They say that matches against your rivals will often times bring out the best in you, and unfortunately, that was only true about the home team tonight.
Coming off of a difficult 1-0 loss on Wednesday night to Sporting Kansas City, the New York Red Bulls came out flying from the very start never seeming to take the foot off the gas pedal, soundly defeated the Revolution 4-1 in front of a spirited crowd in Harrison, New Jersey.
It was New York that would open the scoring and they did it very quickly. After chesting down a floated cross, Tim Cahill played a small pass to Dax McCarty at the top of the box who deftly placed a well struck shot past Bobby Shuttleworth in the bottom corner, and the home side were off to a flyer.
The lead was short lived as the Revs got on the board a mere two minutes later, when a curving Lee Nguyen free kick was cleared poorly by Brandon Barklage, and the resulting header found the back of his own net for an own-goal that tied the match only six minutes in.
Capping off an incredible first eight minutes was Fabian Espindola, who took a long ball down on the wing and found enough space to slide past A.J. Soares in defense and the Red Bull striker easily slotted his shot home past Shutleworth, to give Red Bulls their second goal in the opening 8 minutes.
The Red Bulls had earned the lead back quickly, and they wouldn't relinquish it for the rest of the match.
To compound the team's apparent defense woes for the evening, center back and defensive stalwart A.J. Soares had to leave the match with what looked like a hamstring injury, bringing on little-used Stephen McCarthy in a tough spot.
The Revolution would only muster one true scoring chance in the remaining minutes in the first half, and it would come to the feet of their DP striker Jerry Bengtson. After tearing through the midfield, Kelyn Rowe played a delightful through ball through the center of defense to Bengtson, who took one touch too many to round the keeper and left himself with no angle to shoot at, resulting in a poor attempt that went wanting.
New England came out of the halftime locker room looking for the equalizer and it nearly came in the 50th minute when Chris Tierney did extremely well to win the ball down the left flank and laid it off for Fagundez, but the floated cross from the Revs striker found no friendly shirts in the box and the chance was cleared.
While the inclusion of Juan Toja and Saer Sene did seen to bolster the Revolution offense just a bit, it was world class striker Thierry Henry that would land the finishing blow.
Henry made a perfectly timed run off the shoulder of Revs defender Andrew Farrell and was played into the box by a lovely pass from Jonathan Steele. Henry held off the Revs defenders just long enough to slot home the third goal past Shuttleworth.
With New England still stretching for a goal to get them back into the match, it was Steele who would put the cherry on top of the sundae. With the Revs struggling to recover downfield, Eric Alexander played a solid, squaring cross to Steele who buried the chance into the net and put an exclamation point on a big evening for New York.
If taking the loss weren't bad enough for the Revs, they now head back to Foxboro with perhaps more questions than they had when they took the field tonight. The goalless streak still continues on as far as scoring from the run of play, and with another big conference opponent coming to New England next week, the answers need to come sooner, rather than later.