Crimson Bulls 0-Zero Cincinnati: underwhelming efficiency towards underwhelming opposition

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The 2021 New York Red Bulls Season is firmly in the doldrums.

Despite a 23: 9 committee against the opponent, Gerhard Strubers’ belated team could not find the net against a largely impotent team from FC Cincinnati, and ended 0-0 in Harrison on Wednesday evening.

With a flatter 4-4-2 than his traditional Diamond midfield, Struber’s line-up was again shaped by the absence of player-designate Dru Yearwood and the seven-figure transfer deal Frankie Amaya. Wiki Carmona was favored again in attacking midfield instead, while Andrew Gutman returned after a long injury hiatus to give John Tolkin a break.

The game started with New York on its forefoot. Patryk Klimala had the best chance when he volleyed into the crossbar. But immediately after the game it became a well-known quagmire of whistles and injury breaks, as neither team found much joy in the other’s penalty area.

Although Struber has a reputation for flipping games with halftime adjustments, he has largely the same look in the second half with little success. Carmona was mostly in dangerous positions but with little end product, while Klimala and Fabio didn’t find much combination with the flatter midfield. The arrival of Yearwood and Amaya did little to move the needle, and despite an almost entirely half-second half of New York besieging the Cincinnati goal, the game rarely looked for anything but the goalless tie that it ultimately was.

In his press conference after the game, Gerhard Struber repeated his shared optimistic mantra about “learning” his young, understaffed team, but had trouble influencing a disappointing result against one of the weaker teams at the conference.

“We are very disappointed and frustrated. We create so many chances, but we don’t have the missing link to score. We may miss something of the hunger and desire to score a goal. “

Struber explained that his decision to tweak his signature diamond formation was motivated by a desire to hit Cincinnati’s flat defensive formation, which gave him two attacking midfielders to squeeze the defense down.

“I think with two tens we have closer positions for the pressing distances. In the second half we switch back to the diamond, which gives us everything in our hands and gives us great moments for synchronous pressing, but in the end we don’t find the goal. Still, it’s good to see the players pushing their personal limits after being hit in the face against New England at the weekend. “

Defender turned midfielder to center-back Tom Edwards was a big part of the clean sheet performance but reiterated his manager’s complaint about the team’s lack of cohesion in the final third.

“I think it’s a matter of hunger, really a matter of confidence. We had pinned them back the whole game and should have done more. We worked on moving the ball in training, but in the end, when the ball goes into the penalty area, I think we need a bit of appetite and hunger to get to the end. “

After the team seemed to gradually gel in the course of May, Struber and the Red Bulls are now in a crisis in which complete performances seem unattainable. If New York is to turn the season around in the coming weeks, it won’t be easy. First it’s a quick trip to Chicago to face the resurgent fire, followed by the always tricky away day in Montreal.

“We’re about to win a lot of games and collect points. We know we haven’t had much luck away from home this season, but I have patience and I have great confidence in our group. “

While Struber’s patience with his players is commendable on a personal level, on a professional level his team urgently needs to change the mood of a season that is about to be relegated. It’s unlikely that praise for intricate pressing will satisfy notoriously discerning New York fans if scores continue to fall and the conference table slides further down.