USATSI_15966595-2

Andrew Gutman scored his first MLS goal on Sunday, and Cristian Cásseres Jr. also found the back of the net for New York, but the Red Bulls couldn’t overcome a hat trick from Javier Hernandez, falling to the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Chicharito scored the first goal of the match, and later extended LA’s lead to 3-1 before Cásseres Jr. finished off a set piece to pull New York within one in the 63rd minute.

For Red Bulls Head Coach Gerhard Struber, the performance was positive, but the difference was in the Galaxy taking their chances.“First of all, I’m very, very disappointed about the result,” said Struber. “I think we win every race within the statistics, and in the end we have a game with many chances, and especially in the second half, the game is absolutely in our hand, but one, two moments we are not ready and they can use their chances. Especially Chicharito today was in outstanding form and show us the determination that we need. He was the changer in the game.”

“We make steps further in our principles and this is a good feeling but otherwise we are a professional team, we need the right results and right now we can not realize the results that we want.”

Struber deployed New York in a 3-5-2 on Sunday, with the intention of giving a different look in the final third. Ultimately, the Red Bulls reverted to the 4-4-2 midfield diamond from week one for the second half.

“I think especially when we look at the situation with our equalizer at 1-1, this is absolutely the height from our wingers that we want in this game,” said Struber when asked about the tactical shift.

“The variability in the shape is very important, that we can change something,” said Struber. “In the first half we have a special idea with the wingers and sometimes we break the lines but not in this powerful mode that we want. This was not a topic of the shape, this was more individual position. In the end, the flexibility to change the shape is very important. We can see that the diamond is right now a shape that everyone can handle in a very good direction, but sometimes we have to create the shapes in a way that we find better distances for pressing. I think this was the reason we came back in the second half in a diamond formation.”

A pair of offseason signings made their RBNY debuts, with Cameron Harper entering in the 61st minute, and last week’s acquisition Frankie Amaya playing the final minutes of the match.

The Red Bulls now return home for two straight matches, hosting the Chicago Fire on Saturday, May 1 and Toronto FC on May 8. Both matches are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. ET, with coverage on MSG Networks and Red Bulls Radio in English and Spanish.