Tag Archive | "Juan Carlos Osorio"

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The definitive NYRB SuperDraft review

Posted on 17 January 2009 by arozsa

The 2009 edition of the New York Red Bulls has some holes to fill that probably cannot and will not be addressed in the SuperDraft. A starting centerback and another striking threat to play alongside Juan Pablo Angel would just be the beginning. However, with the Red Bulls playing in continental competition this year, Head Coach Juan Carlos Osorio has constantly been repeating his mantra of adding depth to his roster in order to deal with the added games next season. Given the restrictions of the salary cap, cheap Superdraft players, especially cap-exempt and talented Generation Adidas players, are the way to do this.

The Red Bulls had four picks this time around (11th, 18th, 29th, 44th), their most since 2004. And just in case I’ve already lost your attention, here is a quick list of some of New York’s better selections in the past five years.

Luke Sassano (32nd pick, 2008)
Dane Richards (19th pick, 2007)
Sinisa Ubiparipovic (33rd pick, 2007)
Marvell Wynne (1st pick, 2006)
Jozy Altidore (17th pick, 2006)
Seth Stammler (18th pick, 2004)
Michael Bradley (36th pick, 2004)
Jeff Parke (60th pick, 2004)
Ricardo Clark (2nd pick, 2003)
Eddie Gaven (12th pick, 2003)

Now, I’d love to compile a list of the Red Bulls recent unsuccessful draft picks, but I’d prefer to keep things positive. Gems can be found in the draft; some needing more polishing than others. How will the 2009 class measure up?

Jeremy Hall (11) – A member of Generation Adidas, Hall is a 20 year old, left-sided attacking player, who according to his college coaches is strong with both feet. Played three years at Maryland, and led the national champions in goals (14) and minutes played his final year. He had ankle problems his sophomore year, but was 100% for his junior year and it showed. He was a Member of the United States U-17 team that played in the U-17 World Cup, and attended Brandeton Academy. He is currently not a member of the U-20 player pool.

Comments: Coach Osorio met this young man on the plane going to the draft, but he was already in his mind, as the Red Bulls traded up in order to get a shot at either him or fullback Kevin Alston from Indiana. They got their man in Hall, and the timing seems right with left sided mainstay Dave van den Bergh being sent to FC Dallas.

Verdict: Budget-wise, this pick is brilliant. Van den Bergh’s salary is replaced on the roster by an exempt Generation Adidas contract. On the field, Hall seems like the perfect fit for Osorio’s system, which tends to keep the backline at home while all the running and crossing is done by the wide midfielders. The kid might be the perfect bookend to Dane Richards as the Red Bulls look to provide service to Juan Pablo Angel, but relying on a rookie to provide the consistency that the Dutchman brought throughout last season is asking a lot. Having Danleigh Borman to share the load will hopefully do enough to keep Osorio from moving Jorge Rojas out to the left. Look for Hall to make a splash early, then fade throughout the year, much like Richards did in his rookie year. If he can come back and be effective in year two, then the Red Bulls have struck gold.

Babajide Ogunbiyi (18) – Called “Jide” on the Santa Clara University roster, Ogunbiyi is a massive (6’4” , 205+ lbs ) 22-year old centerback who came into college as a forward. Jide was born in Rochester, NY, but was called in to try out for the Nigerian U23 squad.

Comments: Osorio clearly had to address the backline in the offseason, and with the loss of Jeff Parke and the disaster that was Gabriel Cichero, centerback was the biggest squad need. Jide had a terrific MLS combine performance, and there certainly won’t be any question of whether he can handle the physical play of MLS.

Verdict: Osorio demands his centerbacks be big and imposing, and Jide fits the bill. In recent memory, only Chad Marshall and Michael Parkhurst have come straight from the draft to be effective central defenders, and only Marshall was an Osorio prototype. Jide may well be a good central defender in a few years; in fact he might even be one by playoff time. But if Osorio wants a starter on opening day, he’d better get on a plane to South America with his checkbook firmly in tow.

Jack Traynor (29)
– A 21-year old left back out of Notre Dame, Traynor was part of an excellent Notre Dame backline that conceded less than a goal a game last season.

Comments: Osorio really doesn’t ask much of his fullbacks offensively, and even moves to a 3-back formation from time to time. This is a position that a rookie can certainly step in and help if they are a willing worker on the defensive end.

Verdict: If Osorio isn’t able to find another central defender, then erstwhile left back Kevin Goldthwaite is going to spend a lot of time playing in central defense. This could open up a spot for Traynor, and if he’s up for the task the Red Bulls will be a much better and deeper team for it. If he can prove he’s on the level of a solid Chris Leitch type player (curb your expectations with pick 29), then this will be terrific pick for the Red Bulls.

Nick Zimmerman (44) – A 22 year old midfielder from James Madison University, where he was named to the All-Conference and All-Region teams his senior year despite being part of a mediocre squad.

Comments: There’s not much out there about this kid, but given his size (6’-0 180), it’s a good bet that Osorio took the best athlete available and plans to see if he can make something out of him.

Verdict: Nobody expects anything out of pick number 44, and if he actually makes the roster he’ll be working part time at Starbucks on the contract they’ll give him (I hear they have better insurance anyway). However, in order to provide myself cover in case this kid turns out to be a world-beater, I will remind readers that New York once selected Jeff Parke with pick number 60, and wouldn’t it be nice to still have him in a Red Bull shirt come midseason?

