Jesse Marsch: “Right now we’re going to use it a little bit of a bench mark in the season to build off of.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
ORLANDO, Fla. — For the first time this Major League Soccer season, the Red Bulls looked more like the Red Bulls we have known for the past two seasons in their 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC Sunday. Head coach Jesse Marsch thought so.
Marsch decided to go back to using Bradley Wright-Phillips as the lone striker at Orlando City Stadium and he looked much more comfortable in the match, even though he did not score.
“It’s obviously disappointing given the control that we had in many stages of the game to come out with no points,” Marsch told reporters. “But for me, that looked like us, it felt like us. I thought spirit on the team, the commitment to go after the game and to make it hard on a hot day when we haven’t trained in the heat and in front of a great crowd in a hostile environment.”
In many ways, Marsch sounded more like the victor than the vanquished or someone who saw his team’s winless streak extend to four games (0-3-1).
“We made big strides in a game that wasn’t a result,” he said. “Right now we’re going to use it a little bit of a bench mark in the season to build off of and especially with the run of home games we have coming up. We need to use this momentum to help propel us into those matches and really kick start our season here. So, we’re doing fine.”
Marsch noted that several young players such as midfielder Tyler Adams, midfielder-forward Derrick Etienne Jr. and center back Aaron Long, who started in the game, “has “gotten some really big experiences” in several games.
“They’ve grown already in the few games they’ve been in,” he said. “Our team is only going to get better from here. I am really pleased with that looked like.
The Red Bull coach was not finished.
“I’m taking away so many positives in this game in a loss,” he said. “We’ve had losses along the way that felt like wins but I don’t know any more than this one. Even though we didn’t get the results, I’m really pleased with the overall effort and performance.”
After starting the season with four road games out of six, the Red Bulls return home to play three consecutive matches at Red Bull Arena. New York hosts D.C. United Saturday, the Columbus Crew Saturday, April 22 and the Chicago Fire Saturday, April 29.
“It’ll be good,” Marsch said. “It’s been a hectic start of the year. The weather hasn’t been great, the schedule’s been demanding in terms of travel and going to different places, cross country.
“The key in all these moments is to use those. Any time you have little steps backwards and not achieving the things you want to achieve; the key is to learn from them and add it to what want to do the next day so you can grow and get better. Right now, I feel the past two weeks, I told the team, we’ve made more progress in the past two weeks than we have at any point this year. That’s all positive signs and we’re going to use it when we go back home.”