Aaron Long: “We were not good enough in dangerous chances and I think we need to stick better to the game plan.” (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
As good as the Red Bulls have played this year, everyone should be reminded that it is very difficult for any club to go through a season undefeated.
On Saturday night, the Red Bulls suffered their first defeat in six games over two competitions, a 1-0 result at Real Salt Lake.
After surrendering a penalty kick four minutes into the match, New York was forced to chase the rest of the game at Rio Tinto Stadium. The visitors never caught up to RSL.
“Overall, not a great performance,” head coach Jesse Marsch said. “It’s partly the altitude, the adding up of a lot of games that has led to us not really performing the way we wanted. Those are excuses though and we have to make sure we learn from this. A little bit of a step backward, but I told the team this is normal in the process of a season.”
Marsch held a team talk afterwards.
“We just had a hard talk with ourselves after the game, we were very straight with each other and said that it wasn’t good enough,” he said.
“The important part is to learn from it.”
The Red Bulls are 4-1-1 in 2018, 1-1 in Major League Soccer action and 3-0-1 in the CONCACAF Champions League.
They have given up only two goals during those six matches — both penalties — so they haven’t surrendered a goal during the run of play.
“I think we’re all pretty disappointed that we didn’t take three points — or at least a point from tonight’s game,” center back Aaron Long said. “I think we dominated possession and we dominated the ball a lot at their house. That’s not good enough, we were not good enough in dangerous chances and I think we need to stick better to the game plan.”