Each time we’ve been in a cup final and lost, it has been absolutely brutal and draining. For me, 03 took a really long time to get over because that one was at home and we played well. It hurt, bad. Last night really sucked and today is a day for people to vent over that fact. Sunshine brigade needs to chill for a day.
Cup final losses can either be a sign you’re heading in the right direction or a time for reflection and an opportunity to change course. I think this is clearly a case for the latter. We need to look at the whole picture as a club.
Investment in the first team with quality and proven players has been in decline for 3 years. Results in the league have declined, coinciding with the decline in investment. We have chosen to bring in young players – which is laudable – but we truly have not surrounded these guys with proven, high quality talent that has a track record of winning. That is a direct result of Red Bull deciding that investment in New York’s first team is not a priority. They’d rather invest in youth and pilfer it for Leipzig + sprinkle in a few older players with marginal pedigrees. The hit rate on those players is 50/50 at best. That is a major disservice to us as a fan base and a net negative for NY Soccer as a whole. Youth investment is a pillar of a winning club, but it is not the only pillar. And youth investment alone has not been proven to be successful for consistently winning championships in MLS on it's own. The best teams have a mix...we don't right now.
We as a club are playing their system (high press), with their shoestring budget and their manager (they chose him over Curtis). We are not seeing the results after 3 years. We are seeing regression in the league and the same flaws in our system being exploited in elimination tournaments in the same exact ways that it has always been.
You all know my position by now on Red Bull as an owner and their off-the field issues. But the 12 year on-field track record speaks for itself…2 regular season championships, 2 cup finals, 0 cups. Color me woefully unimpressed compared to what we were expecting back in ‘06. Considering the breach of trust we’ve had to deal with from things like rebranding to rocky fan relations to broken promises for squad reinforcements and marketing…t’s time to go in a new direction, and as a fan you should demand that. We deserve nothing more than top priority. We don’t have that today. #RedBullOut every damn day.
He made a power play in the off-season. He threatened to use Red Bull’s corporate synergy to his advantage and take the Salburg job, then got what he wanted (full control) at a point where it was too late to reinforce the squad. This off-season was a disgrace from preseason training/planning to squad building, and that falls squarely on him.
His squad is thin. I don’t know how much of that is his fault, but this is what we got. And the results themselves have been woeful. We made a mini run in the Open Cup with a really favorable draw, but the flaws of his squad and this system were once again exposed in a major way. Our form has tanked over the past 6 weeks.
The biggest indictment on his managing has been squad selection and the tendency for his squad to disappear and shrink away from big moments. The defensive lapses have not been fixed as shown by that free header from an innocuous cross in the 6 yard box, or the backline completely losing their mark on a counter. We have seen these things exposed over and over and over again in knockout competitions with him as manager. Further, his personal issue with Gonzalo Veron is actively harming this team. Veron has been one of our most productive players in limited time for 3 months now. That he isn’t getting major run is fucking shameful. At some point the issue runs deeper than the players…this is one of those times.
I think this squad is limited, but ultimately having the mental fortitude to get it done is as much a function of the players as it is the coach. We’ve seen Sacha disappear in big moments for years. I think it’s time to unload him and get a new attacking mid in the offseason.
The less we say about our back line depth, the better. Murillo and Escobar are promising, but both are on loan and both still have some major growing pains we’re dealing with. Long has hit the rookie wall. The biggest issue is the major drop off between these guys and Zizzo/Perinelle. Baah is an unknown, we have no idea if he can be relied on. Collin’s injuries are concerning. We have some major, major squad flaws right now.
Think it’s time to head in a new direction in a lot of different areas. Three years is long enough to evaluate whether a plan is working our not. Based on what I've seen so far, it's not.