Despite having three of the most talented forwards in the league, the goals have not been coming for the New York Red Bulls. Purely based on talent, the trio of Thierry Henry, Fabian Espindola and Peguy Luyindula are the best group in the league, yet they have only recorded 9 goals in 17 games, 6 of which have been scored by Henry.
The goal drought is puzzling fans and coaches alike, with Read Bulls head coach Mike Petke struggling to come up with answers. “I can’t analyze it perfectly. If I had the answers, I’d fix it right away,” Petke said Wednesday. “Fabian comes from a system at Salt Lake that was very structured and they worked on that for years to perfect it. This is my first year and we’re trying to figure things out. My biggest credit to Fabian is also what kills him: his work ethic. He’s a tireless worker that he runs so much and wants to help the team so much. My thing with him is I feel you do too much running behind the ball and then when we get the ball it’s trying to do too much. It’s a good thing because he wants to score, he wants to help the team in any way. It’s about curbing that, in a way.”
For his part, Peguy Luyindula believes he knows that the problem is: “The problem is the team’s shape. You have to put the striker on the way to the goal. It’s like defending. Defending is not just the part of the four defenders, it’s the whole team, and attacking is the same way. If the attackers fetch the ball always like 35, 30 yards away from the goal, it’s difficult, and then you will have one after you’re exhausted and it’s hard to finish an action when you’re exhausted. You have to be concentrated and try to make this action to put your attackers in good positions. It’s a team thing. It’s not just a Thierry thing or mine or Fabian. It comes all together. Like I said from the defender, when we defend bad, it’s not just their fault, it’s the whole team’s.”