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Red Bulls come up short in MLS Cup

Posted on 24 November 2008 by ASN Staff

Osorio went with the same staring 11 from Salt Lake ©ASN/First Row Photos

The New York Red Bulls’ improbable postseason run took an all-too familiar end, with the team losing a hard-fought 3-1 game to the Columbus Crew at Home Depot Center Sunday afternoon. Newly-crowned MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto assisted on all three Columbus goals, making him the easy choice for MVP of the game. Chad Marshall scored the game winner in the 53rd minute off a corner kick that came just 87 seconds after John Wolyniec had leveled the game.

Despite the loss, New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was satisfied with his team’s efforts. “In general I think we gave a good account of ourselves,” he said in the post game press conference. “I told the guys that they played with passion and pride and that’s the only thing I ask for.” Still, Osorio could not hide his disappointment at the second Columbus goal in particular. “We emphasize not conceding goals five minutes after we score,” he said. “The most disappointing thing is, although I don’t like to single anybody out, I think we conceded an easy corner kick. I was very, very upset with that.”

Television broadcasts of the game were replaying Wolyniec’s equalizer and missed Marshall’s goal and the event that led to it. If anybody remembers what happens please post it via comment or email us.

Woly's joy was short-lived ©ASN/First Row Photos

The goal clearly broke New York’s back, a sentiment that was shared in the Red Bulls locker room after the game. “From my point of view a very cheap goal,” said Juan Pablo Angel. “After that it was obviously all uphill for us.” Osorio agreed “it was very difficult for the team to recover after that,” he said. “They kind of put a dagger into us for like 15-20 minutes,” said Dave van den Bergh. “It was such a blow, right after we scored […] if we can keep the momentum of scoring the goal, I thought we were the better team.”

New York dominated the game for most of the first half and was unlucky to yield the first goal of the game in the 31st minute. Schelotto appeared to give van den Bergh a shove to move him off the ball, which then seemed to cross over the touchline. “I thought it was out of bounds,” said van den Bergh. Schelotto played the ball down the line to Alejandro Moreno, who shot it past Danny Cepero and off the right post.

After some opening jitters the Red Bulls clearly took control of the game. “We matched them very well,” said Osorio. “We had a lot of the ball, better possession, we played better football–I think we were the better team.” Wolyniec agreed. “We definitely caused them some problems,” he recalled. “They paid a lot of attention to Juan Pablo [Angel] so I was able to get some space underneath and hold the ball up for us.” Unfortunately for New York, none of the chances resulted in shots on goal, much less the elusive first goal that would have changed the entire context of the game.

Still, the Red Bulls have a lot to be proud of and some of the team’s veteran leaders went to lengths to enunciate that in the locker room after the game. “I’m really proud of what we achieved this year, considering all the circumstances,” said Angel. “That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m happy we lost but we went to a stage that we weren’t expecting.” Sporting Director Jeff Agoos said the first half was “one of the best halves we played this year” and that there were “huge amount of positives” to come from the team’s postseason run. “We’ve got a lot to be proud of. Nobody outside this locker room gave this group a chance to get here and compete for the cup. They really raised the bar.”

mls cup match facts

New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew
November 23, 2008 — Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary:
Columbus – Alejandro Moreno (Guillermo Barros Schelotto), 31st minute
RBNY – John Wolyniec 2 (Dane Richards), 51st minute
Columbus – Chad Marshall (Schelotto), 53rd minute.
Columbus – Frankie Hejduk (Schelotto, Eddie Gaven), 82nd minute.


Columbus Crew — William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Danny O’Rourke, Gino Padula, Eddie Gaven (Steven Lenhart, 93’+), Brian Carroll, Brad Evans, Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Andy Iro, 91’+), Alejandro Moreno.

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenenaum, Emmanuel Ekpo, Ezra Hendrickson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Pat Noonan.

New York Red Bulls — Danny Cepero, Carlos Mendes, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards, Luke Sassano (Jorge Rojas, 78′), Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dave van den Bergh, John Wolyniec (Macoumba Kanji, 82′), Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Andrew Boyens, Gabriel Cichero, Mike Magee, Juan Pietravallo.

Statistical Summary:
RBNY / Columbus
Total Shots 8 11
Shots on Goal 1 6
Fouls 11 13
Offsides 1 4
Corner Kicks 4 6
Saves 3 0

Misconduct Summary:
RBNY — Chris Leitch (caution; reckless tackle) 4th minute
Columbus – Gino Padula (caution, reckless tackle) 68th minute

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkey, Kermit Quisenberry
4th official: Mark Geiger
Attendance: 27,000
Weather: Cloudy and 68 degrees
Time of Game: 1:52





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MLS Cup training session, Part II

Posted on 23 November 2008 by ASN Staff

Dave van den Bergh (center) shares some laughs with his teammates ©ASN/First Row Photos

The New York Red Bulls trained for the final time Saturday in preparation of their first MLS CUP Finals appearance. Unlike Friday’s training, which was held on the training field normally used by Chivas USA, the team got to use the main Home Depot Center field. The team continues to be confident and loose, less than 24 hours before the biggest game in franchise history. “We believe 100% that we have a chance,” said head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “If we match them like we have during the season, we will have a chance to win.”

Osorio was understandably hesitant to disclose tactics or the identity of starters, but said the key is to “defend properly, take our chances…create enough entries into the attacking third that provide us with the chance to score goals.”

