This photo explains much of what transpired: the Red Bulls were out of focus for most of their loss at Montreal. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)
MONTREAL — Even having several key players rested, the Red Bulls endured one of their worst, if not the worst performance of the season Saturday night.
A rather perplexing and lackluster 3-0 defeat to the Montreal Impact will do that.
“It wasn’t our best performance – if anything it was one of our worst – but I don’t want to be too hasty,” captain and goalkeeper Luis Robles said.
“We just weren’t our sharpest tonight.” head coach Chris Armas said.
The Red Bulls completed a five-game in 15-day stretch in which they registered a 2-1-2 mark.
At Stade Saputo, the Red Bulls were hoping to be energized by the addition of Bradley Wright-Phillips and midfielders Kaku and Daniel Royer. They sat out Wednesday’s 1-0 home win over the Houston Dynamo, but apparently their presence wasn’t enough.
It did not help that standout midfielder Tyler Adams was left in New Jersey. He is not injured, but Armas wanted to give him a rest.
“The guys are putting a lot into it and you see the four games leading up to this in humidity, with heat, grinding out results,” Robles said. “It’s required a lot of effort and the guys have answered the call. So, I understand us coming out flat. What I don’t understand is towards the end it looked like we gave up and that is, in my opinion, not Red Bull soccer. That doesn’t belong in our locker-room. It doesn’t belong on the field. And I’ll do my best this next week to make sure the guys’ heads are in the right place, but we need to learn from our mistakes and find a way to move on.”
The Red Bulls will have plenty of time to think about it because they will have two weeks off due to the FIFA international break.
Armas, however, wasn’t going to concentrate on the setback too much.
“We haven’t focused on so many of the victories,” Armas said. “We’re not going to focus too much on this [loss]. We’ll look to learn from it and understand what road games look like, understand the true value of set pieces, understanding how to engage when you’re not at your best.”