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July 27, 2019

Chris Armas

Harrison, New Jersey

NY Red Bulls - 2, Columbus Crew SC - 3

Trying to loop balls in the air, and their attackers are able to get into certain lanes and take advantage of the restart, the second half, they just looked like they took advantage of the midfield.

CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, listen, what Columbus did on the night is what we've seen a lot of teams do. They came here, they changed their tactics. They really changed their approach to what they want to do to us, and that approach can be disruptive to any team.

You just don't really see it where teams just play 30 percent of long balls all day, it's difficult. Third ball comes from the long ball -- those are not easy to deal with, but they should be dealt with. We should be better. We've been put in a lot of games like this. We've talked about now little ways to deal with that, creating buffers, jumping first, bumping back into the game, just a lot of little ways that we've managed along the way to deal with that, but that's what they did.

We talked about having a good strike to each half. It wasn't our night and Columbus was hungry and they deserved to win.

Q. You brought Kemar off the bench late. Was that just a tactical? Is he dealing with something physically where he wasn't able to go 90? And secondly, you might have just mentioned it, but from for you, of course the result, but the most disappointing thing part about the way your team played tonight?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, we had a back line last game which, we're looking for continuity, looking to run back certain guys, and especially things that work and guys that are playing well. Kemar Lawrence was coming off a game where he didn't play, and so he's come back to full strength and we ran back our back line that's been really good.

Amro, specifically, tonight was fine. He just did a lot of work, up and down, up and back, and it's a big demand and we felt we would get caught in some transition moments more in the second half and we bring in speed and Kemar Lawrence. I thought mostly Kemar did all right. So did Amro.

What we are most disappointed with? Losing, losing at home, and probably the most disappointing thing is that, you know, you wait all week and you prepare for game day: A chance to take a step forward; a chance to inch a few points out of first place to get into second place; a chance to know that you're making progress; to give our supporters something they can feel proud of.

This is the opportunity. There is nothing like game day. We feel like we wasted that opportunity tonight. Not enough energy. Not enough urgency. Not enough commitment to the details, and all the things that make us good. Teams don't come here -- home and away, we don't play in games that we go 20 shots. Just our good stuff wasn't good enough tonight.

Q. Over the last couple weeks, you've talked about teams changing and going very direct and a lot of long balls. Does another match like tonight, especially with the summer transfer window a week and a half out, do you think about making additions, especially with the Playoffs now?
CHRIS ARMAS: You mentioned two things. You know, long balls, and there's nothing in the transfer window that we think can help us address that. We think we have more than enough on our back line, and it's just taking what the game gives and reading the situations, and again, the details in how to deal with direct play. Just executing, jumping first, bumping, all those little things that add up.

It's no secret in the transfer windows, we're always looking, we're always looking to find the right players and people that fit the Red Bull profile and they give us the lift that we need. So we are always actively pursuing. You know, I wouldn't be surprised to see some pushes.

Q. The last six out of nine games, some of the games where you haven't allowed a lot of goals -- do you think there's a problem right now defensively and can you maybe identify where that problem is coming from -- the long balls, the midfielder, the wingbacks, the rotation there? What's the issue?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, six out of nine games, that's a statistic. We know that in the last ten or 11 games, we're the second best team in the League. We're not happy giving up goals like this. We set a record last year, goals allowed -- or close to it.

So yeah, I think we've gotten caught in transition a bit. We get stretched. Sometimes it's just a second ball and they are coming our way and sometimes the it's a bad turnover following a stretch. Tonight it ends up being a couple of plays that ended up random with long balls, but I can see clear that it's not easy to do it when you have guys like Zardes running on your back line. It's probably a combination of some transition moments that have hurt us, and then the other randomness of some of those type of goals we're giving up.

We'll address that. The guys come every time to work hard, and we'll -- yeah, we've got to get better with some of that stuff, but we'll get there.

Q. Speaking of defense, first 12 minutes, Red Bulls gave up six corners and overall 11 throughout the night. Just in your mind, do you think that it's a worry that that many came that quickly or is it positive that nothing was --
CHRIS ARMAS: It was a little strange. We're among the league's best in defending set pieces. I think we've given up three and we've sent some time working on that, so there's no real concern. Yeah, one -- the next game, start feeling that pressure -- but what ends up happening is we're stepping up in an aggressive posture.

This is what we talked about last year. Everybody was up in arms why the Red Bulls aren't pressing Atlanta united in the Playoffs. Yeah, there's a risk you run. If you step all the way up knowing a team is going to play direct, that's what can happen. Just if you lose the second balls, you get stretched a little bit; and if you win the ball, maybe you score.

We understand that pretty clear, so we came back in the game and took care of most of those moments, but anyhow, in the first half to start the game, you've seen a lot of long balls. Again, we'll start losing them, the second ball, and they are playing in our end. Deliberately playing behind us in our end, and yeah, there's some corner kicks in there. That's part of -- that's what comes with the territory.

So it's not surprising. At home, we were just trying to be aggressive, saying, Zardes is 33 percent, I think 35 percent aerial duels, our center backs are much better than that statistically. The windows while they were stretched didn't work. They score early. Second half, the same.

So it just was a strange night that way, strange, but to be fair, they put more into it than us and I think they deserved to win.

Q. You said your team didn't react well at times -- was one of those things, it was a very physical game, they seemed to let a lot of things go and your guys didn't respond quickly. The foul count -- inaudible -- the first half, four fouls -- just seemed like he was letting a lot go --
CHRIS ARMAS: You mentioned Per Pro (ph), the referee. You mentioned him, so I'll make a comment.

Again, with VAR these days, I think we get a lot of the big ones right, and I don't think it was a game too much of combativeness. So I don't think that swayed things either way. You know, we get the penalty. There might have been another one in there somewhere, but I don't think that had -- you know, that that was the main --

Q. I'm just saying, your team, it was a game he called both ways and your team just didn't seem to,?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, but there would be ten things I would talk about before -- the combativeness is 11 now. New York City last time in this building was 18 or 16, 17. It was much more fouls as opposed to 20 on the night combined, right, 11-8 or whatever it is.

But there's so many more details and tactical and execution and controlling spaces when you don't have the ball, when you have the ball, that you would talk about first. The one thing you would say is I don't know when the last time you see three minutes of stoppage time in the second half. Injury, their guy goes down for a bit; there's goals, substitution, there's time wasting. Every goal they score, every goal, they are bringing everyone over, there's time there. How you only see three surprising.

Again, I think we never brought up the referee; you did, so I'll make a comment on it. I made that clear. That was surprising to us, to see three. I thought we would see five or six minimum.

Q. How do you move forward and face Toronto?
CHRIS ARMAS: Yeah, it's always the same answer to that question. The way you move forward is you move forward. We won't focus on one performance good or bad. This team hasn't gotten too high this year and we certainly won't get too low. We know that that wasn't us tonight. That's not us. So we have time to prepare, to recover, and you know, to putt Toronto in a difficult game here. But yeah, look, in this business, and in life, you take a real look and you work hard. That's what you do and that's what we'll do.

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