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New York Red Bulls vs Colorado Rapids: Red Bulls Lack Killer Instinct in 2-2 Tie

Cesar Diaz@@gritwriterCorrespondent IIMay 26, 2011

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 25:  Mehdi Ballouchy #10 of the New York Red Bulls defends against Jeff Larentowicz #4 of the Colorado Rapids at Red Bull Arena on May 25, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Harrison, NJ - A year ago many Red Bulls fans would have been ecstatic with a 2-2 tie over the defending MLS Cup Champions at home.

A year ago, Red Bulls fans would have been proud of the Red Bulls for overcoming Rapids' Jeff Larentowicz brace in a draw.

However that's not the case in 2011 as 18,081 in attendance witnessed the New York Red Bulls tie the MLS Cup defending champions 2-2 at Red Bull Arena.

While Wednesday night's draw may have earned them a first place tie with the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls have been playing horrifically for their past three games.

It would have understandable if Wednesday night's game was a road game but that wasn't the case. It didn't matter that Red Bulls squared off a Colorado team that was unbeaten in their previous five games.

Wednesday night was no exception as New York was dominated statistically by Colorado. The defending champions out-shot the Red Bulls 16-10 while having a 10-6 shots on goal advantage.

To make matters worse, the Red Bulls never led in the game.

The six spectacular minutes of four goals scoring in first half isn't going to cover up the facts that Red Bulls didn't play well. While many believe the home team's ability to answer Jeff Larentowicz's goal on separate occasions by goals from Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers demonstrated the team's heart; the truth of the matter is that both goals were simply an act of desperation. 

While the barrage of goals definitely sent the South Ward and the rest of the crowd to a euphoric state and if the "Macho Man" Randy Savage was alive and present, he would have shouted "Oh Yeah," there was an entire half left in the game for the Red Bulls to produce a home win.

While the Red Bulls have proven that they're capable of competing with the MLS' elite, many fans are disappointed with the fact that the unable to deliver the knockout blow.

When it's said and done, do the Red Bulls possess the killer instinct to finish off their opponents?

For the third consecutive game, the team that many considered to be contenders for the 2011 MLS Cup continues to be exposed as possible pretenders.The reality is that the Red Bulls have yet to find a solution for preventing set-piece goals as they allowed another set-piece goal on Wednesday night.

In addition, the team's goalkeeper duo of Bouna Coundoul and Greg Sutton continue to disappoint. Since beginning the first eight games of the season with three goals, both goalkeepers have allowed seven goals over their past three games.

For the second straight home game, they've allowed a player from the opposing team to have multiple goals.

While the argument can be made about the recent injuries of some of their players, the reality is that the Red Bulls have a bench with enough depth. With Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers leading the team in goals with six and four respectfully, when will Dwayne De Rosario, Dane Richards and Joel Lindpere compliment the duo offensively?

One has to question Hans Backe's player substitution methods. For the month of May, the earliest Backe has made a player substitution was in the 71st minute in a 3-2 home loss to Chivas USA when he brought in Juan Agudelo and Mehdi Ballouchy.

Wednesday night, Backe brought in Juan Agudelo as a substitute for Thierry Henry in the 87th minute of the game.

While the season is relatively young, the Red Bulls need to win their home games before their four-game road from June 19 to July 2, where they face the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and San Jose Earthquakes.

The Red Bulls (4-2-5) head to Empire Field to face the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-5-5) this Saturday in a game that the Red Bulls could potentially lose if they underestimate the Whitecaps.

Other MLS Results from Wednesday Night

Last year's MLS Cup runner-ups FC Dallas (6-3-3) haven't allowed a goal in 489 minutes as they defeated the Seattle Sounders (4-4-5) 1-0 on the road.

Despite playing at Qwest Field in front of 36,026 pro-Sounders crowd, Brek Shea scored his fourth goal of the season in the 18th minute of the game.

With the win, Dallas remains unbeaten in their last seven matches. As a result, they trail the first place Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference.

Over in the Home Depot Center, the Los Angeles Galaxy (7-2-5) continued their dominance as the best MLS team. Landon Donovan's scored his eighth goal of the season when he converted a penalty kick in the first half of stoppage time to defeat the Houston Dynamo (3-4-5) 1-0.

With Wednesday night's win, the Galaxy has won three straight and has remained undefeated in their last five games overall.

Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team.

Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at cesar@latinosports.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.

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