The New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 against Tab Ramos’ Houston Dynamo. The game served as an opportunity for Josh Sims and Kaku to each play a half, while Tim Parker, Patrick Seagrist, Ryan Meara and Sean Davis played the full time.
“I think it’s definitely more good than bad for us,” said Meara, who made multiple key saves during the match. “It’s a performance we can be happy about. I think defensively we were solid; we didn’t give up too many chances. In the attacking third, we had a ton of chances, that I think as we get more fit, more sharp, more minutes under our belt, we’ll put two, three or four of those away. It’s another good step in the right direction, and I think it’s something we can build off.”
Kaku, who netted the team’s only goal of the match, believes the team’s finding a good style of play but will need to improve their finishing in order to avoid draws like the one they got Saturday night.
“In those moments, we have to score them,” said Kaku. “We get really close to goal, we create scoring chances, but we can’t miss that many chances against opponents because then they can tie us like it happened tonight.”
Head Coach Chris Armas was happy with what he saw on the field, and praised Meara, Davis and Parker’s leadership.
“My impressions of the game were mostly positive. And I think nights like these and games like these, where there's people in the stands, the intensity is there and feels like a real MLS game,” said Armas. “They reveal a lot about ourselves, and what I think we can take from it is that we're pretty clear about what we're doing. Therefore we can feel proud of, you know, we got guys pushing for minutes. We got some positive performances. Tim Parker, Ryan Meara and Sean Davis were excellent tonight. They showed real leadership, real quality with what they were doing.”
Moving forward, competition for starting roles will increase, making it tougher for Armas to select his starting eleven.
“We’re a deep team, and all the young guys that have come in, they’re all hungry,” said Meara. “They want spots in that starting eleven, so at each position, we’re two or three deep. I think Chris [Armas] is going to have tough decisions to make, but I think a coach likes having tough decisions, that means we have a lot of quality and talent across the field.”
Armas believes that the internal competition for starting roles can only help the team grow and make it better.
“Well, right now I think that everyone senses that there’s real competition, and opportunities, so we do see a strong internal competition, that's strong, and that just naturally then pushes teams to get better,” said Armas. “In the best teams, that stuff happens every day in training, and they beat themselves up or each other up. We think we have some nice options all around the field; Patrick Seagrist played 90 minutes tonight, and we thought he really put in a professional performance.”
Aaron Long update
“He's an explosive player, so the soft tissue in the hamstring, when it gets tight we don't want to take any risks this time of year, so it was precautionary mostly. He's been training, so he's good, but yeah he's gonna be a big part of things we got to take that one carefully,” said Armas.