From Houston to The Meadowlands and Back to the Pitch

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe was on hand at the Meadowlands Racetrack Saturday afternoon to present the winning trophy to the first place finisher in the Hambletonian.

An avid lover and owner of horses, Backe embraced the once-in-a-lifetime experience as New Jersey’s own Market Share crossed the finish line with a time of one-minute and 52.1 seconds.

“It’s a good race,” Backe said following the team’s training session on the pitch at Montclair State University. “It was the first time I’ve seen it live. I’ve seen always otherwise online and things like that, but it was a good race. A lot of people and pacey, pacey horses. That’s for sure.”

Backe admitted he didn’t pick a horse in the race, but instead went for the experience and the opportunity to present the winning driver, Tim Tetrick, owner Richard Gutnick, and trainer Linda Toscano with the final prize in the winner’s circle.

While the day was an enjoyable one under the sun in East Rutherford, make no mistake about it – Backe is not pleased with his team’s performance Friday night against Houston. His team went through a rigorous training session Monday afternoon under the hot summer sun, as not a single player or coach was happy with the 2-0 loss at BBVA Compass Stadium.

“It was a terrible game. For me and for the whole team,” midfielder Teemu Tainio said. “What we have to do is now get back into our winning ways. And we play home against a very good team in Houston, so we just have to make it right. From us, in Houston, wasn’t good enough.”

Friday’s rematch home at Red Bull Arena gives the Red Bulls an immediate opportunity to to get back on track and reverse the outcome when they kick off at 8 PM on NBC Sports.

“Perhaps when you lose like this, it’s a good idea to get that same team at home,” Backe said.

New York will look to right the wrongs against Houston later this week in the final regular season meeting between the two sides.

Tickets to Friday’s match are available of Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.