Tag Archive | "Chris Albright"

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Photo gallery: RBNY take Atlantic Cup

Posted on 11 July 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls scoreless draw with DC United on July 10 at Red Bull Arena.

A few of our favorite shots follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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Red Bulls stifle Rapids, 1-1

Posted on 05 July 2010 by ASN Staff

Perhaps taking a page from the U.S. national team’s performance at the 2010 World Cup, the New York Red Bulls recovered after a very weak start to salvage a point at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday night. Juan Pablo Angel found the scoresheet again, equalizing off a corner kick to allow the team to earn a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids. It was the captain’s fifth goal in the last five MLS games and pulls Angel within one goal of the 10 tallies by the LA Galaxy’s Edson Buddle that lead the league. Skip right to the player ratings.

Colorado took the lead in the fourth minute. Defender Marvell Wynne found an onside Conor Casey with space along the right wing. Casey took it in towards the penalty box before hitting a low cross to Cummings, who one-timed it past goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul inside the left post.

The Red Bulls, now unbeaten in their last four matches (3-0-1), looked to get back into the game later in the half, with Chris Albright heading it straight at goalkeeper Matt Pickens. In the 33rd minute, Angel had a good chance to tie the game after he was put in on goal by Dane Richards. However, Pickens was quick off his line to block the Colombian’s shot away.

Angel, though, was able to put his name on the scoresheet just a minute later. Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s inswinging corner kick fell to the Red Bulls’ all-time leading goal scorer, who controlled it before firing a rocket into the roof of the goal. The tally was Angel’s fifth in as many games.

With the game tied, Ubiparipovic looked for a streaking Joel Lindpere into the penalty box and the Estonian rolled a shot that Pickens went down to save in the 42nd minute. The Red Bulls came out strong to begin the second half, with Angel putting a shot from 15-yards out over the bar three minutes in. Two minutes later, Richards had a golden opportunity to put New York in front, as he got free on the right side of the 18-yard box and blasted a shot that was punched away by Pickens.

Both teams endured strong winds and heavy rain especially in the second half, but the conditions did not discourage attacking soccer. In the 61st minute, Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz tried to test Coundoul from 30-yards-out with a low blast on frame, but the goalkeeper went down to push it away. Six minutes later, Colorado’s Mehdi Ballouchy rifled a shot from 25 yards out that beat Coundoul and slammed off the woodwork.

The Rapids kept pressing to find a game-winner. Midfielder Colin Clark cut in past his defender and right-footed an attempt over the bar. Soon after, Casey got on the end of a Kosuke Kimura delivery and nodded it just past the left post.

Player Ratings


Scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest.

Bouna Condoul: 7
Can fault his positioning on the first Rapids goal, though in fairness there was a lot more that went wrong on that play. Had a nice exit in the first half, with his punch out leading to the sequence that resulted in the equalizing goal. Did well in the second, going down to grab an Omar Cummings cross off the feet of Conor Casey. His goal kicks are even reaching over the midfield line!

Danleigh Borman: 6
Looked poor on the first Rapids goal, giving up on the play as soon as the ball was by him. Had a few nice defensive plays on Cummings.

Tim Ream: 6.5
Was caught in no man’s land on the nullified goal by Bellouchy. A few shaky moments in the first half. Then settled down nicely. Something to build on.

Carlos Mendes: 7.5
Did a good job tracking Conor Casey and stepping in to space to pick off passes intended for the forward. Settled down nicely after the first goal, supplying much-needed stability to the team’s back line.

Chris Albright: 5.5
Was beaten by Omar Cummings on the first goal. A better timed slide might have picked that ball off. Seemed to struggle a bit with the elements, never appearing completely comfortable.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 6
Lackadaisical pass led to the counterattack that resulted in the first Rapids goal. But recovered after that. Great pass into space to Lindpere shortly before halftime. Still need to see more of him.

Seth Stammler: 6.5
Became more comfortable as the first half wore on, with some nice tracking back to win the ball. A few bad passes but otherwise his usual solid self.

Tony Tchani: 4.5
One of the most active Red Bulls in the first half, but this activity was not really put to optimal use. Seems to have caught a bit of the Dane Richards disease of holding the ball too long. Or maybe Dane simply passed it on to him? Either way, clearly struggled to find a comfortable spot in the formation and never really resolved this throughout the match.

