12:24 pm Aug. 27, 2012
The New York Red Bulls have reasons to be encouraged after their 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City Sunday night, in the first of three matches the two teams will play over the final nine games of the Major League Soccer regular season.
The tie came despite the Red Bulls playing without Thierry Henry, who was back in New York tending to his newborn son. It happened on the road against a team that will likely provide the Red Bulls with their toughest competition for the Eastern Conference title and, accordingly, home field advantage in the playoffs.
That's not to say the Red Bulls performed brilliantly. The entirety of their offense was provided by an own-goal from Kei Kamara. The Red Bulls didn't get a shot on goal until the 60th minute, and were outshot, 14-3.
Still, they actually had a chance to win the match at the very end. A spectacular pass from Dax McCarty found a streaking Sebastian Le Toux down the center of the field. Le Toux then hit McCarty with a perfect pass just inside the box; McCarty, unfortunately, didn't take advantage of his angle or the space, both of which were quickly closed off.
McCarty himself summed up the match quite well on Twitter: "I havent been in the box in so long I forgot how to shoot. F me. Oh well, hard fought point on the road. Cant wait 2 get them at home twice."
Meanwhile, the Red Bulls travel next to D.C. United on Wednesday. And they'll have Henry, a man who knows how to shoot, along with a chance to overtake Sporting Kansas City for the Eastern Conference lead, thanks to holding their own Sunday night.