August 11, 2012
By Kristian R. Dyer
Red Bulls still unbeaten at home
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – A 2-0 win over Houston on Friday night not only exacted a measure of revenge for the Red Bulls, it also maintained their spotless performance at home.
Red Bull Arena has become a veritable fortress for New York, who are now 8-0-3 at home and have been dominant in their last few performances. It seems almost automatic at this juncture of the season that when New York puts on their white home kits that they will walk away with points – most likely three of them. The same cannot be said of their road kits.
The Red Bulls are 4-7-2 this year as visitors and lost their last home game by a 2-0 score line in Houston.
“Here it is so supportive and it’s kind of our fortress and it is how we want to keep. It’s no doubt this is a massive win for us and now we are back pole position, I think, again and that’s where we want to stay,” midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli said.
“It is how much pressure we put on ourselves every game, and we definitely were not happy how we went to Houston, and when you have to chase Houston, which is such a good possession team, it’s tough. Today we got the first goal and everybody worked their shirt off.”
The form at home isn’t a surprise as, under head coach Hans Backe, the Red Bulls have been one of the better teams in their own building over the past three years. There is a raucous supporters’ end and a nice, wide pitch for the players and just the comfort of playing in Red Bull Arena.
But in their last five matches away, the Red Bulls have lost three and drawn twice.
“So far, you can say we look like being a better home team than on the road. But we try to play the same, there is no difference and I think after 14 or 15 games, we were one of the better on the road teams. We had four wins,” Backe said.
“But then of course, we lost I think four games now in Chicago, New England, Montreal and Houston. We have one more home game and then let’s see what kind of style we need to play on the road because something must be changed.”
It might be a bit simpler than a style change. For whatever reason ahead of road games, the Red Bulls have been hit with an injury bug and often play shorthanded. New York plays at home next Sunday then hits the road for a two-game road trip after that.
Midfielder Joel Lindpere is eyeing a different team the next time the Red Bulls hit the road.
“We are strong at home and we still haven’t lost at home and that’s the main thing. We need to keep going like this. Concentrate now on what we can do better on away games and we can take it from there,” Lindpere said.
“I don’t know if we have travelled with a full team away this year, I don’t think so. Now with a little break, all the injured guys can get fit in practice and do all the stuff, maybe we can see when the full team is travelling away for the first time all season, now maybe after these away losses and ties, a good result. I think we play the next game at home but still I think we’re still No. 1 [in the Eastern Conference]. Maybe someone goes ahead of us but to go on this break is good. Concentrate on the next home game and then hopefully everybody in the team is ready for away games.”