Angel addresses the media horde ©ASN/First Row Photos

Juan Pablo Angel gave a short press conference prior to taking the field. Angel said yesterday’s much-discussed training injury came on a collision with Danny Cepero. “It got me right in my ribs…I feel fine,” he said. “Just sore.” The former Colombian international once again assured the press he will be ready to go tomorrow. “I’ve been waiting for this game all year,” he said. “Whatever it takes for me to play, I won’t miss it.”

Angel said he is on board with Osorio’s style of defending first. “We might not play pretty but we’ve been getting the results we need in order for us to be here,” he said. The team is coming off a season that was traumatic even by its own standards; its brightest young star, Jozy Altidore left the team at mid-season, one of its designated players, Claudio Reyna, retired shortly thereafter and there was the late season drama with Jeff Parke and Jon Conway’s performance-enhancing drug suspensions (more on that below). “We faced a lot of different problems and different circumstances,” Angel said, in typical understated fashion. The turning point came in the first leg of the Houston series, he added. “We were happy that we matched the best team in this league…and we felt that if we went to Houston did the same that we had at home we had a good chance of getting a result.”

‘Jungle Warfare’

The identity of the banned over-the-counter substance allegedly taken by Parke and Conway was revealed at the Supporters Summit on Saturday morning. The substance, ‘Jungle Warfare,’ is sold by a company named ALR Industries and advertised as a way to produce the effects of steroids “without the negative side effects.” (Still think this was an honest mistake, Red Bulls fans?)

Angel spoke of the team’s reaction to the scandal in his press conference. “We were disappointed but we talked about it and the most important thing is the players accept their mistake and we fully support them,” he said of Parke and Conway. “That was a very tense week for us as a team and an organization but we had the most important game of the year that weekend.” The team ultimately won that game, against Columbus.

A sign of things to come? Or proof that the curse is alive and well?

Red Bulls fans hope these shirts don't end up in Africa

Home Depot Staff personnel picked a bad time (in between media sessions) to unload the pre-made “MLS Cup Champions” t-shirts that will be worn by the winning side of tomorrow’s game (the losing team’s shirts will be donated to charity). Which means that depending on the outcome of MLS Cup, these shirts could be worth a little or a lot on ebay.

With everything that has happened with their team over its 13 year history, Red Bulls fans can be forgiven for thinking the worst on this one…

View a full suite of photos from today’s practice, media conferences, Supporters’ Summit and more

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MLS Cup Training Session, Part I

Posted on 22 November 2008 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls trained for the first time since arriving in California Friday in preparation of their first MLS CUP Finals appearance.

Besides the beautiful weather (and that just to make people back home envious) there was not a lot of news to come from the training session or ensuing media session. ASN did not notice any injury to Juan Pablo Angel, as was discussed on the Big Soccer sewing circle, but he was also one of very few players we did not speak to. Some soundbytes below. We’ll be there tomorrow with bells on (and more importantly, a camera man in tow).

Kevin Goldthwaite, on the changes with Danny Cepero between the sticks:
“We had a tough situation with Conway being suspended but Cepero’s come in and done very well…I know a little bit of his [Cepero’s] tendencies but it’s a little bit different in the games you have to get used to some of the things he gets used to…communication is the most important thing as a goalie…it was tough because Conway was such a boisterous guy in the back, always shouting always telling me something and to get used to having a different voice behind you is something to get used to.”

Chris Leitch:
“Obviously it’s a final so both teams are going to be chomping at the bit to bring back some hardware back to their respective cities. Both clubs will be equally hungry to fill a trophy case that doesn’t have any hardware in it. So I’m expecting a very hard-fought battle.”

Dave van den Bergh:
“I like what I saw today because we seem to be very loose which is key at this point. It’s good to be out here.”

“This is nice. It’s a great opportunity. There’s only one thing I’m in football for, to win as many matches as possible. This is an opportunity to win another one and the players are up for the challenge. I think we realize Columbus is a very good team with a very good coach. That in itself motivates us to go and compete against them on Sunday.”

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Red Bulls fall five minutes short of upset

Posted on 01 November 2008 by ASN Staff

A makeshift New York Red Bulls starting lineup that did not include its biggest mid-season acquisitions almost pulled off a massive upset of defending MLS champion Houston Dynamo at Giants Stadium Saturday afternoon.

But after trailing for nearly the entire second half, Kei Kamara scored the 1-1 equalizer for Houston in the 85th minute off a pass from Stuart Holden. Ironically, both Holden and Kamara were late substitutions by Houston head coach Greg Kinnear. Juan Pablo Angel put the Red Bulls up in the 48th minute on a pass from John Wolyniec–another surprise starter for New York.

Luke Sassano, one of several surprise starters

After a lackluster (to put it mildly) showing in the team’s season finale at Chicago, New York head coach Juan Carlos Osorio went with a starting 11 that included two rookies (Diego Jimenez, Luke Sassano) and three second-year players (Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Andrew Boyens, Danny Cepero) who had never started a playoff game. The move nearly worked, as Red Bull played their best game in at least a month, though New York fans will likely be second-guessing Osorio for only using one substitution (Juan Pietravallo, who replaced Ubiparipovic around minute 80).

“I think we probably did just enough to win the game today,” said Osorio in the postgame press conference. “Very proud of the boys today. In the end I think there more positives than negatives from this game.”

Asked about the surprising starting lineup, Osorio said it was largely due to individual player performance in the Chicago game. “There were players not doing their jobs and I though that was undisciplined so I took them out of the starting line. Simple as that.” Though he did not mention Gabriel Cichero or Juan Pietravallo by name, Osorio praised the players he chose to replace them in the starting lineup. “I’m very pleased today with Luke Sassano’s job and Sinisa’s job,” he said.

