By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — Well, they didn’t lose at home.
Then again, they didn’t win, either.
The Red Bulls kicked off their 28th season at home, with another scoreless outing on Saturday night, registered a 0-0 draw with Nashville SC at a less than full Red Bull Arena.
At least they didn’t suffer a home defeat, which defined most of their 2022 MLS season as they struggled to accrue precious points on their own turf.
The bottom line is that the Red Bulls haven’t celebrated a goal this season, as they have suffered back-to-back shutouts, even though they accrued a point.
There is little doubt the Red Bulls did create some opportunities, but quite frankly, their finishing was abysmal, before a crowd of 18,474.
Forward Dante Vanzeir, who made his much anticipated Red Bulls debut, came on for Elias Manoel in the 76th minute. Vanzeir, however, was never dangerous and he flubbed a counterattack late in the match.
“I think we deserved the win today,” Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber said. “It was not good enough but in the end. The chances, what do we have to create at home … we have to score. We have, again, I would say three good moments, but in the end, not the killer moments what we want. I think this is the biggest expectation for me.”
Nashville opened the season 1-0-1 against New York/New Jersey teams, having beaten New York City FC last Saturday, 2-0.
“It’s not so easy to score,” Struber said. “This is the reality. We have to come in better moments. In the end, especially at home we have to score and we have to win games and I cannot be very happy with that.”
The Red Bulls haven’t conceded a goal in the run of play this young season. The goal in last week’s 1-0 defeat at Orlando City SC was a result of a controversial penalty kick.
“A silver lining to get the shutout that gives us some good confidence on our defensive ability,” team captain Sean Nealis said. “We want to get a win especially at home here and hopefully we could get a win next week.”
The Red Bulls visit Minnesota United in their third game of the season next Saturday.
The game, incidentally, was ended with temperatures at 40 degrees, although it felt like 35 degrees, according to weather.com.