Dane Richards: 8
Perfectly-weighted pass to Angel really should have resulted in a goal had the captain’s first touch not deserted him. The tying goal came on the ensuing corner though. Was also good to see him have a shot in the second half in a situation where he normally might have tried to dribble himself into a better position. Very few “Dane being Dane” moments and these were largely limited to the early stages of the match. Overall a very positive performance. Welcome back.

Joel Lindpere: 6
Was supposed to bey the lynchpin of the attack but was too inactive. Starting to wonder the efficiency of his high work rate. Chasing the ball will not necessarily help anybody. After being moved back to regular midfield in the second half he did a lot better. The morale of the story for Backe? Stop experimenting and leave him at a position where he has produced results.

Juan Pablo Angel: 7
Nice job on the equalizer. Was perfectly positioned off the cornerr and left no doubt with his finish. Even passed the ball well a few times. Can’t really pick on the guy after scoring the equalizer and being a solid threat all game long, but there were a few precarious moments early in the game. Still, he is clearly learning how to have an impact as a striker despite diminishing skills and mobility.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 1, Colorado Rapids 1, July 4, 2010
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
Attendance:18,363

Scoring Summary:
COL: Omar Cummings 4 (Conor Casey 3) 15’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 9 (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 1) 34’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Seth Stammler (caution) 67’
COL: Omar Cummings (caution) 71’

Lineups:

New York Red Bulls (8-5-1, 25 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Danleigh Borman, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Mike Petke 89’), Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani (Salou Ibrahim 68’), Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere, Juan Pablo Angel (Roy Miller 84’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton (GK), Luke Sassano, Jeremy Hall, Conor Chinn

Colorado Rapids (6-3-4, 22 pts.) – Matt Pickens (GK), Danny Earls, Scott Palguta (Kosuke Kimura 54’), Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith (Colin Clark 65’), Mehdi Ballouchy (Wells Thompson 78’), Omar Cummings, Conor Casey

Substitutes Not Used: Ian Joyce (GK), Claudio Lopez, Quincy Amarikwa, Ross LaBauex

Officials:

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Brian Poeschel
4th Referee: Alejandro Mariscal

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Photo gallery: RBNY 1, Chivas USA 0

Posted on 07 June 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 1-0 win over Houston Dynamo on June 2 at Red Bull Arena.

A few of our favorite shots follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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Player Ratings: RBNY 1, Chivas USA 0

Posted on 06 June 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls defeated Chivas USA 1-0 in the last MLS match before the World Cup break for both teams. It was a lethargic affair from two very tired teams, punctuated only by Seth Stammler’s highlight goal, occasional roughhousing and questionable refereeing decisions (or non-decisions). Here ASN’s player rankings for the victorious Red Bulls:

Bouna Condoul: 5
Caught badly out of position on an early chance by Chivas but was bailed out by the cross bar. Speaking of which, he still does not appear to have a clue about playing the position of goalkeeper. It didn’t cost the team this time, because Chivas were anemic, but it’s a major stretch to say he’s making any improvements in this glaring weakness in his game.

Chris Albright: 7
Held his ground very well at right back, shutting down whatever activity there was on that side of the field. Was vocal directing the younger players in front of him and helping the team keep its shape–a vital factor against a possession team like Chivas. Also did a decent job of crossing the ball into the box, though a few of his long balls were taken in haste when he might have had better options. Had a few promising overlapping runs. Generally ran a lot. It’s great to see him this active and spry.

Carlos Mendes: 9
If it weren’t for a certain game-winning goal, he would be man of the match, hands down. As is his rating is one of if not the highest any Red Bulls player has received this season. Not only played his position perfectly, but also had the wherewithal to cover for others’ mistakes (most notably Tim Ream’s). His tackles ended several Chivas attacks. Excellent performance. His career may have legs after all. Have to consider him the starter at this position at this point.

Tim Ream: 5
Was badly beaten on two occasions in the first half, both likely would have led to shots on goal (if not goals themselves) had Mendes not astutely covered him. Was not very good at distributing the ball either. But recovered nicely at the end of the first half (terrific tackle on Justin Braun in what could have been a Chivas break in minute 39) and in the second half to earn an even grade.

Danleigh Borman: 6
Worked hard and with effect. Several nice tackles disrupted Chivas’ game, or what passed for one. Did an excellent job dispossessing Justin Braun on a first-half chance by Chivas. On the other side of the ball, too many of his passes were not well-placed and led to turnovers. Otherwise he could have had a higher grade.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic (off 12′): N/A
What he showed before his first half injury was very promising; some terrific dribbles into the Chivas defensive third and nice passes into space. Among Bulls players who were on the team before this year, he may be the most pleasant surprise.