Sassano said he found out early in the week about his start and was tasked mainly with holding the midfield and limiting Dwayne DeRosario’s chances. “Obviously a very good player,” Sassano said of the Canadian international. “I just tried to stay with him and make sure I could eliminate as many touches as he gets on the ball…knock him around a little bit.”

A tightly-contested and dirty first half at first brought to mind the scoreless Thursday night snooze fest between New England and Chicago. But the game came alive after a vicious foul by Nate Jaqua on Andrew Boyens. The foul, which went unpunished by referee Kevin Stott, led to a brief scuffle at midfield as players pushed and shoved at each other. Boyens lay motionless on the turf for several minutes but did not need to leave the game.

The New Zealander did not appear to have any hard feelings after the game. “I don’t think he was meaning to do anything,” Boyens said of Jaqua’s play. “When there’s something that tough there’s always a little bit of talk afterwards.”

For now the Red Bulls can take comfort in their solid performance before the teams meet again at Houston’s Robertson Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 9. “Nobody gave anything for our chances after the Chicago performance and I think we bounced back,” said Dave van den Bergh. “I thought there was a team out there that fought for every ball and fought for each other and I think that was the biggest difference.”

Osorio agreed. “If we keep this team spirit and we take this competitiveness to their place then we have a chance,” he said.

Match Facts

Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls
2008 MLS Playoffs, First Round, first leg
November 01, 2008 — Giants Stadium

Scoring Summary:
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 1 (John Wolyniec 1) 48
HOU — Kei Kamara 1 (Stuart Holden 1) 85

Houston Dynamo — Pat Onstad, Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan (Stuart Holden 71), Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario (Geoff Cameron 83), Brad Davis, Nate Jaqua (Kei Kamara 66), Brian Ching.

Substitutes Not Used: Corey Ashe, Tony Caig, Patrick Ianni, Craig Waibel

New York Red Bulls — Danny Cepero, Andrew Boyens, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards, Luke Sassano, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Juan Pietravallo 77), Dave van den Bergh, John Wolyniec, Juan Pablo Angel.
Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Gabriel Cichero, Macoumba Kandji, Gordon Kljestan, Jorge Rojas, David Roth

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Dane Richards (caution; Reckless Foul) 29
HOU — Brian Mullan (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 29
NY — Juan Pablo Angel (caution; Reckless Foul) 37

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Thomas Supple; Rob Fereday
4th official: Michael Kennedy
Time of game: 1:50
Attendance: 11,578
Weather: Cloudy -and- 63 degrees

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Should this man step down?

Posted on 24 October 2008 by ASN Staff

Juan Carlos Osorio was brought in to replace the ornery Bruce Arena as head coach of the New York Red Bulls with a simple mandate from then-GM Marc de Grandpre: MLS Cup or bust. While this goal might have been a tad optimistic (to put it mildly) for a team that had only once in 13 years advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs, the Red Bulls are now faced with missing out on the postseason altogether. This is the reality caused by an extremely disappointing performance in the regular season finale at rainy Toyota Park Thursday night. Needing a victory to claim a playoff spot, New York ended up losing 5-2 to the Chicago Fire. The Red Bulls still have a chance of making the playoffs; if the Columbus Crew defeat DC United Sunday, Osorio’s team advance to the Western Conference bracket as the eighth and final playoff team. But that is almost besides the point. No fan or observer of the team can rightfully feel the Red Bulls are a playoff team at this time.

The team’s performance, uninspiring as it was, may have been doomed by some questionable coaching decisions. Why was Gabriel Cichero, who had demonstrated little other than incompetence in his other starts, in the starting 11? Why were Macoumba Kandji, Matthew Mbuta and Dane Richards on the bench? Why was Luke Sassano, who has played very sparingly this season and is mainly a defensive midfielder, brought in at halftime of a game the Red Bulls were losing 3-1 (and needed to win)?

To be sure, the team’s problems are not all of Osorio’s making. The front office took far too long to bring in the transfers he sought and the players who were on the field made several boneheaded mistakes at key times (none of which can really be blamed on coaching). Still, it bears noting that New York gave up 20 goals in its last six games. And Osorio prides himself as a defensive coach.

But what do you, the fan think? Should Osorio resign after this debacle in Chicago? Vote in the poll and let us know your thoughts.



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Rapids outshoot Red Bulls in sloppy night at the Swamp

Posted on 28 September 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker


The Colorado Rapids defeated the New York Red Bulls 5-4 in a rainy Saturday night game at Giants Stadium that was marked by defensive lapses on both sides. Seven of the goals were scored in the first half before the teams settled down a bit in the second. After the two newest members of the Red Bulls, Matthew Mbuta and Macoumba Kandji combined for a pretty goal to tie the game in the 74th minute, Conor Casey completed his hat trick with the game winner goal in the 90th.

“I thought we all were very poor today,” said Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio after the game. “This is the first time in my professional career that a team I have coached conceded four goals in one half. Absolutely terrible.” Asked for a Cliffs Notes version of what he told the team, Osorio replied, “You don’t want to know.”

Of Osorio’s speech defender Jeff Parke said only “He let us know in his own words [that] it’s not acceptable.”

