July 19, 2012
THANKS, WE NEEDED THAT
Win over Fire gives Red Bulls a big boost
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Thierry Henry: “It wasn’t the best game ever. And it is one of those you go back home and you get the three points and you’re happy."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – Since the Red Bulls five-game winning streak ended on May 23 with a 1-1 home tie against Chivas USA, it has been a tough go for New York in league play.
In their last six games, the Red Bulls were 1-2-3 before Wednesday’s 1-0 home win over Chicago. It didn’t seem as bad, given a break for the international window during that stretch and a win in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup to bolster the confidence of the locker room. But the Red Bulls were reeling a bit and battling injuries, making this mid-week game close to a “must-win.”
“It is a big win - picking up injuries and not playing twice in a row with the same team,” coach Hans Backe said. “Three points today and hopefully on Saturday we can pick up a good result and then we have a good stretch and taking advantage of three home games.”
The win moved the Red Bulls into second place in the Eastern Conference with 35 points, two points ahead of D.C. United, which holds a game in hand on New York. The three points also pushed the side into third place in the hunt for the Supporters Shield, eight points behind San Jose who are atop the league.
But more than the standings and the wins and losses, the win got the locker room right again and feeling good.
“I think this was very important for us, a big win and a win that we needed right now. It comes at a busy time for us,” defender Markus Holgersson said. “I think that with the heat, the injuries, it is a nice boost right now.”
The Red Bulls battled past a determined and surging Fire side that had taken seven points from its last four games before Wednesday and had beaten the Red Bulls, 3-1, on June 17.
Now with the derby match on Saturday afternoon against Philadelphia, the four points that the Red Bulls have taken off the last two games gives some much needed momentum to avoid a summer swoon.
“It wasn’t the best game ever,” captain Thierry Henry said. “And it is one of those you go back home and you get the three points and you’re happy.”