Hans Backe likes the intensity of Red Bulls practice these days.
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Backe: "We were not good enough"

HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls’ 3-1 loss in the second leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal against the San Jose Earthquakes eliminated the Red Bulls from the playoffs.

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After going down 1-0 early in the game, the Red Bulls proceeded to outplay the Quakes for most of the match.

“We totally controlled [the second half],” head coach Hans Backe said after the match. “But at the decisive moment, we were not good enough.”

While Backe was disappointed in the attack, it was the defense that let him down the most. New York had conceded just six goals in their last six games, but on Thursday, they gave up two tallies to Bobby Convey and another to Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski.

“We’re disappointed for everyone that we concede three goals,” Backe said. “It was a long, long time ago that we concede three goals. It’s a rough one.”

Still, the Swedish manager remains optimistic about the team’s prospects for next season.

Despite having several aging veterans in his locker room, Backe is convinced that the window for success is not closing on New York.

“We are rather close to being one of the top five, six teams in this league,” he said. “I still think we can lift the team fitness-wise. Then, it’s all about getting the right players in at different positions. I think we can succeed with that and get some balance in this team.

“I’m quite sure that we will be stronger next season,” he continued. “[I am] absolutely sure when we’ve got a new preseason, some new players—quality players—I think we will be very hard to beat.”

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