Tony Tchani: 7
Appeared more comfortable at left wing, where he created all kind of havoc before moving over to take Ubiparipovic’ spot on the right. Either that or he just ran himself ragged in the opening minutes. But with a 1-0 lead he didn’t need to run as hard or seek to create as many chances as he did in a tied game. Did very well with the balls that were sent his way, playing clever passes into space and hardly (never?) turning the ball over.

Seth Stammler: 8
His superb goal obviously carries a lot of weight in this rating, but Stammler played an all-around strong game. Was active on both sides of the pitch. Distributed the ball well. His few turnovers were caused by pressure more than lackadaisical play.

Roy Miller (on 12′): 6
More active than he has been, with a few nicely-timed tackles and good runs. But still need to see a lot more of him. Lent a measure of stability to the team. Perhaps better as a left back?

Joel Lindpere: 6
The Estonian Express has clearly been running on fumes the past couple of weeks. Part of that is no doubt due to the weather, which he has said to dislike. That said, there were a few nice runs in the first half. On one of these Angel didn’t have the legs to run onto a perfectly-placed pass into space. How Angel managed to find blame in Lindpere for this is beyond me, but that’s exactly what happened, if facial expressions are to be believed. Did well on free kicks in the second. Too bad he ran out of steam.

John Wolyniec: 4
The Staten Island Ronaldinho was largely invisible other than to trip up or demonstrate just how out of tune he was with his teammates. Okay there was also a golden opportunity he had in the first half that was deflected by an astute Martin Trujillo.

Juan Pablo Angel: 3
More of what we’ve come to expect: bickering at teammates, drifting back into midfield, not making runs in the attacking end, a weak first touch, zero mobility, turning the ball over virtually every time he touched it. Other than that he was great. As long as he continues to bail out the team with injury time freekicks we can kind of justify a spot for him in the starting 11. And oh yeah, he was offside on that late goal that was called off.

Salou Ibrahim (on 66′): 3
Did more to hinder the team’s attack than support it. Sure it isn’t easy coming into a game as a substitute but this was pretty weak.

Mike Petke (on 89′): N/A
In the postgame press conference (links to audio recording), Hans Backe said he held Petke out because of fatigue, not performance. This would be more believable if he weren’t the only starter to be given a rest of this type.

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Player ratings: RBNY 2, Houston Dynamo 1

Posted on 03 June 2010 by ASN Staff

The Red Bulls pulled off quite the dramatic win last night. After missing several opportunities to seal the game, and nearly letting their dominance of the Dynamo slip through the cracks on Brian Ching’s game tying goal, they were able to regroup and find a way to their sixth win of the season on the leg of their team Captain, Juan Pablo Angel. Click here for the initial match report). But the fact is, the game could have been sealed and delivered long before that strike found its way to the back of the net. And a closer look at the individuals involved brings that to light.

Here are last night’s player ratings:

BOUNA COUNDOUL: 7.5

Bouna wasn’t forced to make any dramatic saves. Even so, he was solid in the air, using his hands to secure and deflect dangerous crosses throughout the match. His positioning was some of the best the team has seen of him this season, and he provided a steady basis for the defenders to work off of.

CHRIS ALBRIGHT: 8

Playing his first 90 minutes all season, Albright immediately showed his worth on the right side. He played a solid game, subduing Houston’s biggest threats in Brad Davis and Brian Mullan throughout the night. His greatest contribution? An alert strike back in the box from a deflected set piece that found the leg of Sinisa Ubiparipovic for the games first strike.

MIKE PETKE: 7

Petke did a fantastic job of shadowing Brian Ching throughout the game, but was nowhere to be found on the forwards lone goal. It can be argued that the big Hawaiin was offsides, but leaving a man of his repertoire unmarked is a recipe for disaster. Still, Petke helped shut down the forwards with his physical play, and was an enforcer when Angel was brutally tackled and retaliation was needed. Unfortunately, that retaliation lead to yet another yellow for Petke, causing an immediate expulsion for the Chivas game (hence the lower rating).

TIM REAM: 7

Ream played the finesse role to Petke’s tough man act. He was calm and confident on the ball, which has become his MO throughout his young career, and was excellent in setting up the first pass in the build up to counter attacks. But, as with Petke, he was nowhere to be found on that Brian Ching goal, and that is what cost him.

