HARRISON, N.J. —“New York stands with Boston,” read the many banners adorning Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls wore black armbands honoring victims of the Boston Marathon bombings last Monday.
The Red Bull Arena Color Guard flew the city of Boston’s flag into the pregame procession. The MLS Anthem, the traditional accompaniment to the entry of the players, was replaced by the beloved-in-Boston “Dirty Water” by The Standells.
In a 4-1 victory over the Revolution, the Red Bulls’ supply of empathy went no further.
Red Bull Dax McCarty converted a fourth-minute Tim Cahill feed into a right-corner blast that diving Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth had no chance to stop. The emotionally stretched Revolution drew even two minutes later on an own-goal by Red Bull Brandon Barklage.
“It just ricocheted off my right shoulder [on a free kick],” said Revolution defender A.J. Soares. “It just happened.”
But Red Bull Fabian Espindola, off a Barklage pass, got another past Shuttleworth two minutes later, and New York was ahead to stay, before 18,029 fans.
Despite constant pressure by the Revolution through the first 25 minutes of the second half, they never scored again. The Red Bulls added late goals by Thierry Henry and Jonny Steele to put it away.
“We fought and we clawed back, but we could never get there,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “Obviously, this has been a tough week for all of us. Six or seven of us were within a half-mile of the [marathon] tragedy.
“But this team is like Boston. We’re a tough team and Boston’s a tough city. We’ll be back and Boston will be back.”
The Red Bulls’ own-goal ended the Revolution’s four-game goal-less streak, but this was their fifth consecutive winless outing, and they fell to 1-3-2, ahead of only Chicago and D.C. United in the 10-team Eastern standings. New York, which plays its home games in New Jersey, is 3-4-2.
Shuttleworth was in goal with regular Matt Reis, whose father-in-law was critically injured in the Boston blasts, back at home.
“Matt’s family is going through very, very tough times,” said Shuttleworth. “We’re all in this with him. All of us were affected one way or another. Matt’s been around the team a little bit since it happened. But you can see how bad it’s been for him and his family.”
Said Heaps, “You like to think you can step on the field, and just focus. But after the events of this week, it’s not that easy. Unfortunately, the first couple minutes were when this game was decided. Our focus was not good. We made a game of it, but it still wasn’t there. Give credit to New York and their fans. They were there with us — but only to a point.”