September 18, 2012
THE GREAT MYSTERY
Red Bulls don't know why they concede early goals or how to solve it
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- So, how do you have in your office or online pool as to which Sporting Kansas City player will score in the opening 10 minutes against the Red Bulls on Wednesday night.
|Hans Backe: "I Just wonder. I hope someone can tell me how to [solve] it because it's not only one time."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Don't laugh. In three of their last four matches, Red Bulls opponents have taken the early lead only for New York to rally and either tie or win.
It has been a great mystery to the Red Bulls as to why they keep falling behind and chasing the game. It is just as great head scratcher as to how to fix the problem.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe wished he had the answers as he leads his team into the big confrontation at Red Bull Arena.
"I Just wonder. I hope someone can tell me how to [solve] it because it's not only one time," Backe said after Red Bulls training at Montclair State University on Tuesday.
Backe said the Red Bulls had fallen behind against playoff contenders several times this season.
"There have been a number of times, also against the top teams," he said. "If you look at the four teams that are close to us, I think we have gone down agianst every of those teams in the first 10 minutes. I think some of those teams the first five minutes. It's a long way in this league when you go down one-nil against a team you are really challenged with."
It's one thing to talk about it, it's an entirely another thing to solve it.
"Everyone is aware of it," Backe said. "Everyone is sharp and ready for the game. Sometimes on a couple of goals we look a little passive. I don't know if I can say anyone is nervous to start a game. We look a little bit passive in the defending game, the pressing game, the 50-50s that you probably need to invest a little bit more in the first 15-20 minutes."
Captain Thierry Henry has been harping on the team's slow starts.
"I think we conceded four goals before the first eight minutes of the game since the beginning of the season," he said. "You cannot start against Kansas City like this. They don't concede a lot and I don't know if there has been a lot of teams this year that has scored two or three against Kansas City. That hasn't happened often, so we have to make sure we do not concede. As I said after the [Columbus] game I don't know why we are conceding early. We have to kind of erase that if we want to go to the playoffs."