BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The New York Red Bulls suffered their second loss in a row as they traveled to SeatGeek field in Chicago. An own goal by Red Bull defender Tim Parker was the only score of the match as the Chicago Fire found their first win of the 2019 campaign.
Weak Opening Half
Despite having a full-strength squad following the International Break, the Red Bulls did not show their usual urgency. Aaron Long and Tim Parker struggled against the Fire attack. Midfielder Sean Davis dropped back often to shore up the defense. Michael Murillo and Kemar Lawrence were strong on the outside but goalkeeper Luis Robles still needed to make three saves in the first half alone. Fire midfielder CJ Sapong was warned and booked for his physical play, most notably against RBNY homegrown Alex Muyl. German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger, slated at centerback, pushed forward during the first half of play. But even with this additional threat, the first half ended scoreless.
Own Goal early in Second Half
Early in the second half, Fire striker Nemanja Nikolic nailed the post amidst a scramble in the box. While trying to clear the ball, Parker deflected it across the plane to put a goal on the board. The Red Bulls, emboldened by their need to chase the game, began their surge. Alejandro R. Gamarra and Marc Rzatkowski pushed the play into the attacking third. Substitutes Andreas Ivan and Mathias Jorgensen provided fresh legs. Defender Connor Lade took over for Kemar Lawrence, who has been fighting to return from injury. In stoppage time, a free kick from Kaku nearly found Alex Muyl. But the Fire held on to get their first win of the season.
Last Words on CHIvRBNY
There is no reason for the Red Bulls to be this weak against a team like Chicago Fire. They had the full team and sufficient depth in their attack. Parker’s own goal was a fluke. A team with dominating possession and passing accuracy– 64% and 74%, respectively– needs to find the back of the net. There are many lessons to learn on the return home to face Minnesota United next week.