Playing without two starters, Kevin Goldthwaite (red card suspension) and Dave van den Bergh (sports hernia), the Red Bulls started with a three man back line of Diego Jimenez, Gabriel Cichero and Parke. It became clear almost immediately that the defensive formation would not hold water–much less a Colorado team that attacked from the word go.

Omar Cummings put the visitors up after only three minutes when Cichero let Conor Casey walk past him. Jon Conway made the initial save but Cummings slotted home the rebound. After Colorado’s Cory Gibbs returned the favor and gifted Mike Magee the equalizer, Conor Casey again bulled past the Red bull defense and put the Rapids up, 2-1.

To Osorio’s credit, he switched the formation on the fly, moving Carlos Mendes to right back to create a four man back line. The move appeared to work as the Red Bulls slowly regained control of the game. Pablo Mastroeni was called for a hand ball in his own penalty box that gave the Red Bulls a questionable penalty. “It’s extremely harsh on the defender when he gets it rammed into him from a yard away that the referee calls hand ball,” said Rapids interim head coach Gary Smith. “I don’t think it was a case of arm to ball–more a case of ball to arm. In that case I really think a bit of common sense needs to be shown.”

Juan Pablo Angel converted the penalty for New York and Dane Richards put the hosts up 3-2 in the 40th minute. It appeared the Red Bulls had the upper hand and would perhaps even coast to victory against a Colorado Rapids team that has struggled for large portions of the 2008 season.

That was not to be, however, as Colorado came roaring back to equalize and then take the lead. Mike Petke scored the first after the Red Bulls defense failed to clear a corner and Casey converted a penalty to put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time.

Osorio made another adjustment to start the second half, pulling Cichero for Andrew Boyens. “I think that was a wake up call for him,” Osorio said of the Venezuelan defender. “They [Colorado] played very direct football and he just couldn’t handle it…I think he struggled physically against Casey.” Dane Richards left the game with a hyperextended right knee in the 55th minute. Replacing him was 23-year old forward Macoumba Kandji, signed on loan from USL’s Atlanta Silverbacks earlier this month. Fifteen minutes later, Mbuta got his chance, entering the game in the 70th minute for Carlos Mendes.

The Red Bulls equalized four minutes later on an inspired combination from their two newest players. “It was a great play,” said Kandji after the game. “The right back passed it to me, I passed it back, hit it to [Mbuta], flick it, I go back…couldn’t have put it any better.”

For Mbuta, the goal was only the second time he touched the ball. “When I came in I just did exactly what he [Osorio] asked me to do and I scored the goal,” said Mbuta, who scored against the Red Bulls as a member of USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore in that team’s upset of New York in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this season.

Red Bulls player ratings

On scale of 1-10 where 10 is highest.

Conway – 4 – Partially to blame for the first two goals, left hung out to dry on the last three. Didn’t convince, especially when coming off the line.

Parke – 4 – Hard to give a defender a good mark when five goals were conceded. Switched from a right sided back in a 3 man backline to a center back in a 4 man backline and back throughout the match. Lost Conor Casey at the end to give up the winner.

Cichero – 4 – Got mixed up with Conway on the first goal and was abused by Conor Casey on the second goal. Physically overmatched by Casey and also Omar Cummings. Osorio abandoned the three man backline midway through the first half, then pulled Cichero at half time and immediately went back to it. The dreaded halftime sub might be a low point for his season.

Jiminez – 5 – Had all the work to do playing behind Rojas and couldn’t possibly cover enough ground to make it happen. Settled down and had a solid second half.

Richards – 6 – Took a while for him to get involved, but once the Red Bulls started to play more direct, he began to cause problems. Got injured right when he was starting to heat up. Excellent run through the box on his goal.

Pietravallo – 8 – MOTM for NY despite committing the foul that earned Colorado’s penalty. Outstanding workrate in the midfield, and began to assert himself in possession in the second half. Great run to set up the equalizer in the second half.

Rojas – 5 – Better second half cancelled out an awful first half. Was not up for the task of playing as a wide man in a 3-5-2 once again, as he left Jiminez isolated and forced Osorio to move to a 4-4-2. Played well as a quasi-target man in the second half and looked better coming into the middle of the field.

Stammler – 5 – Really was redundant with Pietravallo holding up the middle and Colorado playing mostly over the top. A quiet game for him, but could have been better utilized by his manager.

Mendes – 5 – Could have been more useful on the backline as he spent most of the game watching the ball being played overtop of him. Didn’t add anything to the attack.

Magee – 5 – Failed to impress. Seemingly given a free role by Osorio, he does little to impose himself on the game. Was gifted the first goal, but did little else. When Dave van den Bergh gets healthy it’s unlikely he’ll keep his spot.

Angel – 6 – Invisible in the first half. Very effective in the second half as NY pumped every ball straight into his feet or up high in his direction. Was combining well with Richards when he left the game. Headed a clear chance right at the keeper in the second half.

Boyens – 7 – Came in a calmed down the defense in the second half making some important challenges. Was in the right position on the final goal, but was beaten by the quality of the cross.

Kandji – 6 – Looked uncomfortable with his new teammates, but still managed to create the 4th goal in the second. The physical tools and energy are all there for him to make the second forward spot his.

Mbuta – 7 – Added a spark that the Red Bulls sorely needed when Richards came out. Really threw his body around and combined nicely with Kandji on his goal. Very pacy.

Notes and Observations on the visitors:

Conor Casey was an absolute menace in front of the net. One wonders how many goals he could have scored tonight had Terry Cooke been serving crosses opposite Colin Clark the entire game. He’s definitely Bob Bradley’s type of player, so another game or two like this, and you might be seeing him back in a US kit for the first time since he left the 2005 Gold Cup on a stretcher. He’s got to offer more than Eddie Johnson.

