By Milos Kosic

New York Red Bulls wasted their opportunity to top the Easter Conference group after a disappointing 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew. Not even Thierry Henry’s presence in the audience could help the Bulls to stop the waves of Columbus Crew’s attacks.

The opening goal cam in the 20th minutes, after Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s (photo) terrific pass to Emilio Renteria, who left all of Red Bull’s defenders behind him and with a strong shot sent the ball into the net.

A few minutes after, Red Bulls had an opportunity to tie, but Dane Richards’ kick was saved by the Crew’s goalkeeper.

After the half time, Red Bulls Head Coach Hans Backe tried to freshen up his offensive line by taking out defender Danleigh Borman and putting in forward Macoumba Kandji. But just two minutes into the second half, the Columbus Crew doubled their lead. A deflected ball found its way to Brian Carroll who, with a strike from twenty yards, scored his first goal of the season.

After the game, Head Coach Backe couldn’t hide his frustration. “Absolute disaster,” he said in a post-match interview. “I’ve never seen this team perform like this. It was a walk in the park for Columbus… I will say for the first time for many, many years I went crazy at half time. I was close to getting injured myself.”

When asked if Thierry Henry’s presence on the field could have made the difference, Backe answered, “Perhaps not the structure of the game, but of course if you get a quality player like him of course when you get hold of the ball you can do something, make a difference 1v1 and things like that. With the other players around him, that would make a difference, definitely.”

Henry is expected to make his debut for Red Bulls next Thursday, July 22, when they take on Tottenham Hotspur as a part of  the Barclays New York Football Challenge at Red Bull Arena.

The Columbus Crew is still on top of the group, five points ahead of New York Red Bulls. Four points behind Red Bulls is Toronto FC.

Their next MLS Regular Season game Red Bulls play on July 31, when they meet with Houston Dynamo.

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