Sean Davis: “It was a disappointing night. I think we didn’t have the right energy, we lost our duels and that’s the Red Bull way.” (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
ORLANDO – Whatever energy the Red Bulls displayed in their first game at the MLS Is Back Tournament was nowhere to be found in their distressing 2-0 loss to Columbus Crew SC Thursday night.
Their attack was lacking any punch and creativity and they struggled to get into dangerous positions in and around the Columbus penalty area.
Moreover, they failed to place a shot on target.
Red Bulls captain Sean Davis had a list of things that went wrong for the Red Bulls (1-1-0, 3 points) that would have boosted them into the knockout round at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Columbus (2-0-0, 6) did qualify for the next round.
“It was a disappointing night,” Davis said. “I think we didn’t have the right energy, we lost our duels and that’s the Red Bull way. We didn’t meet the demands of the game. We weren’t sharp enough in either box. When you look at that, when you look at our chances, we weren’t dangerous enough. Unfortunately, they deserve the win tonight. That’s something we got to take a hard look at. We got to look in the mirror and really turn things around because we have a big game next week, so we got to take what we can from this game and look forward.”
Looking or going forward in a positive manner was anything but the theme Thursday night. The Red Bulls finally pushed up later in the match, but it was way too little and much too late.
Chasing the game is not a winning formula.
“We didn’t create enough until late in the game and, so again, that’s disappointing,” Davis said. “We need to give ourselves a chance to get on the board to put pressure on them from an offensive standpoint and that’s something that we’re going to have to take a look at. In terms of our physical fitness levels, this is something that every team is on this even playing field and there’s no excuses. We know the demands of our style of play, we know that it was going to be hot here. We prepared, in my opinion, as well as we could.”
As poorly as the Red Bulls played, they still have an opportunity to move on in the competition as they will meet FC Cincinnati in their final group stage match next week.
Yet, before focusing on that contest, Davis felt the team needed to look at the Columbus debacle.
“I think the first thing is we got to take a hard look at this game, understand what went right, what went wrong and be really honest with ourselves, honestly, assess our performance from there,” he said. “We got to turn the page quickly. We know this is a big game. They’re a team that got three points today so they’re going to be giving everything in this final game to get a result and go through to the next round. We have to move on quickly, but we do have to take lessons from this game because it wasn’t good enough.”