It isn’t hard to admit the Impact was coming off an extremely humiliating and disappointing result in New England prior to heading to Red Bull Arena. The Impact would also be faced with the loss of Saphir Taïder in the midfield as a result of his red card in the previous week. Other than that, the Impact’s record at Red Bull arena is very poor with no wins or ties in regular season, only loses.
Problems started early for the Impact when Cabrera caused a turnover in the Impact half. Valot, who intercepted the ball, was able to play a nice ball to Wright-Phillips who easily finished the play in the back of the net with a powerful shot over Bush. All of this, in the fifth minute.
Just a few moments later, Duvall came to the rescue of his team. Red Bull player, Royer with somewhat of a lucky play managed to get the ball barely pass Bush but Duvall stopped the ball on the line allowing Bush to grab it.
The Impact seem to gain momentum from that moment on, with a few chances developing but nothing coming to fruition. In the 33rd minute, moments after missing what seem to be a golden opportunity, Vargas got the Impact on the board. From 20 meters out, the free kick from Vargas hit the post and went in leaving Robles, who guessed the side of the shot right, with an impossible save.
A moment that will leave Impact fans somewhat worrisome came shortly before the end of the first half, when Fanni was forced to be replaced by Lovitz due to injury. This switch shuffled almost everyone in the backline.
The second half, brought back some memories from last week. The Red Bull came out determined, while the Impact seem to leave their game in the locker room. In the 57th minute, Bush made a nice run to stop a possible Wright-Phillips chance. Wright-Phillips who regained possession of the ball distributed it to Gamarra who took a powerful shot and gave the lead to the Red Bull. The maddening factor on this goal was that the defense seemed almost static the whole time, leaving Bush to fend for himself.
In the 73rd minute Bush came up with a big stop for his team. On what seemed to be a two on 1 play, Bush ran from end to end of his net to make a somewhat lucky relfect stop with his foot. Shortly after, Bush wasn’t able to make another miracle happen when Lawrence crossed the ball through the feet of multiple players in the box before reaching Murillo at the far post who had an easy tap in goal.
If the game was based off the first half, the Impact could almost be proud of themselves. Chances were exchanged between the two teams and a mental error by Cabrera gave the Red Bull their only goal. The second half though seem to be all New York Red Bull from whistle to whistle, which was disappointing considering how humiliating the loss was last week. Bush was frustrated on the final goal and with reason. He came up with a few big saves and good moments to try and keep his team in this game but the defense was too easy to expose and the offence was lacking a spark.
- Loss in the Midfield: The midfield seemed inexistant in the game today. Hopefully, the return of Taider next week can help bring back the spark that was ultimately lacking in the last two match ups. It is worrisome that without both designated players in the lineup, the Impact have no threat or structure to their game.
- Do the Shuffle: At what point will it be time to try and change something in terms of the formation. While the constant formation change and inconsistent starting 11 from Biello was awful for the team last season, something needs to change in the 11 Garde is currently putting on the field. The defense is unable to stabilize themselves, which may in part be due to the shuffle caused by the Fanni injury, but being static like they were on the second goal and no one intercepting on the third goal is inexcusable.
- Free Kick Threat: The Vargas free kick was sublime. An unstoppable shot like such is what the Impact need, especially to attempt to get their team back into the game. Seizing opportunities like such is a big element that was lacking in the Impact’s game last season. Another important factor to note, the determination Vargas had going into that free kick after missing a golden opportunity moments earlier. Vargas wanted to get his team back in the game as he missed his chance to do so before.
MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Rod Fanni (Daniel Lovitz 40’), Víctor Cabrera, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala; M-Samuel Piette, Alejandro Silva, Ken Krolicki (Louis Béland-Goyette 57’); A-Jeisson Vargas (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 66’), Ignacio Piatti
Unused substitutes – Clément Diop, Dominic Oduro, Shamit Shome, Matteo Mancosu
NYRB – G-Luis Robles; D-Michael Murillo, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence; M-Tyler Adams, Sean Davis (Alex Muyl 87’), Florian Valot, Alejandro Romero Gamarra (Marc Rzatkowski 82’), Daniel Royer; A-Bradley Wright-Phillips (Derrick Etienne 78’)
Unused substitutes – Ryan Meara, Aurélien Collin, Benjamin Mines, Vincent Bezecourt
NYRB – Wright-Phillips (Valot) 5’
MTL – Vargas 33’
NYRB – Gamarra (Wright-Phillips) 57’
NYRB – Murillo (Lawrence) 76’