Cory Gibbs, other than his mistake on the first goal, looked fast and athletic. His manager, Gary Smith, was extremely complimentary of him after the game, noting that it might have been the first mistake he’d seen Cory make since he came to the team. What in the world could LA have been thinking passing this guy up?

Pablo Mastroeni looked very lively as well, and should get himself a nice payday in Serie A next season.

How out of favor are Jose Burciaga and Christian Gomez that they can’t crack this lineup ahead of Nick Labrocca and Jordan Harvey?

Match Facts

Colorado Rapids (10-12-4) vs. New York Red Bulls (9-9-8)
September 27, 2008 — Giants Stadium

Scoring Summary:
COL — Omar Cummings 6 (unassisted) 3
NY — Mike Magee 5 (unassisted) 5
COL — Conor Casey 6 (Omar Cummings 3) 11
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 11 (penalty kick) 34
NY — Dane Richards 2 (Juan Pietravallo 1, Jorge Rojas 5) 40
COL — Mike Petke 2 (unassisted) 43
COL — Conor Casey 7 (penalty kick) 45
NY — Matthew Mbuta 1 (Macoumba Kandji 1) 74
COL — Conor Casey 8 (Mehdi Ballouchy 4) 90


Colorado Rapids — Preston Burpo, Kosuke Kimura, Cory Gibbs, Mike Petke, Jordan Harvey, Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 94+), Nick LaBrocca (Terry Cooke 79), Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings (Greg Dalby 85).

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Burciaga Jr., Christian Gomez, Bouna Coundoul, Ugo Ihemelu

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Jeff Parke, Gabriel Cichero (Andrew Boyens 46), Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji 55), Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas, Seth Stammler, Carlos Mendes (Matthew Mbuta 70), Mike Magee, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Chris Leitch, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, John Wolyniec

Misconduct Summary:
COL — Nick LaBrocca (caution; Reckless Tackle) 13
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Dissent) 35
NY — Carlos Mendes (caution; Reckless Foul) 61
NY — Andrew Boyens (caution; Reckless Tackle) 67
NY — Diego Jimenez (caution; Tactical Foul) 75
COL — Jacob Peterson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 94+

referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Nate Clement
4th official: Lee Suckle
time of game: 1:53
attendance: 14,795
weather: Showers -and- 68 degrees

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Red Bulls triple up Houston for third straight

Posted on 24 August 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker


No Rojas? No problem. The resurgent New York Red Bulls had little difficulty in shutting down the defending champion Houston Dynamo, who were obviously tired from their midweek victory over Real Salt Lake. Juan Pablo Angel, Dane Richards and Mike Magee scored for the home side, who have won their last three games, not lost in five and not been scored on in 254 minutes.

“We as a coaching staff are extremely pleased and proud of the effort today by the whole team,” said Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio after the game. “Hopefully we can build on these past three games here and continue adding points in trying to achieve our main goal, which is to make the playoffs.”

Jorge Rojas, who is stuck in Venezuela due to visa issues, was not the only Red Bulls starter missing from the lineup. Gabriel Cichero was suspended due to his red card in last weekend’s game against Toronto FC and Jeff Parke was nursing an injury picked up in that same game. Rojas is expected to rejoin the team next week and be in the starting lineup against DC United on Saturday.

Newcomer Diego Jimenez, one of four players to join the team last month, got the first start of his MLS career, replacing Cichero on the back line. In place of Parke, Chris Leitch moved back into the starting lineup. “The guys who got the chance today took it with both hands and made the best of it,” said Osorio. “I think [Jimenez] deserves to be praised because of the way he played today.”

The Red Bulls “look like a team now,” the coach added. “We can attack. We have some threat on the flanks […] defensively, I think we’re doing a better job.”

In the visiting locker room, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear dismissed suggestions fatigue played a result in his team’s performance. “”We have a good enough squad, we move players in and out,” said Kinnear. “I think individually and collectively, we didn’t meet the standard that we set in the last couple of games and to go down a goal and not play well is tough no matter where you’re at.”

After getting the maximum nine points from their three game home stand, the Red Bulls now play three of their next four games on the road. First up is the rubber match against arch rival DC United (the teams split their first two games).

“DC will be a different threat, a different team,” said Osorio. “It’s just great that we have more competition for places […] more options and hopefully I can decide what is best for the club.”

Match Facts

Houston Dynamo (8-5-8) vs. New York Red Bulls (8-6-7)
Aug. 24, 2008, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Scoring Summary:
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 8 (Dave van den Bergh 3, Mike Magee 1) 8
NY — Dane Richards 1 (Seth Stammler 3) 26
NY — Mike Magee 4 (Diego Jimenez 1) 60


Houston Dynamo — Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel (Corey Ashe 75), Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson (Geoff Cameron 62), Wade Barrett, Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario (Stuart Holden 56), Brad Davis, Nate Jaqua, Kei Kamara.

Substitutes Not Used: Tony Caig, Brian Ching, Patrick Ianni, Richard Mulrooney

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Diego Jimenez, Andrew Boyens, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Dane Richards, Juan Pietravallo, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh (Danleigh Borman 64), Mike Magee (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 79), Juan Pablo Angel (John Wolyniec 64).

