February 24, 2013
EARLY GAME BLUES
Red Bulls give up another early goal in another loss
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A new coach, a new player, but a familiar start.
|A foul by Jamison Olave gave the New England Revolution a penalty kick in the fourth minute and the first goal of the game.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Even under a new coach and new players, the Red Bulls still can't shake their slow starts. They gave up yet another early goal -- a penalty kick in the fourth minute -- en route to a 2-0 loss to the New England Revolution in the third-place match of the Tucson Desert Diamond Cup on Saturday.
The Red Bulls finished the tournament winless, going 0-3-1. They open their 18th Major League Soccer season at the Portland Timbers on Sunday, March 3.
To make matters worse, New York surrendered a goal in the fourth minute -- a penalty kick after central defender Jamison Olave fouled Lee Nguyen in the penalty area. Nguyen converted the ensuing spot kick.
"The issue we're having as a team is that we're giving these goals away," Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said. "Unfortunate penalty call. . . . I almost feel like this team needs to behind the eight ball to step up and perform."
The Revs doubled their advantage when Jerry Bengtson got the rebound to his own blocked shot and knocked it in off the near post from close range in the 36th minute.
Petke said that a "player loses the ball at a critical time in the back. Maybe we should push everyone up to get it out. Maybe the decision making maybe wasn't all right that moment. They put it down our throats then."
And even in a pre-season game, that could be devastating.
"Maybe a bad first touch and that's all it takes, especially in this league," Petke said. "You have a momentary lapse in this league and teams die to make you pay and then sit back and make lie frustrating for you. And that's what New England did."
Petke was encouraged by the fact his team created several opportunities.
"Our goal was to end this pre-season on a positive note," he said. "This might be the only time you will hear say this after a loss. We ended on a positive note. I can't wait to see the stats. We were all over them. They had two definite goals, three chances, maybe. We were all over them. It was one of those lie is cruel moments. there was some very good stuff done."
Defensive midfielder Dax McCarty, who missed several practices and two games due to an injury, started and played 74 minutes.
"Dax surprised me today," Petke said. "He hasn't done anything in a couple of days, maybe three, four days. I made sure, 'Are you sure you can do 30?' He said, 'I want to play.' I put him on and he was buzzing. He was a big link for us. He was all over the place. I think Eric Alexander has been pushing him a little bit. Eric makes some mistakes here and there, but he's worked hard for us. Dax needed to get back on that field. I think that was good for him."