankings. It's understood the team is unsettled with the performance yet grateful for the points, so let's see what the response is like Sunday when they hit the road for a 9 PM kick off against Sporting Kansas City. Be sure to watch that one live on ESPN2.
What's your take on this week's power rankings?