BWP: “If you have nothing good to say, just don’t say anything.” (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J — Bradley Wright-Phillips has some advice for the Red Bulls’ nay-sayers out there:
The Red Bulls have endured a sad history of folding in the playoffs, especially after going down in the first leg of an aggregate-goals series.
Some, perhaps many, Red Bulls supporters, who have lived through countless past failures feared the worst when the Red Bulls dropped the opening leg, 1-0, last Sunday.
“It doesn’t matter,” Wright-Phillips said after the Red Bulls dispatched Columbus Crew SC in the second leg of the MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal series, 3-0, at Red Bull Arena Sunday night. “It’s a different team. I think only the people that are really nervous are going to hate no matter what will put negative comments: here to we again.
“In fact, to those guys, just chill out. If you have nothing good to say, just don’t say anything. Don’t say anything and we’ll do the best we can as we always do.”
Head coach Chris Armas said that he hadn’t heard much negative comments of supporters expecting doom and gloom in Sunday’s second leg.
“As far as nay-sayers, I haven’t heard many naysayers,” he said. “I’m not reading, I don’t really focus on it, but what do I say to them? I mean it’s for the outside to kind of judge what they think and it’s fair to think, well, maybe the Red Bulls don’t have enough. I don’t get so caught up with that.
“I can say that there’s a lot of belief in our room, in our locker room. There’s a lot of belief. And we know that this team is different than ever. I think tonight was another example of that.”
It certainly has helped that many of the younger players haven’t lived through the postseason failure and anxiety.
“One of the strengths of our team, the youngsters, these guys are fearless,” BWP said. “You’ve got Tyler [Adams], Sean [Davis]. These guys are in center midfield. Do you know how hard it is to play all season long against some veterans in the league? These guys just go out there with no fear. Even after mistakes they just bounce back. its unbelievable to see.”