DANLEIGH BORMAN: 7

Borman continues to impress with a new found patience and confidence on the ball. His tackles were perfectly timed, and his ability to set up breaking passes on the attack yielded results.

DANE RICHARDS: N/A

Richards lone highlight was a near perfect cross to Angel that was barely cleared out by Eddie Robinson in the box. Minutes later, he pulled up lame with a strained hamstring. Dane came into the game with a knock, and Backe was wary of risking further in injury to his speedy winger.

SETH STAMMLER: 5

Starting once again on the left hand side, Stammler looked completely lost. And had it not been for a transition in mid game back to the central defensive midfield slot, his rating may have shot down even lower. Backe was clearly frustrated with his wing play, calling on Stammler on various occasions to the sideline to bark instructions at the out of place midfielder. His shots were errant, flying wide from absurd distances, and his distribution caused various turnovers. He only settled down when he was back in his natural defensive midfield position, where he played the heavy on many Dynamo attacks (which is his bread and butter).

SINISA UBIPARIPOVIC: 8

After so much hard work put in all season long, Sinisa found the back of the net in a well deserved goal (his first of the season). His growth, whether at the midfield slot or on the far right, has been outstanding, with his patience on the ball, dribbling ability and overall confidence permeating through his game. Another solid performance.

JOEL LINDPERE: 5

Clearly, Joel was not at 100%. Even so, Lindpere drove the ball well earlyand distributed well in the midfield slot. His crosses proved very effective early on, and his set piece deliveries in particular were strong, but once he suffered the leg contusion, Backe made the decision to pull him in the 47th.

JOHN WOLYNIEC: 7

Wolyniec is a hustler, and deserved a goal. As a matter of fact, his cross bar clanking shot was all on the back of his hard work and relentlessness. He was even able to beat his defender on various occasions to create dangerous opportunities up, top so much so that he was continuously hacked throughout the game. A prototypical Wolyniec performance on his 100th MLS start.

JUAN PABLO ANGEL: 8

What a difference 2 seconds can make. Up to that set piece game winner, Juan Pablo Angel was clearly wearing the goat horns. He could not beat Pat Onstad on two separate one on one situations, wasted various plays with poor distribution to attacking forwards and midfielders, was stoic early on in his play, and stiff in his deliveries. But all of that is erased with one shot on goal. Make no mistake about it; only Juan Pablo Angel can bury a shot like that. And a shot like that can overshadow all the bad that came before it.

SUBS:

CONOR CHINN: N/A (but encouraging)

Chinn came into the game at the 83rd minute, and almost immediately found himself on the end of a beautiful set piece cross that he was perfectly positioned to act upon. Conor has a natural ability to predict the path of a dangerous ball and put himself into position to make something happen. Of course, he didn’t do much in the waning minutes, but it is always encouraging to see a rookie have that kind of presence of mind.

TONY TCHANI: 7

Tonight, the Bulls saw a side of Tony Tchani they haven’t seen since his acquisition to the team; offensive threat. With Dane Richards down and Joel Lindpere falling to a leg contusion, Backe gave Tchani the green light to put high pressure and go on the attack. His deceptive speed and distributors touch lead to many a dangerous opportunity for the team, and helped keep the Dynamo on their heels.

JEREMY HALL: 6

Though he was able to cover on the left hand side, Hall wasted away plenty of possession opportunities late in the game with wild clearances up field instead of trying to hold on to the ball and look for the open man. He was effective, and at times, was able to push the ball forward, but his inability to patiently handle the ball when the team needed possession could have cost him.

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Photo gallery: RBNY 3, Rapids 0

Posted on 28 May 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 3-0 US Open Cup win over the Colorado Rapids May 26 at Red Bull Arena.

A few of our favorite shots follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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Photo gallery: Crew 3, RBNY 1

Posted on 22 May 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 3-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew May 20 at Red Bull Arena.

A few of our favorite shots follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Player ratings

Discuss the game in our new forum, which has an entire thread dedicated to that purpose.

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Player ratings: Crew 3, RBNY 1

Posted on 21 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls put up a solid team effort that was hard done by the final 3-1 result loss to the Columbus Crew on May 20. What about individual efforts and, more importantly, individual performances? We get to that here in our player ratings:

Bouna Condoul: 6
Definitely a performance to build on. Liked his aggressiveness on early crosses. Why he backed off of this is a mystery and may have in fact had an impact on the second goal by Columbus. Also had a terrific save (off Adam Moffat?) in the second half and did well stifling other Crew shots. Believe this is the first loss of the season where we can honestly say he didn’t play a direct role. Little victories. But the next (MLS) match will be crucial because he’s had encouraging performances earlier only to relapse to his old ways the next time out.

