Coach Jason Kreis said his team's 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls tonight did not constitute a sparkling performance, and to judge by the Red Bulls' reactions, he must be right.
"By far this was our best game against Salt Lake in two years," New York coach Hans Backe said.
The Red Bulls mostly agreed that they played reasonably well, but made mistakes in back for which RSL punished them. They have not won in their last six meetings with RSL (0-5-1) dating back to 2009.
"You can’t make these kinds of unforced errors against good teams," Backe said. "They kill you and we had five in the first half. There was some sloppy passing and lots of pressure and we gambled with the offside, but that was the difference between the teams. Otherwise, it was a very even game. That was the first time that we had dictated the game against Salt Lake."
RSL's Fabian Espindola scored the first goal in the 39th minute when he beat an offside trap as teammate Paulo Jr. chipped a wondrous pass over the defense, allowing him a free run to goal.
Espindola fired between the legs of rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara, before taking the shot whose rebound teammate Luis Gil fired home for the second goal in the 58th minute.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game, and I think we stuck with our plan," New York's Jan Gunnar Solli said. "The way they scored their goal was just because our back four were trying to get them offside and we didn’t succeed with that. Overall, it was not such a bad performance."
And what does Backe think of RSL?
"They definitely are in the top three in the league," he said.
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