November 6, 2012
MAKING HIS POINT(S)
Backe says this year's Red Bulls are his best team
By Kristian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Forget that Red Bulls team in 2010 that won the Eastern Conference, going from worst to first the season before.
Or even the Red Bulls team last year that beat F.C. Dallas in the play-in game and did well in losing in the next round to eventual MLS Cup winner Los Angeles. According to coach Hans Backe, this year’s club is the best he has had in what is now his third year in the league.
The third seed in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls secured 57 points, the best under Backe since he took over the team in 2010.
But the Red Bulls didn’t win the conference like they did in Backe’s first year and didn’t make that strong, late season surge as seen a season ago. Still, Backe sees this side as the best yet.
“I think the first year was a huge surprise to win the Eastern Conference with that team but they came together at the right time of the year also,” Backe said. “We’ve changed a lot. there’s not many of [those] players left. But this team should be the team that can make a difference comparing to the other two years.”
The numbers back up his claim. The Red Bulls have 11 more points this year than in 2011 and six more than the conference champion side two years ago. Whether that translates into a playoff series win remains to be seen (it should be noted that the Red Bulls played 34 games in each of the past two season and 30 in 2010).
When asked by the media if it was MLS Cup or bust to determine a successful season, Backe smiled and said, “Let’s talk about that after the season.”
He was also asked by BigAppleSoccer.com if this team was better than his Red Bulls sides over the past two seasons. The answer was short but clear.
“Yeah,” Backe said. “That’s a yes on that.”