Chris Albright: 6.5
Solid in the first half and that on both ends of the pitch. Was a stabilizing force on defense and in the attack kept the ball moving and had a few nice passes into space. Unfortunately came undone a bit in the second half where he was beaten by his man on several occasions and turned the ball over. Maybe he ran out of steam? Hopefully it wasn’t another (or the same) injury.

Mike Petke: 2
Sad that his 300th MLS game was also one of his worst in recent memory. Very little went right for him. Could have faulted him on the first goal, at least in part. The second was scored by his man so he bears most, if not all of the responsibility. The third was even more egregious and came at a time when the team was gathering momentum for a final push to equalize. To his credit he took responsibility for his poor play.

Tim Ream: 3
Had one or two strong moments in the first 30 minutes of the game, but that was it. Caught in no-man’s land on the first goal, between Frankie Hejduk and Eddie Gaven, though Petke probably should have done a better job covering for him. Terrible mistake on the third goal, though again his partner in central defense bears a large part of the burden. But his lack of pace is beginning to show as a liability. Perhaps teams are learning to take advantage of him?

Danleigh Borman: 5
Had a few strong moments, particularly in the first half, but was too inconsistent. Love his hustle but needs to take care of the ball better. Maybe better suited for midfield?

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 7
Stellar first half; probably his best 45 minutes as a pro (or at least in recent memory). Effectively ran the offense in Joel Lindpere’s absence. Distributed the ball well, hustled, created space for his teammates. Exactly the type of stuff this team has been lacking from its midfield players, Lindpere excepted. Seemed to drop off a bit in the second half but still Hans Backe’s decision to substitute him was a curious one. Even though central midfield appears to be his natural position he may be more effective at right wing. Or at least more effective than Dane Richards.

Seth Stammler: 5
A completely average performance. Didn’t make any decisive mistakes but didn’t contribute all that much either, especially for the attack. Don’t think he’s starter material, frankly.

Roy Miller: 5
Had a poor first half but was playing out of position. Seriously, what’s up with these lineups by Backe? Miller is not a center midfielder. Left wing is enough of a stretch. And he was doing fine as left back. Why mess with a good thing? Don’t understand that. Came alive a bit in the second but created far too little. Then again, that’s not a role he’s suited for in the first place.

Jeremy Hall: 3
Did far too little. Needed to help out covering Hejduk as a left mid but failed to do so and it came back to haunt the team on the first goal. Contributed even less offensively. That changed a little in the second half when he was moved to the right side, but not enough. He’s going to have to do a lot more to keep his spot as a starter.

Juan Pablo Angel: 3.5
The freekick was nice (didn’t go in though, did it?) and it was good to see him find a seam in the defense for that early shot that went narrowly wide. But that’s it for nice things we can say about him. His first touch has abandoned him altogether. Literally every time in the second half that he had the ball he turned it over. Still can’t move. His retreats to midfield were a little better planned this time, but he did it far too often and dropped far too deep. Saw him even with the backline on a few occasions. Not sure what he’s trying to prove at this point.

Dane Richards: 6
As I suspected (on the latest Seeing Red! podcast) there was more use for him at forward than in the midfield. Did well to get open and show for the ball. But should have finished better. Or finished, period. Once again his weak technical abilities (no left foot) and inability to see the field (or, if you prefer, his “low soccer IQ”) haunted him. Either way should have done a lot more with his chances.

Tony Tchani: 8
Caused problems for the Crew defense as soon as he entered the match in the 65th minute. Looked great on the ball and love his strength and speed. One question: Why didn’t he start? The team clearly could have used his contributions. Congrats on the first goal, which displayed aerial ability to go with the footwork skills we already knew he had.

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The walking wounded RBNY will be severely shorthanded vs. Crew

Posted on 19 May 2010 by ASN Staff

We already knew Salou Ibrahim and Carl Robinson would not be available for Thursday night’s nationally-televised clash with the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. Now add Joel Lindpere and Brian Nielsen to the list.

So says the New York Post’s Dylan Butler. His report adds that Ibrahim will be out at least another week, to be replaced Thursday night by Dane Richards. Roy Miller, Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani and Sinisa Ubiparipovic (from left to right) are expected to form the midfield.

