On a rainy night in Harrison, New Jersey, the Revolution looked to turn their recent bad luck around at a stadium in which they’d never won in the regular season. It wasn’t in the cards, though, as their tenth trip to Red Bull Arena ended just as eight of the previous nine had, with a defeat to New York by a score of 2-0. The Revs have now lost three consecutive matches, all in an eight-day span, and find themselves only four points above the Eastern Conference red line in 6th place following red-hot Montreal’s 2-2 draw at Portland on Saturday night. With a 7-7-7 record on the year, the Revs might have a better chance of winning in Vegas than two weeks from now at Orlando City.
New England welcomed back four usual starters, three of whom missed their midweek match at Minnesota United due to suspension. Antonio Delamea slotted in at centerback next to Jalil Anibaba, the goat from Wednesday night. Claude Dielna reemerged from injury to handle leftback duties opposite newly-minted captain Andrew Farrell at right back. Luis Caicedo reassumed his box-to-box midfield assignment next to all-star Wilfried Zahibo at number six. Cristian Penilla also came back to the left wing, joining usual attackers Diego Fagundez at number ten, Juan Agudelo on the right, and leading scorer Teal Bunbury up top.
Red Bull centerback Aaron Long nearly put the hosts on top in the first few minutes with an open header, missing from close range. In an otherwise sloppy and chippy first half, chances were few and far between, with the Revs’ best opportunity coming in the 36th minute courtesy of Fagundez. His picture-perfect cross from the right flank found the foot of Bunbury in the goal box, but US international goalkeeper Luis Robles read the play perfectly, smothering the shot before it had a chance to find the net. The teams entered halftime scoreless.
The second half saw the match open up despite numerous fouls, several injuries, and a heavier rain. The Red Bulls were more on the front foot, with the Revs generating most of their chances via counterattack. New York finally found a breakthrough in the 69th minute following a needless foul by Dielna on rumored RB Leipzig target Tyler Adams, who was dribbling away from goal toward the sideline, to the right of the eighteen-yard box. The ensuing free-kick by midfielder Marc Rzatkowski was spot-on, eluding netminder Matt Turner and landing in the path of winger Daniel Royer on the far post. His head did the rest, putting the Red Bulls on top 1-0.
Back-and-forth action remained the norm, as the Revs pumped diagonal balls and crosses into the area looking for an equalizer. First-year manager Brad Friedel inserted Kelyn Rowe and Krisztian Nemeth into the match, seeking an offensive spark and spelling an exhausted Bunbury and Zahibo. However, the Red Bulls were more threatening in the attack, eventually doubling their lead just eleven minutes hence. League assists leader Kaku lofted a short pass from the left into the box where Bradley Wright-Phillips — pulling away from his marker Anibaba — easily headed home his 13th goal of the year and his 99th in a New York kit. It was Kaku’s 12th helper of the season and extended the Red Bull lead to 2-0.
Despite pushing numbers forward in the final ten minutes plus stoppage time, the Revs were unable to crack the score sheet, suffering their second shutout in the past five matches and fifth on the year. It was just their second goalless match on the road in 2018, the first coming in week one at Philadelphia when they finished the match with only nine men.
With the loss, New England falls to 1-4-4 away from Gillette this year, tied with DC United for the fewest road wins in the conference. Fortunately, the Revs remain in playoff contention in the East, as four of the six teams below them in the standings at the start of the day lost on Saturday.
New England has two weeks to recover before their three-match road trip resumes, traveling next to central Florida to face a struggling Orlando City side. The game is set for Saturday, August 4, at 7:30 pm.