Several New York Red Bulls were more than capable over two matches last week as a pair of big wins left the Red Bulls – even through their mad myriad of injuries – riding high in first place among ten teams of the Eastern Conference.
And speaking of those injuries: for a big reason Hans Backe’s team keeps grinding out the results despite a crush of missed minutes from big names, look no further than rookie Connor Lade.
Lade went the final half hour of last week’s 1-0 win over Chicago, one played in the stifling mid-day heat. The game’s only goal after his introduction, which helped enliven the home team’s attack.
Three days later, amid mid-day conditions that were just a little more forgiving, Lade was a powerhouse of unyielding industry, bombing up and down the left side, equally effective on offense and defense.
In fact, Lade assisted on both Red Bulls goals. His precision cross turned into the first of two goals by Kenny Cooper, and the small left-sided midfielder was in the second-half sequence that led to Cooper’s second goal.
Mostly, though, all that hustle and bustle was precisely what the Red Bulls needed to slog through a remarkably difficult two matches in four days in oppressive conditions.