New York Red Bulls Post-Match Report

April 18, 2015
Analysis & Stats:

There are good losses and bad losses.  Good losses are when a team should have won, but lost.  The team dominated the stats, got more scoring chances, yet the other team manages to steal a win by having their one shot on goal go in.  A bad loss is when a team should lose, and does.  This was a bad loss.

According to MLSSoccer.com, NYRB outshot us 21-10, with eight on target.  That’s a far cry from Vancouver’s 4 shots, NONE on target.  NYRB also generated a ton of scoring chances (13-7), dominated possession (57% to 43%), and doubled the Quakes in interceptions (31-15).

Why did we perform so poorly?  Part of it was personnel.  Imagine seeing Wondo on the bench to start the game if you’re NYRB.  Benching your best player will galvanize any opposing team. Then consider NYRB’s style of play: high pressure.  With no Wondo to mark as a scoring threat, NYRB were able to press the ball all night, despite us using our fastest players.

Then there was the formation.  A 4-3-3.  This is the exact wrong formation to use in a press.  It keeps the ball moving sideways or backwards, rather than having multiple layers of players to advance the ball.  When the ball keeps going sideways, the other team’s defense can set up to cover forward passes.  In fact, the Quakes only averaged a 54% passing accuracy in the attacking third, with a 69% overall accuracy.  When you lose the ball half the time on passes in the final third, and only successfully complete two of three passes in the game, don’t expect to score.

Take Aways

I think Wondo just proved that our team rises and falls with him.   Not only does he have to be starting, but starting at the #9 spot.  With Wondo on the bench, the Quakes only had 2 shots.  When he came on, we started generating chances.  But it was too little, too late.  If he is injured, he shouldn’t be playing at all, and Tommy should be given more minutes instead.

I also think it’s time to fish or cut bait with Tommy.  He needs to play.  Either play him, or send him to Sacramento.

Finally, I think we are still a work in progress, and I really do think when we get the kinks worked out, we can be a playoff team.  But in order to do this, we need to go back to basics: Wondo at forward, go back to the 4-2-3-1 and tweak it around (maybe a 4-3-1-2?), and keep our defensive players playing defense in their respective zones (both NYRB goals were scored at Wynne’s position & both times he was playing way out of position, resulting in an unmarked man scoring the goal).   We’ll see if we can make the changes in two weeks against RSL.

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