Tag Archive for Alfredo Ortuno

Can RSL find signs of life against red hot Red Bulls? Match Preview

No team took a worse beating in week 2 of the MLS season than did RSL, their 5-1 loss to expansion side LAFC was beyond embarrassing. I kept hearing it was an anomaly, and I sure hope it is true this time, because we heard the same thing at the end of the 2014 season when RSL lost 5-0 in the playoffs to the LA Galaxy and that has been followed by 3 seasons of mediocre at best soccer. Is it harsh to bring that up, yes it is, lots of things have changed but the reality is shocking losses can do more damage than just a single loss. They can lead to finger pointing and distrust in a locker room that can spread like a cancer destroying good teams.  So when they take the pitch on Saturday, it may not seem like anything more than just another match, but I expect it will be much more than that.

The New York Red Bulls come into Rio Tinto coming off a midweek win in CCL action that saw them advance to the semifinals by eliminating Club Tijuana with wins in both the away leg last week and the home leg on Tuesday night. That came on top of their 4-0 thrashing of the Portland Timbers last weekend in the Red Bulls MLS season opener at home. Much like RSL the Red Bulls are in the middle of a transition period for their team, with young players and new international players. In their win over Portland four players made their MLS debut (Kyle Duncan, Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra, Ben Mines, and Hassan Ndam) while 3 others had under twenty MLS matches under their belts (Derrik Etienne Jr.,Fidel Escobar, and Vincent Bezecourt). Perhaps there was no better feel good moment in all of MLS than when 17 year old homegrown player Ben Mines scored his first MLS goal, which would prove the game winner.

This will be a match where RSL’s defense must show up and show up big, the Red Bulls have scored multiple goals in four of the five meaningful matches they have played this season and while Bradley Wright-Phillips remains their main scoring threat he is not alone in that category, here are the players have scored for NY Red Bulls so far this year, (Royer, Wright-Phillips x4, Davis, Rivas x2, Mines, Adams, Rzatkowski, Kaku). If there is a silver lining to that potential dark cloud it is that none of these players have ever scored against RSL before. The only current NYRB player to scored against RSL is a classic villain in RSL history, Aurelien Collin.

So what do we need to focus on Saturday?

Read more

Folks The Fortress fell and I will be dammed if I can find a silver lining

Listen the reality is that RSL blew as bad as they have ever sucked on Saturday in their 5-1 home loss to expansion side LAFC.  In a season where the team needs to find a way to be dominant at home, they were anything but and at some point it looked like guys didn’t give a crap anymore.  The gaps are clear and while it may seem easy to point blame, enough people have pointed to Demar Phillips, but the reality is he was one of the guys getting the ball forward and nobody filled in when he went forward.  You can point a finger a Luis Silva who did nothing, you can point fingers at every single player at some point of the match.

So here is what we can do, we can admit that there is more than enough blame for the players and the coaching staff to go around.  What I care about is what happens on Saturday when we have to face an actually good team, a team that is doing well in Champions League, that in their home opener they beat Portland 4-0 in a match that wasn’t even close.

There was a single highlight of the match for RSL, it was the fact that Joao Plata was fortunate enough to be in the right place to put his blocked PK effort back into the back of the net.  He celebrated by doing push ups:

While this was a cute goal celebration, it was the only thing worth being happy about.

Read more