Kemar Lawrence, de los Red Bulls de Nueva York, se lamenta dentro del arco tras fallar un disparo ante Guadalajara, en la vuelta de las semifinales de la Liga de Campeones de la CONCACAF, el martes 10 de abirl de 2018, en Harrison, Nueva Jersey (AP Foto/Julio Cortez)
HARRISON, N.J. — Jesse Marsch knows the narrative all too well. It’s what has haunted the New York Red Bulls for as long as he’s been the coach and, for long suffering fans, for as long as the club has been in existence.
In the big games, in the biggest of moments. Failure.
Marsch insisted losing to Chivas de Guadalajara in the Concacaf Champions League semifinals — 1-0 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in the second leg Tuesday night — was different. It wasn’t #ThatsSoMetro.
“In other games I almost felt like our team was waiting to disappoint themselves, to give something away,” Marsch said. “This team didn’t give anything away. They went after it.”
But there’s little solace for the Red Bulls’ veteran core. For Bradley Wright-Phillips and Luis Robles, who sit next to each other in the locker room, every bitter defeat, from the MLS Cup playoffs to the U.S. Open Cup final to the CCL, is the same.
“Brad has sat next to me since 2013 and tonight he just says we’ve got to stop having this feeling,” Robles said. “We’re sitting here trying to figure out how to get over the hump.”
Needing to chase the game after falling 1-0 at Estadio Akron last week in the first leg, the Red Bulls couldn’t put one of their 20 shots — nine on frame — into the net for the critical equalizer. There was an advantage in other categories, from corners to duels won to total passes, passing accuracy and possession.
There’s no denying the effort, it was as clear as the night was crisp. But the Red Bulls were not clinical in the attacking third and ultimately it cost them dearly.
“No goal. There was no goal,” Wright-Phillips said when asked what was lacking tonight. “Twenty shots, it doesn’t matter. I’d rather have one and score. Like I said, I don’t want to be too negative on the performance because it was a good performance but we’ve just got to create more and get more clear-cut chances.”
A large majority of the announced 23,623 in attendance at Red Bull Arena were rooting for Chivas, but there was little to cheer about in a lopsided first half that saw the field heavily tilted in the Red Bulls favor.
However, the Red Bulls will rue missed chances, including a rebound of a saved Wright-Phillips shot that fell to Tim Parker, but the ball deflected out for a corner kick in the seventh minute.
Four minutes later, Florian Valot latched onto an inch-perfect cross by Michael Murillo, but his attempt was also pushed over for another corner.
In the 19th minute, Danny Royer played a dangerous ball across the face of goal that a sliding Lawrence wasn’t able to connect with at the back post.
Of the 20 total shots, there were more than a few half chances, including several Murillo shots from outside the box, that sailed wide or over the net to the frustration of the outnumbered, but strong-voiced Red Bulls fans.
There were more moments in the second half, including a glancing header by Valot that Cota did well to save. But when the final whistle sounded, it was another gutting loss for a team that had more than their share of them over the years.
“It’s tough to come out at this stage,” Wright-Phillips said. “I don’t like this feeling I’ve got the last few years. It sucks.”
Hear Jesse Marsch’s entire post-match press conference below