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Hunter Freeman, John Gilkerson, Luke Sassano


New York Red Bulls / Houston Dynamo
total shots: 12 (Angel 3, Richards 3) / 11 (Brad Davis 3)
shots on goal: 6 (Magee 2, Richards 2) / 4 (4 tied with 1)
fouls: 14 (Stammler 3) / 14 (Kei Kamara 3)
offsides: 3 (3 tied with 1) /3 (Dwayne De Rosario 2)
corner kicks:2 (Magee 1, Borman 1) / 8 (Brad Davis 3, De Rosario 3)
saves: 4 (Jon Conway 4) / 3 (Pat Onstad 3)

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Seth Stammler (caution; Tactical Foul) 21
HOU — Brian Mullan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 40
NY — Mike Magee (caution; Reckless Foul) 72
NY — Chris Leitch (caution; Delaying a Restart) 76

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Steven Taylor; Greg Barkey
4th official: Lee Suckle
time of game: 1:50
attendance: 12,549
weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 82 degrees

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Bulls top TFC for first winning streak of the season

Posted on 18 August 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Finally, the Bulls have something to smile about ©Fernando Rendon/ASN

It took a little while but the New York Red Bulls finally have their first bonafide winning streak of the 2008 season, thanks to its 2-0 defeat of Toronto FC on Sunday evening at Giants Stadium. “Fantastic result… great effort. Some outstanding individual performances,” was how head coach Juan Carlos Osorio summarized matters in the post game press conference.

Asked to specify individual standouts Osorio said “Juan Pietravallo was terrific today in midfield, when he was playing basically by himself as an anchorman…Jon [Conway] came up strong and big when we needed it most… Mike Magee: very effective; Dane Richards when he came in… and Jorge [Rojas].”

Magee put the home team up in the 37th minute on a clearing pass from Seth Stammler for his second goal in as many games (the first time in his career he has scored in back-to-back games). New York buckled down defensively after defender Gabriel Cichero was sent off with a straight red card one minute into the second half.

Cichero saw red, unjustly he felt ©Fernando Rendon/ASN

Cichero’s expulsion came when the Venezuelan defender was judged to have thrown an elbow when contesting a head ball. “I just went up to win the ball,” Cichero recalled afterwards. “I always jump with my arms up to protect my face. If you jump with your arms down you’re going to get hurt.”

Both coach and player thought the straight red card a harsh punishment for incidental contact. “I would like to see the review but I don’t think it was that bad,” said Osorio. “Probably a yellow card but I thought it was a little bit much.”
“The referees are pretty strange here, pretty hard,” said Cichero. “But you just gotta get used to it.”

Rojas makes a run ©Fernando Rendon/ASNAfter the expulsion, the Red Bulls switched to a four man backline with Pietravallo in front of the defense, three midfielders and one striker. “Seth Stammler was fantastic when he went to the right fullback position,” said Osorio. The move paid off as Toronto did not seriously threaten the Red Bulls goal in the final minutes. Juan Pablo Angel put the game on ice in stoppage time on a breakaway, tapping home a pass from Richards.

“I think it shows a lot of character,” Angel said of the win. “There’s still a lot of games to go, but I’m very pleased we’re picking the pace up right now and we’re winning against two teams from the same conference.”

The Red Bulls D was aggressive and mostly error free ©Fernando Rendon/ASN

With the win, New York keeps pace with archrival DC United, who won at Chicago on Saturday night. The two teams are level with 28 points, though DC has a game in hand and a better goal difference, giving them fourth place to New York’s fifth. Toronto and Kansas City have slipped off the pace a bit, trailing DC and New York by three points each. If the season were to end today, the Red Bulls would get the eighth and final playoff birth.

But there is still plenty to play for and Red Bull players and staff are visibly confident about the team–possibly for the first time all season. “If you analyze the 90 minutes I think we truly deserved the three points,” said Osorio. “I’m very pleased with the team effort and hopefully we can continue like that.”

ASN home team Player Rankings

Starting Lineup:
Jon Conway (8/10). Brilliant first half save kept team level.
Kevin Goldthwaite (7/10). Solid if unspectacular.
Seth Stammler (9/10). Played his best game of the season, displayed versatility, poise and vision.
Mike Magee (8/10). Taking to the striker role well.
Juan Pablo Angel (7/10). Another solid performance.
Dave van den Bergh (6/10). Did what he needed to. With new arrivals his role on the team appears to be decreasing somewhat.
Jorge Rojas (6/10). Didn’t see enough of him. Perhaps the forward role not to his liking? Seems better-suited in midfield.
Gabriel Cichero (incomplete; left game in 46th minute due to red card)
Juan Pietravallo (9/10). Excellent job anchoring the defensive midfield. Is starting to come into his own.
Luke Sassano (7/10). Nice job defensively. Played his position well.
Jeff Parke (incomplete; left game in 26th minute with injury)


Dane Richards (7/10). Strong showing off the bench, nice job on the stoppage time breakaway. But seriously, learn some new moves and show some muscle on the ball, please.
Andrew Boyens (6/10). Solid performance. No complaints.


