Image Credit: New York Sports Nation
To say that the wheels have fallen off the bus for the New York Red Bulls so far this season would be an understatement. An already beleaguered offense has continued to put in poor performances in front of goal, resulting in just six goals and one win from 8 games so far this season. That is before taking into account the appalling allegations regarding star DP Dante Vanzeir and head coach Gerhard Struber in the 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend. As a result, this Saturday’s consecutive 1-1 home draw against the Houston Dynamo was a memorable one. However that entirely had to do with what was occurring off the field rather than on it.
1. Supporter Groups Stand Out
The past week or so has been horrible as a Red Bulls fan. I've done my best to not be too vocal on the matter simply because of the nature of the situation as well as the fact that I don’t feel that I’m properly qualified to speak on something that is that sensitive in nature. Irrespective of that fact, the soft punishment handed out by the MLS and the lack of accountability from Struber as well as the organization as a whole is crushing to watch as a fan of the game and this team. That is why I have to commend our incredible supporter’s groups Viking Army, Empire Supporters Club and Torcida 96 for coming together and walking out of the stadium following the national anthem. In a season with very little to cheer about after only just two months, I am proud of my fellow Red Bulls fans for standing up for what we all acknowledge to be an injustice.
2. Disjointed Offense continues
As mentioned throughout Gerhard Struber’s tenure, offensive inefficiencies are the most significant weakness of this team. An interesting tweet surfaced this weekend from @MetroCapo, highlighting exactly how poor we’ve been. After previously having a monstrous error in the 2-1 victory against Columbus Crew to put the Red Bulls down at half, hopefully he can find his elite 2021 form sooner rather than later. Since the start of 2021 only 27 goals have been scored by Red Bulls forwards in 83 games. A rate that hovers around 1 in 3 games. Not even considering the off the field debacle the Red Bulls currently find themselves in, there has been little to cheer for on the field as well.
3. Omir Fernandez makes the difference
That being said, there were many portions of the game where there were some positive notes to reflect on. JMi returned after missing action the past two weeks and comfortably slotted back in defense, Barlow put in an excellent shift after rescuing a point last weekend and Wiki Carmona put in quality minutes in the second half. However if there were to be a Man of the Match that would have to go to Omir Fernandez. In his second game in a row starting in the No. 10 role, he looked comfortable and capable in midfield. Additionally he rescued a point late in the game scoring off of a corner. With both Lewis Morgan and Luquinhas out with injury, he has done a remarkable job stepping into the attacking midfield role.