At first glance it’s hard to tell where the offense will come from with that lineup. But Miller has showed some dribbling, passing and crossing skills and Tchani played a dominating attacking midfield role in the team’s 2-1 U.S. Open Cup defeat of Philadelphia Union.

That leaves Ubiparipovic, who has played well at times as a central midfielder but really doesn’t have the skillset to play right wing. One would think Jeremy Hall might be the more compelling option at that position.

As it is Hall is due to start on the bench, because Chris Albright is fully healthy and expected to make his first MLS start for the Red Bulls. If Roy Miller starts at left midfield, expect Danleigh Borman to start at left back.

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 03 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Welcome to the sixth installment of this feature, which will run within a day or two of the team’s last game, this season. Today we focus on the New York Red Bulls’ 2-0 defeat of DC United on Saturday–the team’s first win at RFK Stadium since 2005. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good
The team is firing on all cylinders. Things are clicking. Morale is high. Very high in fact. This is not just conjecture, but based on what I observed in the team’s RFK Stadium locker room after Saturday’s victory.

We haven’t said much about Hans Backe except to criticize him for not using all his subs in the season opener against Chicago. Some praise is due. Probably even a lot of praise. Keep in mind seven of 11 starters from this squad were on the team that managed five wins all of last season. Yet here we are six games in to the 2010 campaign and the Red Bulls have already matched their victory total from all of last year. Yes, Joel Lindpere and Tim Ream have made a big difference. But Salou Ibrahim and Carl Robinson? Not so much (though Ibrahim has played well). Clearly the coach deserves credit. Both coaches, actually. While Backe has undoubtedly done an admirable job, it makes Juan Carlos Osorio look like even more of a clueless lost cause. How he’s having success in Colombia is beyond me.

Dane Richards. I picked up on some signs of improvement in the FC Dallas game (when he was “good”). Philly was a step back (had him “red”) but he was terrific Saturday. In fact, he leads the man of the match poll and at this point is a favorite to be my “bull” of the week on this week’s Seeing Red! podcast. Yes, you heard correctly: I am singing the praises of Dane Richards. And guess what? He deserves it.

Juan Pablo Angel is creating chances and scoring goals. In the first half of Saturday’s game his “midfield work” was more a disruption than anything else, but in the second half it resulted in a goal. But this does not mean Angel is exempt from criticism either. More on that further down.

Seth Stammler had another strong game, this time at left midfield. With Brian Nielsen presumably starting in that spot at San Jose on Saturday, it means Stammler should start in Carl Robinson’s spot at holding midfield. But it may not happen. Backe seems to like Robinson, for whatever reason.

The Bad:
Robinson. Really hard to figure out why he continues to start. He can’t really control the ball, can’t pass it and can barely run the pitch.

Bouna Condoul still can’t play goalkeeper. He’s great at stopping shots though.

What’s going on with Roy Miller? He played poorly again. Seems to lack focus or something.

The Red:
Angel’s conversion ratio of goal chances is very poor. He could have had three or four Saturday.

Salou also had an egregious miss late in the second half.

The team was poor defensively in the first half. DC should have scored at least two or three goals. The Red Bulls continue to dodge bullets in this area; we saw the same thing in the Dallas and Seattle games and elsewhere. Eventually it’s going to catch up with them and one of these brainfarts is going to result in a goal. MLS strikers may not be great but they’re better than this.

The San Jose Earthquakes are playing well and there is reason to be apprehensive about that game.

The Dead:
Jeremy Hall’s sojourn at right back appears to be, at least for now. Chris Albright is eligible to return from the injured list in Saturday’s match. Unless Backe decides he isn’t match fit, Albright should start. With Dane Richards now playing a lot better, you don’t want to give that spot to Hall either. Maybe try him on the left side? No, too many other options there. If Albright starts, Richards keeps improving and everybody else stays healthy, it’s hard to find a spot for Hall in the starting lineup.

Tim Ream has likely taken his last goal kick for a little while. Coundoul is apparently ready to resume those duties, per Backe.

Explanation

The Good – Should speak for itself. Players, formations, strategies, substitutions and other things that “looked good” for whatever reason (but not aesthetically. We don’t care about players’ hairstyles and the like).

The Bad – Opposite of good. Who and what looked lousy and why.

The Red – Things that have us concerned. Primarily individual play but could also be strategies, (lack of) substitutions and putting players at positions they have no business occupying (though that practice thankfully appears done with the departure of Juan Carlos Osorio).

The Dead – Players, schemes or strategies that deserve to be put out to pasture.

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