FRISCO, Texas — On paper, if you look at the Red Bulls’ 2-2 tie at FC Dallas Saturday night, a point on the road looks good.
But captain Sacha Kljestan knew better. He felt New York squandered two points against 10-man Dallas, surrendering the lead twice at Toyota Stadium.
The Red Bulls captain called it “a pretty amateur performance.”
Added Felipe: “We gave away two points. We had control after the first goal, but it’s unacceptable the way we started the second half. Now, we have to turn around quick and fix the issues that caused the goals.”
The result left the Red Bulls (12-10-4, 40 points) in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. A win would have allowed them to move into a fourth-place tie with Columbus Crew SC (13-12-3, 42). New York has two games in hand over Columbus.
Despite enjoying a man advantage for more than half the match, you would have thought the Red Bulls played a man down in the final 10 minutes. FC Dallas attacked and attacked, forcing goalkeeper Luis Robles to make several saves to avert a loss.
“We’re disappointed that we leave here with one point, having taken the lead twice, but also know that we’re pretty lucky to get out of here with a point,” Kljestan said. “We didn’t handle the game very well in the last 15 minutes. [It was] a pretty amateur performance. I’ve got to take it. It’s a bad start from the team on the road and that’s on the captain. So for me on the field, I’ve got to take a little bit of the criticism because we didn’t have a very good start to the game. That led to a poor performance overall.”
FC Dallas was ripe for the picking as it extended its winless streak to four games.
“You come down here against a desperate team, in the heat, and we weren’t ready for the challenge from the start,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “We managed to hang around in the beginning stages. Then we get the red card. Then the lead at half.
“The things that we talked about at half were: not losing bad balls, not letting them catch us on the counter, not giving up set pieces and not giving up a penalty. We basically went out in the second half and did all those things. In the end, did we get two leads, up a man and give two points away? I think we’re pretty lucky to get a point. At this point, we’ve got to take it, learn from this, and move forward in the right way.”