HARRISON, N.J. (April 29, 2015) - The New York Red Bulls played to a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena. Bradley Wright-Phillips put away a penalty in the 29th minute to answer a 25th minute strike from the Rapids.
With the draw, the Red Bulls move to 3-0-4 on the season and remain the only undefeated side in MLS.
After a 10-minute feeling out period, the home side came alive, generating several quick chances in a row and pressing the Colorado back line. The best opportunity came as a cross off the foot of right back Chris Duvall that was headed just wide by Mike Grella in the 13th minute. Long Island's Grella had a couple of near miss opportunities in the first half and was subbed out in the 2nd half. He responded to the question whether the Red Bulls overlooked Colorado, "No, I don't think so. We were all prepared for this match. One thing this group doesn't do is really overlook anyone. I think we were prepared, the warm-up was good, and everything was good. To be fair, it's difficult to play against some teams sometimes, you know, and things aren't coming off our way. When we let up the first goal sometimes it's difficult to get back in the game. I think for large periods of the match we dominated. I think a lot of teams come here now with a lot of respect for us and sit back. It makes for a different match but we'll definitely find a way to play against that as well."
With the press in full effect, the Rapids were able to spring Dominique Badji on a clean breakaway, but his early shot from the top of the box was blocked away by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles. Colorado struck first, against the run of play, when a Dillon Powers free kick was headed on by Gabriel Torres and past Robles in the 25th minute.
The Red Bulls responded just minutes later, when Sacha Kljestan was pulled down in the box to earn a penalty. 2014 MLS Golden Boot Winner Bradley Wright-Phillips stepped to the spot and buried his second penalty of the year, and third goal overall.
The home side continued to string together changes in the second half. In the 64th minute midfielder Kljestan found space at the top of the box and put a curling left-footed shot around Colorado 'keeper Clint Irwin but just off the crossbar.
A minute later, Lloyd Sam found Felipe at the penalty spot. The Brazilian, playing in his 100th-career MLS game, took a touch and struck a low ball that went just outside the right post.
In the 78th minute, Kljestan played Wright-Phillips through the back line. The English striker took a touch around Irwin, but the resulting angle proved to be too steep, and his attempt towards goal went wide. Kjestan said, "In my opinion, no I don't think we overlooked this game. I think we started the game very poorly. I think we started the game on the wrong foot. They came out and put us under pressure, and maybe we didn't expect that, and we didn't handle that good enough. The effort was just lazy in the first ten minutes. The second half was much better, we created a lot more chances, but overall, big disappointment," when responding to whether the team overlooked Colorado.
Coach Jesse Marsh said, "I think probably that's part of it. We need to make sure that - everyone in this room has been pretty kind to us so far and written some nice things and that's all great, and maybe we weren't focused enough, maybe we were ahead of ourselves and looking at the standings and looking at some articles, looking at what people are saying, whatever it is and thinking we're a better team than we are. If we want to be a good team then we have to stick to what we do well and that is run hard, press, recover balls, play forward, compete, and I think that in a lot of those categories we were second best tonight. Credit to Colorado."
New York has another quick turnaround, finishing off a run of three games in seven days with a trip to New England to face off with the Revolution on Saturday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. (TV: MSG)
The Red Bulls are next home on Sunday, May 10, for a match against MLS expansion side New York City FC.