Red Bulls Drop Third Straight To LA: What I Noticed

Photo by Bill Twomey Photography

(HARRISON, NJ) – Mother’s Day 2017 is a day the New York Red Bulls would like to forget. LA Galaxy came into Red Bull Arena and left with 3 points, and goals, against a poor Red Bull team. The loss is their third straight after dropping points to Sporting Kansas City and Philadelphia Union last week.

Red Bulls Drop Third Straight To LA: What I Noticed

This game had no silver lining. NY did nothing to change their perception. To the chagrin of some Red Bull fans, Gonzalo Veron sat on the bench while NY faltered in front of net for the third straight game.

Jesse Marsch, normally a upbeat coach, looked beside himself. After the game, he said, “Every facet of the game was effected by the fact that we were afraid… This isn’t about points and standings right now. It’s about identity. It’s about making sure that the belief system of who we are, what we are, what we do. That’s where we are at right now. It has to be a massive learning moment. A massive slap in the face.”

There is a sense of last seasons dark times surrounding the team. I normally save this space for an optimistic review of the game, but not today. Here’s what I saw:

Davis Returns To The Lineup

Davis started his match playing safe. Whether it was the pressure of returning to the lineup or the fear of making a big mistake, he did not seize the reigns handed to him. LA’s second goal came from a number of defensive breakdowns. The dagger delivered by Romain Allesandrini saw Davis in the center of the action.

Allesandrini pinched inside to deliver the ball wide, then continued his run into the box. Davis did not track the run until it was too late. Despite making a recovery run, the Red Bulls midfielder could not reach his man in time.

Viewing Davis’s stats, it is hard to tell how poorly he played in the opening 45 minutes. Davis passed the ball 39 times for 89%. Only Daniel Royer passed better in the first half, though it was on 11 passes. Looking at Davis’s passing map paints the picture.


The majority of his passes were passes back. Davis played to maintain possession in spots that demanded he make a play.

It is hard to read a player’s mind, and I don’t think Davis would ever admit it, but there is a clear lack of confidence emanating from the midfielder. As he left the field in the second half, his body language told the story. Davis’s benching left a residual effect with the homegrown player. His time to re-acclimate with the team will be a story to watch during this home stand.

Home Or Away

April 9th, 2016. That is the last time the Red Bulls lost in Red Bull Arena during the regular season. LA’s first goal was the kind of bad luck the Red Bulls have seen all of their existence. The conditions of the free kick were drawn up in the bad luck handbook. Some might call it a classic. To the Red Bulls, it is life.

When bad luck follows you home, the fingers start pointing. By all accounts, the Red Bulls road form this season is poor. Last week, a team coming off a three game win streak lost two in a row on the road, never registering a goal. Returning home and playing a team struggling like LA Galaxy should have been an antidote. Instead, the Red Bulls flopped.

The rest of the match can not be so easily excused. The Galaxy out pressed the Red Bulls at RBA. Few teams can claim to ever have done the same. The Red Bulls were over matched from the opening whistle. Once LA had secured their second goal, they sat back and frustrated the Red Bulls as many teams have done in the past. It is an effective strategy.

NY continues to struggle against teams that pack it in. For the Marsch-era team, this is not a new issue. The search for plan B remains active. A player that can break open a locked down defense is out there. Can the Red Bulls find him?


  • 8′ Allesandrini
  • 9′ Allesandrini
  • 78′ Dos Santos
  • 90+3′ Royer


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