Sean David: “We know right now it’s not going to be easy — that’s the bottom line — and that’s something we have to embrace and really own.” (Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Winless in their seven games in all competitions, the Red Bulls won’t have much time to lament about their latest setback, a 3-2 loss at Columbus Crew SC Saturday night.
They have to bounce back and find a way to win and get back on track, unless they want to miss the Major League Soccer playoffs.
“We’re going to do our best pick ourselves up because we have to, we’re professionals, we’re supposed to be men,” goalkeeper Luis Robles said after the defeat. “I think in the next five games we’re going to show not only ourselves, this organization, but our fans the type of men that we are.”
The sixth-place Red Bulls (12-11-6, 42 points) haven’t won in the league since a 3-1 victory over Orlando City SC Aug. 12. Since then they are 0-3-4, including a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup final Wednesday night.
“We know right now it’s not going to be easy — that’s the bottom line — and that’s something we have to embrace and really own,” midfielder Sean Davis said. “It’s time for us all to grow up, be men and stick together. I think that’s the most important thing. In the years past it’s been easy but now it’s time to show what we’re made of really.
“In a sense we are still in a decent spot, but our destiny is in our own hands and we need to do everything we can do to prepare these next few weeks and leave everything out on the field.”
The Red Bulls host D.C. United at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. They have five games remaining in the regular season.
“We’ve had to manage a lot of different things, emotions, fatigue,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “But in the end, right now, where we are, we’ve just got to be fighters. We got to find a way to get our momentum going, and find a way to start to pile up some results because the table is getting very tight. Everything is still in our hands, but we’ve got work to do.”
Atlanta United FC (14-8-7, 49) did the Red Bulls a favor Sunday, defeating the seventh-place Montreal Impact (11-12-6, 39) Sunday, 2-0. That kept Montreal three points behind New York, but the expansion team climbed into third place as fifth-place Columbus (14-12-5, 47) owns a five-point lead over the Red Bulls.
“We’ve just got to find ways, we got to turn around again, so there’s no time to feel sorry for yourself,” Marsch said. “You just got to find a way to physically regenerate and then put a group out on the field. That can go after it in the biggest way possible.”