This was a tough one to swallow for the Red Bulls as they knew they needed to get a win to keep their hopes alive for the final CCL match against the Montreal Impact, but sadly what they earned was a scoreless draw that normally would do wonders to any side on the road in a tough environment, but sadly the other side just wanted to keep it close.
Club Deportivo F.A.S. from El Salvador just went thru a coaching change and the players that the Red Bulls faced back in late August were not the same ones, yet they were the better side in all facets of the game with the exception of one stat. That important stat was the scoreboard and once again they couldn’t find a way to get a breakthrough.
The two moments in the game that looked to be a sure goal was in the 36th minute when Raul Renderos took down Ambroise Oyongo in the area and the referee pointed to the spot to give the Red Bulls a chance to take a lead. You would expect Peguy Luyindula to take the spot kick for the opportunity to take a lead, but instead it was Saer Sene who is getting a third chance to start in these games.
As Sene took two steps to the ball, he got underneath it and the shot went well over the crossbar which was the first glare of doom for Red Bulls fans. The next one was a converted chance to start the second half, but sadly the offside flag went up nullifying Sene’s second attempt to convert for an early lead at the start of the second half.
After the full ninety minutes the Red Bulls left with a draw and sadly kicked out of the CONCACAF Champions League Knockout stage. The first hit of a problem came in the 17th minute as Mike Petke had to burn a sub as Lloyd Sam was taken out for Hamstring Tightness in his Right leg which will rule him out for the road trip to Los Angeles and face the Galaxy.
Even though there were some glimpses of hope with some set pieces and attacking runs the Red Bulls will play a meaningless game in the end of October against the Montreal Impact who will now advance to the Quarterfinals next year at the beginning of the 2015 MLS Season. Unlike the first group stage game Tim Cahill was on the field with a solid side of starters and reserves, but this time around this solid side didn’t have the Australian International and some toughness was lost.
Head Coach Mike Petke said he was coming down to El Salvador to win with 90% of the roster and brought their own chef as well as paying for a chartered flight from Newark, to San Salvador which looks like it was all for nothing after that performance. If the head honcho in Austria doesn’t take these Confederational Club tournaments seriously, then they should just inform the league, US Soccer & CONCACAF to not include them anymore.
While I understand it’s not ideal to have the group stage towards the end of the MLS regular season, sadly these are the rules that CONCACAF has made & with F.A.S. looking terrible in league play including the CCL, this match was ripe for the pickings because the Red Bulls were the better side from top to bottom. Now the only thing that is left for them is to clinch a playoff spot with five league games left and they hope to patch it up quick against Landon Donovan.
Author: Daniel Feuerstein