New York Red Bulls manager Gerhard Struber was left furious after a 2-1 defeat against Columbus Crew saw his side drop further in the Eastern Conference table, slipping eight points away from a play off position.
The historic MLS side has appeared in the playoffs on 11 consecutive occasions, but may miss out this time. The face off against the Crew marked a significant blow for the Red Bulls as 11 regular-season games remain, making it increasingly difficult for them to recuperate a position.
Struber walked away from Tuesday’s match frustrated at his players, comparing them to a youth team.
"We can see the physical power from Columbus, but we have to be resilient in this moment and I can see in some moments, it is like a youth team against adults," Struber said after the match.
"And I think this is in some moments when they bring every power on the field, we can see the difference.
"I think you can see the situation right now is not easy,” Struber said. “It is a very disappointed feeling; it is very painful at the moment to say something. I am a little bit speechless, especially about the second half. I think after this game it is hard to reflect why we came into the second half in so big drops."
The Red Bulls sit in 11th place with a record of 6-5-11 as they continue their downward spiral.
Forward Patryk Klimala, who joined the team in April, shared Struber’s thoughts after the match, speaking on the necessity of actions and progress.
"We are disappointed and we are pissed off," Klimala said.
"We talk a lot about it, but I think we have to stop talking and start working hard on the field because this is what I said in the first question.
"We play amazing when we score a goal, we just start winning and then one moment we just stop pressing, stop doing our work and our job. I do not know what the reason is, but I think the coaching staff and we have to speak honestly in the locker room because it is unacceptable."