November comes in April for Red Bull fans

New York Red Bull fans have experienced a lot of heartbreak in their time.

The Red Bulls are the only original MLS team that has not won MLS Cup or the U.S. Open Cup. They won Supporters' Shields in 2013 and 2015 but haven't reached MLS Cup in a decade.

The inability to extend their success deep into the knockout stages of competitions continued in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League. After becoming the first (and still only) MLS team to sweep a Liga MX team in the CCL knockout stage, they fell to Guadalajara, 1-0, on aggregate in the semifinals after managing only a 0-0 tie in the second leg.



It wasn't for a lack of trying.

The Red Bulls finished with a 20-1 edge in shots -- 20-0 going into the game's final minutes -- and couldn't score. They absolutely dominated the first half, but when the goal didn't come, the game little by little got away from them. In the second half, Chivas climbed out of its bunker and did enough attacking to push the Red Bulls back.

The insertion of Alejandro "Kaku" Gamarra didn't change the complexion of the game. The young Argentine didn't get enough touches to influence the match. Nor did Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose two goals in Tijuana set the Red Bulls' on their way past Xolos in the quarterfinals, have much of an impact on Tuesday night.

While the Red Bulls put nine shots on target, they never looked like they would beat Chivas keeper Rodolfo Cota. And in the back, 38-year-old Carlos Salcido, subbing for suspended Jair Pereira, did an excellent job of steadying the Chivas backline.

The loss will be tough for Red Bulls to absorb as they were the top seed going into the semifinals, and Chivas is one of the weakest teams to reach the CCL final -- and a team reeling from internal problems as players complained about not getting $165,000 in 2017 title bonuses paid and having to put up with poor travel arrangements on their CCL campaign.

“You look at six games," said Red Bulls captain Luis Robles. "We gave up three goals. Defensively, we were great. We went to Tijuana and smacked them. and came back and took care of business. We went to Chivas and we felt for the most part it was there for us. Unfortunately, we gave up the one goal and tonight, it was the same thing. We were unfortunate we did not get that goal."

April 10 in Harrison, N.J.
NY Red Bulls 0 Guadalajara 0.
NY Red Bulls -- Robles; Murillo, Parker, Long, Lawrence, Royer (Gamarra 58), Adams, Davis, Valot, Wright-Phillips, Etienne (Rivas 76).
Guadalajara -- Cota; Salcido, Hernandez, Brizuela, Alanis, Pulido, Cisneros, Perez, Pineda, Pizarro, Godinez (Zaldivar 90+ 2).
Att.: 23,623.
(Guadalajara wins 1-0 on aggregate.)
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