Days later and Jesse Marsch is still wondering what went wrong in his team’s 2-0 loss on Friday night at D.C. United.
And now with a Wednesday night match against the Chicago Fire and then Saturday at New York City FC, the Red Bulls (3-7-1, 10 points) could turn things around in a hurry. But they have to get maximum results from these two matches.
The thing is that if the Red Bulls rebound from Friday’s loss and can take six points from the next two matches then they could be in an ideal spot in the Eastern Conference. Two wins this week and the Red Bulls would likely be above the red line for the playoff picture, such is life in the now muddled and decidedly average Eastern Conference.
It isn’t farfetched to think that the Red Bulls could sweep these next two games. Chicago is (again) at the bottom of the Conference and has just two points on the road from four away games this season. Then there is New York City FC, a team that is much improved this year, but one that the Red Bulls swept in a three-game series last season.
“It’s a bit crazy how things have gone in the Eastern Conference this season,” midfielder Sacha Kljestan said Monday.
“As unfortunate as we have been this season, and as bad as we have played in a lot of games and not gotten good results, with two quick games this week against Conference opponents – and hopefully we can take six points – that’s a huge step in the right direction, playoff-wise.”
The match against D.C. United was the third time this year that the Red Bulls have apologized after the match for their performance. The defense looked shaky, the midfield was over-run at times and they got little production up top.
In short, no bueno.
“What we took from it (the loss) is that it (the effort) wasn’t nearly good enough and that we were all disappointed, and we need to learn from that,” Marsch said Monday.
“And absolutely never let it happen again.”
As for what specifically happened in the loss, Marsch said they are “having a hard time identifying” exactly what went down and why it went that way. He used words like “perplexing” to describe the effort.
“Since I’ve been here, I don’t think I’ve seen it at that level. But we’ve made sure to be very honest with ourselves and address it to make sure it never happens again,” Marsch said.
“We’re desperate to play again, to prove that that is not who we are. To prove to ourselves that we are committed in all ways to be the team that we want to be. If we had to sit on that game too long, it could be very bothersome.”