The Red Bulls played to a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.
Their winless streak has hit four, as they lost in Real Salt Lake, Columbus, and to NYC FC at Yankee Stadium last Sunday before this tie. They have only one win since they returned from the Copa America break, on June 19 against Seattle.
The Red Bulls had won three straight going into thebreak, so it definitely broke their momentum as they looked to finally be over their 1-6 start.
Their record is now 7-9-3, 24 points, and they’re in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
“Yeah, you know I said at the Copa America break that our team needed a break physically and we did,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said of their momentum being broken. “But then the season picked up and it was just game after game after game. The summer days can seem really long sometimes and the heat can hit and then we’re — but today I thought we actually had our legs and just couldn’t quite get the final play right. So we’ll get this thing going again. We’ll get this going again. I’m not concerned about that.”
On Sunday night, the Red Bulls poured in 13 shots, with the best ones coming in the 16th minute by Felipe off a free kick, and on what turned out to be the final play of the game from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Portland’s best chances came from Ben Zemanski, who sent a rocket off the right post in the 56th minute, and over the crossbar in the 78th minute.
The game was a physical one throughout, with a lost of tough battles for the ball and hard charges. At one point in the first half, Red Bulls captain Dax McCarty was left with a bloody nose.
The Red Bulls controlled possession for 60 percent of the game, but the Portland defense kept them at bay.
“The game overall — a little sloppy,” Marsch said. “Not sure why — the field was a little heavier and a lot of times when we play at night the ball moves a little bit more so the field was a little dry, and so there wasn’t — the connections weren’t quite there like they normally are. But again I think for us to get a shutout in a game like this was really important. To play against a good team and get Damien (Perrinelle) back on the field and now for that to be still — can that be a starting point and a hallmark of what we do as a team from here on forward is just not giving up goals. So that part was good.”
Perrinelle, a Red Bulls defender returning from a knee injury, did a nice job in their friendly against Club America on Wednesday and came on in the 21st minute when Gideon Baah left with a leg injury.
“Gideon, it’s the same leg he injured in Columbus, Marsch said of Baah’s injury and Perrinelle coming in to replace him. “He felt something. We’re not sure exactly what it is. We’re evaluating that as we go. And then, yeah, Damien had to come on earlier. When we put Damien on the roster we said there’s a chance that if something happens in the tenth minute then you have to be prepared to put Damien on the field for 80 minutes.
“It wasn’t the 10th, it was the 20th. But I think, first of all, that him getting to play some major minutes against Club America meant that he was closer to full fitness and game speed. And so overall the man came in and did really well. Did really well. To go against those attackers and to deal with (Fanendo) Adi and on a day where it’s a good attacking team, was really happy for him and now he starts to look like himself. So that was really great.”
“It’s an amazing feeling, Perrinelle said of coming back from his knee injury. “First of all, like I said the other day, I want to say thank you to all my teammates, to all the Red Bulls staff and also this guy over there, (Ronald) Zubar. No, yeah, it’s a really good feeling. I didn’t expect to play this game but at the end I was ready to play and it was nice.”