Despite coming back from a 1-0 deficit, the New York Red Bulls had their six-game MLS unbeaten run snapped with a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire at TOYOTA Park Sunday afternoon. Midfielder Dax McCarty scored the lone goal for the visitors, who stayed at 26 points off an 8-4-2 record. New York is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind second place Sporting Kansas City and four adrift of leader, D.C. United, with a pair of games in hand over United.
Chicago took the early lead in the fourth minute. Sebastian Grazzini had possession and chipped it with his left foot to the right side of the box, where Patrick Nyarko headed it over goalkeeper Ryan Meara and into the back of the net.
Meara made a good save in the 16th minute, diving to his right to catch a Grazzini shot on goal. Seven minutes later, Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere latched onto a loose ball from 15 yards out and blasted it high.
Later in the half, New York’s Dane Richards got on the end of a McCarty through ball and rifled his attempt just over the top right corner of the goalmouth. The Red Bulls nearly equalized with five minutes to go as Jan Gunnar Solli’s deflected volley off a Roy Miller cross was palmed away by a fully-extended Sean Johnson.
In the second half, the Red Bulls kept applying pressure on Johnson’s goal. Nine minutes in, forward Kenny Cooper turned at the top of the box and Johnson parried the forward’s roller towards the lower left hand corner.
New York’s efforts did not go unrewarded and the visitors tied the game in the 55th minute. After Solli earned a corner kick, substitute Mehdi Ballouchy’s out-swinger fell to McCarty, who nodded it home for his second goal of the season.
Chicago nearly retook the lead in the 64th minute if it weren’t for a spectacular effort by New York’s Wilman Conde. Fire forward Chris Rolfe slipped Dominic Oduro into the penalty box and the Fire player’s shot was partially deflected by Meara and rolled towards goal. Conde slid in and knocked it away as the referees ruled that the ball did not cross the endline.
The Fire went 2-1 up four minutes later, however. Gonzalo Segares made a run into the box with the ball and his effort was blocked by Meara. Segares got to his own rebound first and put it into the roof of the net. With the Red Bulls pushing to get their second goal, Chicago sealed the three points when Rolfe put in a Nyarko pass from close range in the 81st minute.
New York was missing Designated Players Thierry Henry (right calf strain) and Rafa Marquez (thigh) due to injury.