October 6, 2012
THE CAPTAINíS WORDS
Henry: 'We got what we deserved'
By Michael Lewis
|Thierry Henry: "They were organized. We got what we deserved. They were a better team. More organized. They wanted it more."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- Thierry Henry has played enough games to know when his team has been outplayed and beaten.
On Saturday night, the Chicago Fire made sure of that with a solid 2-0 Major League Soccer victory over the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.
"They were organized," he said. "We got what we deserved. They were a better team. More organized. They wanted it more."
A win would have clinched a playoff berth for the Red Bulls (15-9-8, 53 points), who plummeted from a tie for second place to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Fire booked a spot in the post-season.
If the playoffs started today, the Red Bulls would host the Houston Dynamo (13-8-11, 50) in a wildcard match. The winner would play first-place Sporting Kansas City (17-7-7, 58 points) in the conference semifinals. The Fire (17-10-5, 56) would take on D.C. United (16-10-6, 54). The Dynamo played the Montreal Impact to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
If KC defeats the Columbus Crew (14-11-6, 48) on Sunday, the Red Bulls would be eliminated in the running for the conference title. If Columbus prevails, the Crew would move past Houston and into fifth place, only two points behind the Red Bulls. The best result for the Red Bulls would be a draw.
"We're still not out," Henry said. "Some teams are going to drop some points. At the end of the day, the team that is on top deserves to be on top. They deserved to be where they are.
"Hopefully we go to the playoffs. We will meet them again. Obviously, it is going to be way more difficult for us because everyone is trying to avoid, if you go to the playoffs. Kansas City. Itís a tough one. Sometimes you've got to recognize a team is better than you and they were better today. It is not a mistake where they are right now."
For the second time in three home games, the Red Bulls dropped a 2-0 decision, having lost to KC on Sept. 19.
"They did not give us a lot of opportunities like Kansas City did," Henry said of Chicago. "They don't concede a lot of goals."
And the Red Bulls did not score any on Saturday night. They did not get out of the starting gate well and did not create any dangerous chances. Their only shot on goal was an average header by Tim Cahill in the 57th minute that goalkeeper Sean Johnson easily saved.
"We had a little bit of a lack of energy to try to get back in the game for whatever reason, which we obviously have to fix," midfielder Dax McCarty said. "We can't panic. We're still in the hunt. We're still in a playoff spot. We have our own destiny in our own hands. We have to win these last two games, for sure."
After the World Cup qualifying break, the Red Bulls host KC on Oct. 20 and final the regular season at the Philadelphia Union on Oct. 27. Needless to say, both are must-win games.
"It's not going to be easy," McCarty said. "How we got about our business in the next few weeks is very important. We just have to have good training sessions. We have to prepare accordingly. We have to stay confident. We have to know we're a good team. We have to learn from what happened this week."