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Red Bulls Bow out of Playoffs

The Red Bulls failed to reach MLS Cup yet again as they came up just one goal short of the destination for the second consecutive season.

The Red Bulls defeated Columbus 1-0 on Sunday evening but ultimately lost 2-1 to the Crew on aggregate. The victory was their first ever playoff win over Columbus, which is such a small silver lining that means next to nothing for the Red Bulls.

The team got off to a slow start in the first leg, allowing Columbus to take a 1-0 lead just nine second into the game. The Red Bulls were under intense pressure early on again in the second leg but MLS goalie of the year Luis Robles bailed them out with wonderful saves on numerous occasions. Robles kept the Red Bulls in it but it wouldn’t be until the second half stoppage time that the offense would repay the goalie’s efforts. Substitute Anatole Abang managed to get one back for the Red Bulls in the third minute of five added on at the end to make it 2-1. Then, two minutes later, Bradley Wright-Phillips hit the post on a header as the Red Bulls efforts fell just short.

The loss is no doubt a heartbreaking one, but Head Coach Jesse Marsch and Sporting Director Ali Curtis are already looking forward to the future.

Curtis said, “We accomplished a great deal this year and we’re going to work extremely hard and get back to the drawing board and get back at this next year.”

Marsch talked about the potential players for next year saying: “Clearly we have a great foundation for the future, I think there’s some really good young players within our mix, we’ll have more Academy players I think that we’ll try to figure out a way to include for next year and there’s probably the opportunity for maybe one or two more pieces to add, but for right now the important thing is we have certain things that are on our radar, but the emphasis is certainly to keep this group together.”

While it’s a tough time to be the Red Bulls organization and its fan base, the fact that they have come so close two years in a row, have a stable front office, and head coach should be cause for optimism going forward.

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