Match Facts

Toronto FC (7-9-4) vs. New York Red Bulls (7-6-7)
August 17, 2008 — Giants Stadium

Scoring Summary:

NY — Mike Magee 3 (Seth Stammler 2) 37
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 7 (Dane Richards 4, Jorge Rojas 4) 92+

Toronto FC — Greg Sutton, Nana Attakora-Gyan, Julius James, Marco Velez, Jim Brennan, Rohan Ricketts, Kevin Harmse, Carl Robinson, Chad Barrett, Laurent Robert (Danny Dichio 46) (Jarrod Smith 49), Abdus Ibrahim (Johann Smith 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Edwards, Tyler Hemming, Tyler Rosenlund, Marvell Wynne

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Jeff Parke (Andrew Boyens 25), Luke Sassano (Dane Richards 62), Gabriel Cichero, Kevin Goldthwaite, Juan Pietravallo, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh, Mike Magee, Jorge Rojas, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Danleigh Borman, Carlos Mendes, Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, John Wolyniec

New York Red Bulls/Toronto FC
total shots: 12 (Juan Pablo Angel 5)/14 (Rohan Ricketts 4)
shots on goal: 5 (Juan Pablo Angel 3)/4 (Rohan Ricketts 3)
fouls: 14 (Dave van den Bergh 3)/8 (Chad Barrett 2, Rohan Ricketts 2)
offsides: 2 (Angel 1, Luke Sassano 1)/4 (Abdus Ibrahim 2, Ricketts 2)
corner kicks: 6 (Mike Magee 3, Jorge Rojas 3)/5 (Ricketts 3)
saves: 4 (Jon Conway 4)/3 (Greg Sutton 3)

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Andrew Boyens (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
NY — Dave van den Bergh (caution; Reckless Foul) 46+
TOR — Jim Brennan (caution; Reckless Foul) 46+
NY — Gabriel Cichero (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 46
TOR — Kevin Harmse (caution; Reckless Tackle) 52

Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee’s Assistants: Michael Salyers; James Conlee
4th official: Lee Suckle
time of game: 1:50
attendance: 11,119
weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 85 degrees

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Bulls blast DC behind Angel

Posted on 11 August 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Juan Pablo Angel scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season as the New York Red Bulls their archrival D.C. United, 4-1, before 15,038 at Giants Stadium on Sunday night. The win pulls the Red Bulls into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and into the thick of the playoff race.

“We showed character and resilience,” a pleased Angel said after the match. “We won a very difficult game against a decent side.”

D.C. United opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Luciano Emilio pushed a pass to Fred, who then crossed one from the right side into the box and Jamie Moreno nodded it past Jon Conway. Angel levelled the score on a bending direct kick from the left side just outside of the 18-year box. Angel’s bending shot around the wall tucked inside the left post in the 27th minute. Mike Magee closed out the first half scoring in the 45th minute with his second of the season when he buried a clearance by D.C. United defender Marc Burch after a Dave van den Bergh cross from the left side.

“I feel like my legs are getting healthy and my legs are more fit,” Magee said of his efforts. “Obviously it feels good to get a goal, but just to have the team come together like we did today is a good enough feeling as it is.”

Angel scored his second of the night in the 50th minute when he raced under a van den Bergh header and lofted it from just inside the 18-yard box over goalkeeper Zach Wells towards the net. D.C.’s Pat Carroll tried to clear it off the line but the ball hit the right post and bounced into the net. Sinisa Ubiparipovic closed the scoring in the 87th minute when he finished a perfect feed from Jorge Rojas and redirected the ball into the lower right hand corner. For Ubiparipovic, it was his first career MLS goal.

“I think that we got what we deserved,” said Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “All the guys today showed great commitment and they executed and carried out the way we planned the game.”

View highlights of the match on mlsnet.com

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls (6-6-7, 25 pts.) vs. DC United (8-9-1, 25 pts)
Aug. 10, 2008 – Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

Scoring Summary:
DCU – Jamie Moreno 8 (Fred, Lucian Emilio) 16′
RBNY – Angel 5 (direct kick) 27′
RBNY – Magee 2, 45′
RBNY – Angel 6, 50′
RBNY – Ubiparipovic 1 (Rojas), 87′


New York Red Bulls – Jon Conway, Kevin Goldthwaite, Gabriel Cichero, Jeff Parke, Dave van den Bergh, Juan Pietravallo (Carlos Mendes, 50), Jorge Rojas, Seth Stammler, Luke Sassano (Chris Leitch, 73′), Mike Magee (Sinisa Ubiparipovic, 85), Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Sewell-Patterson, Diego Jimenez, Danleigh Borman, Andrew Boyens


DC United – Zack Wells, Brian Namoff, Pat Carroll (Gonzalo Martinez, 56′), Devon McTavish, Marc Burch, Fred, Clyde Simms, Joe Vide (Rod Dyachenko, 67′), Ivan Guerrero, Jamie Moreno, Lucian Emilio (Santino Quaranta, 46′).

Substitutes Not Used: James Thorpe, Gonzalo Peralta, Craig Thompson, Quavas Kirk.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10;SHOTS ON GOAL: 2;FOULS: 14;OFFSIDE: 2;CORNER KICKS: 3;SAVES: Wells, 3;CAUTIONS: Moreno, Guerrero, Fred, Namoff; EJECTIONS: None.

Misconduct Summary:
RBNY – Cichero (caution; reckless tackle) 12
RBNY – Pietravallo (caution, reckless foul) 14
DCU – Moreno (caution, tactical foul) 36
DCU – Guerrero (caution, reckless tackle) 69
RBNY – Rojas (caution, reckless foul) 76
DCU – Fred (caution, reckless tackle) 78
DCU – Namoff (caution, reckless foul) 89

Referee: Shane Moody
Referee’s Assistants: Thomas Supple, Nate Clement
4th official: Hilario Grajeda
Attendance: 15,038
Weather: Rain, 75 degrees

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