Red Bulls Own Worst Enemy In Loss To Chicago

Red Bulls
Chicago forward Nemanja Nikolic (23) reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Red Bulls. Photo: Mike DiNovo-USA Today Sports

Luis Robles stopped all four shots he faced, but the New York Red Bulls through some bad fortune fell to the Chicago Fire 1-0.

The only ball to cross either goal line Saturday afternoon at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill., was through an own goal from New York’s Tim Parker three minutes past halftime.

The loss, the second consecutive 1-0 defeat for the Red Bulls, is the first time New York has lost back-to-back regular-season matches since May of 2017.

Chicago took the lead in the 48th minute. A shot from Nemanja Nikolic rang off the post and bounced into the New York goal off Parker, who was tracking back on the play.

“Once it bounces, it takes a weird bounce and kind of skips up,” said Aaron Long, Red Bulls defender. “We don’t get a good clearance on it but it was a tough situation. It’s kind of a weird one. I think if we can solve it early then there is no problem. Once we head it and they chip it and it hits the post, then it’s all just a scramble there.”

Despite the back-to-back defeats in which the Red Bulls were kept off the scoresheet, there is no panic in the team.

“We have to sort of take a step back and from a mile up look at what is going on and see that it’s a long season,” said Robles. “We are only four games in, and there are 30 more to go. We want to be peaking at the right time. But in order to peak at the right time, we have to go through the progression and right now we are in the middle of that.”

Kemar Lawrence made his Major League Soccer season debut after returning from a knee injury. Lawrence missed last week’s match while on international duty with Jamaica.

Kaku, Aaron Long, and Michael Amir Murillo also returned to the starting lineup after being with their national teams last week.

The Red Bulls are back home to host Minnesota United FC next Saturday, April 6. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Below, Head Coach Chris Armas offers his thoughts on the match.