Despite missing five of their regular starters due to their international call-ups, the Red Bulls were literary seconds away from a win until tragedy struck. For over 80 minutes, the Red Bulls led since Medhi Ballouchy's goal in the ninth minute. Ironically, Ballouchy ill-timed turnover started the domino effect for the Red Bulls.
Just when it appeared the winless drought was about to end, Jeff Cunningham recovered the ball off Ballouchy's turnover. From there Cunningham proceeded to pass the ball to Shaun Francis and seconds later Columbus Crew rookie Rich Balchan scored the equalizer of a crisp laser pass from Justin Meram.
The flustered expression on Red Bulls goalkeeper Greg Sutton after allowing the goal symbolized the feeling Red Bulls fans have been feeling for the past seven games. Moments later the Red Bulls and Columbus Crew match resulted in a 1-1 draw. For the Crew (3-3-6), Saturday night's match was almost as good as a win.
Despite being in second place in the Eastern Conference, there hasn't been any evidence that the Red Bulls should be feared. For a team that's was considered a MLS Cup contender, their 4-2-7 record speaks volumes.
While the argument can be made that the Red Bulls were missing key starters, the pattern has been consistent all season. The Red Bulls have shown that they're capable of playing against any team but they lack the ability to simply win.
The reality is this was a home game for the Red Bulls and the fact that they lapsed on defense in the waning seconds cost them two additional points they would have received with the victory.
With their fifth straight tie, the Red Bulls remain at home where they will face the New England Revolution on Friday, June 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following Friday's game the team will go on a four-game road trip where they will face the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Other MLS Results from Saturday
Even with the coaching change, the Chicago Fire can't seem win. Interim coach Frank Klopas made his coaching debut as the Chicago Fire (1-4-7) continued their 10-game winless streak as played the Seattle Sounders (5-4-6) to a scoreless draw at the Toyota Park.
Over at the Pizza Hut Park in Dallas, FC Dallas goalkeeper recorded his 100th shutout as FC Dallas (7-3-4) extended their unbeaten streak to nine games as they won 1-0 over the New England Revolution (3-6-4).
The Colorado Rapids (4-3-7) allowed a goal late in their match against the Philadelphia Union (6-3-3) at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Danny Mwanga of the Union equalized the game in the the 66th minute. Even with the tie, the Philadelphia Union remains on top the Eastern Conference.
The San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-4) defeated the Houston Dynamo (3-5-6) 2-0 at home at the Buck Shaw Stadium.
Over at the Home Depot Center, Chivas USA (4-4-5) 1-0 won over the Portland Timbers (5-5-2) thanks to Marcos Mondaini game winning goal in the 70th minute.
Cesar Diaz covers soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.