On a clear and cool Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena, the New York Red Bulls gave away two goals from the 84th minute on in the second half at home against first-place New England Revolution and lost 2-3.
The bright spot for the home team was their 18-year-old Venezuelan Midfielder, Wikelman Carmona. Carmona unleashed a thunderous left-footed strike in the eighth minute that blew by Revolution keeper, Brad Knighton for his first MLS goal.
OH, WIKI! 🇻🇪
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) July 31, 2021
Offseason signing Fabio continued his recent run of form by scoring his second goal of the season after receiving a pass from Caden Clark which gave Red Bull a 2-1 lead in the 60th minute.
However, mistakes were made by the young Red Bull team coached by first-year head coach Gerhard Struber. Right-back Kyle Duncan hustled back on defense to dispossess a Revolution attacker just outside the Red Bulls' box in the 83rd minute. However, while making a slide-tackle, Duncan's hand touched the ball and the referee awarded a dangerous free kick to the visitors.
The player with the most assists (9) in MLS, Carles Gil provided an accurate cross that Brandon Bye headed in down and into the corner, past the reach of Red Bull goalie Carlos Colonel.
A fortuitous bounce was all visiting forward, Adam Buksa needed to score on a second opportunity and bring the Revolution back in stoppage time, from 2-1 down in the last ten minutes at Red Bull Arena. If surrendering two goals, late in the second half wasn't bad enough, the Revolution's win on Saturday meant that they swept the Red Bulls this season after three meetings, two of which took place at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts.
Steve Jolley and Matt Harmon of Red Bulls Radio provided their postgame analysis, where they described their takeaways from the Red Bulls' final game against the team that has been the best in MLS this season.
“You have to give New England credit,” Jolley said, “When you look at their season, getting two goals late in the game defines what their team has been about in what could be a supporters shield winning season.”
As for the remainder of the season for Red Bull, Jolley explained how he thinks Gerhard Struber should manage his club during the final three months of the season.
“The biggest thing for the Red Bulls is for the guys to understand their roles offensively and defensively," Jolley explains. "And that when you play a team like New England, they have to do whatever’s necessary to fight and claw and get out of a game. That’s the thing that’s frustrating for me is that in the last ten minutes, we kind of fell on our heels and we needed to be a bit more aggressive.”
It will be a quick turn-around for New York where FC Cincinnati will come to Red Bull Arena. Cincinnati currently sit in 12th in the Eastern Conference and have not won a game in their last six matches, dating back to June 26 a 2-0 win over Toronto FC.
The top six teams in each conference make the playoffs and for the Red Bulls they are six points behind Columbus Crew who occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the East.
Anthony graduated from Montclair State University, where he covered a variety of sports for three years. He co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on campus radio station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.