Tag Archive | "Player Ratings"

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Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution: Player Ratings

Posted on 01 August 2010 by stoma

Perovic scores...ASNPhilly, Lee Pease

GK Chris Seitz (6)– One would like to excuse him for failing to read the hellacious bounce from Marko Perovic’s equalizer in the 71st minute simply because it was a strange hop, but properly judging balls from the ground remains Seitz’s one glaring weakness.  There was nothing else going on around him, and the shot came from 45 yards; that’s a play he needs to make.  He needs to see that the ball is arcing down and will bounce up, not driving down to stay low off the bounce.  On the other hand, Nowak and Seitz cited a divot or other ground irregularity that made an otherwise routine save anything but.  Otherwise, a strong outing from the keeper, as he showed confidence in coming off his line when necessary and appeared to have several near misses from the Revolution covered had they stayed on frame.

RB Michael Orozco Fiscal (6.5)- Really held his own in the 1st half as he stayed back to allow Jordan Harvey to press up on the shaded half of the field.  For the first time all season, the Union did not look particularly vulnerable on the wings, and Orozco-Fiscal was a major reason why.   In the 2nd half, playing on the shaded side of the field, it was his turn to push forward, and he managed to get himself into a dangerous position several times.  Unfortunately, nothing materialized from it.

CB Danny Califf (5.5)- A solid but unspectacular game from the captain.   He made a couple of crucial clearances and a offered a successful intervention at the goal line in the 2nd half, but did not provide any helpful touches from the back to spark a buildup.  Califf seems to adopt the approach of “clear now, ask questions later”, which has certainly helped relieve the stress on his young goalkeeper, but if this team is going to continue to mature, the captain will have to eschew the cautious route more often and trust in his teammates.

CB Cristian Arrieta (6)- Found himself covering out wide early, acquitting himself well this time around.  The Union have made a noticeably concerted effort to tighten their ranks down the flanks defensively, and the men at the back executed their orders well throughout the game.   

LB Jordan Harvey (5)- Not one of his better days.  He disappeared through most of the 1st half, caught in no-man’s land between attacking and defending, instead yo-yoing his way back and forth.  When he did get the ball up front, he did not do anything particularly helpful.  During the flurry to find a winner at the end, Harvey made several sloppy touches and failed to corral a ball in the area that he could have put home.  If you’re going to press forward from the fullback position, you need to be able to improve the chances of the offense for the sacrifice to the defense to be worth.

MID Sebastien Le Toux (7) * ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH*- Appeared to take a knock in the 14th minute, coming down gingerly off a jump for an air challenge, but came back firing, drawing a corner in the 16th minute after beating the defense to the side with his speed and getting off a shot that was blocked.   He then unleashed one of the prettiest goals of the season in the 25th minute, bending the ball so much that Beckham may or may not have called at halftime for advice.  After cutting a pass inside to Danny Mwanga, he followed it to the top of the 18, took the return pass and curled it far post to the right upper corner of the goal for his 8th of the season and a 1-0 lead.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (5.5)- Another quiet, unassuming game from the league leader in that category.  He and Coudet took a decidedly more defensive role for this game as part of Nowak’s new tactical employment of the midfield.  Migs provided his usual stability in assistance to the defenders, but mostly deferred to Coudet in terms of linking to the attack.

MID Eduardo Coudet (6)- In his first league action with the Union, he actually helped on defense effectively early on.   With Miglioranzi, neutralized Sharlie Joseph and Pat Phelan throughout the 1st half.  When the team gets numbers forward, Coudet is the team’s choice to hold and deliver the ball forward from the back of the midfield, which certainly says something for the trust he has earned from his teammates and the coaching staff in his short time with the club.  Went off in the 83rd minute for Jack McInerney as the team went for the win.

MID Fred (6.5)- Almost made something out of nothing twice early on, first coming within an inch of sneaking a through ball to a wide open Danny Mwanga in the 5th minute and then on a cheeky attempted chip to Mwanga again in the 10th minute.  Was given more freedom during this game, not strictly playing the wing opposite Le  Toux, but roaming all over the offensive side of the midfield.  It appears as though Piotr Nowak has abandoned all pretenses and is simply playing Fred and Le Toux as attacking mids while Miglioranzi join the back of the formation in a glorified 4-2-2-2.  Came off for Andrew Jacobson in the 77th minute to allow Seba to head to the top as a 3rd striker.

FWD Danny Mwanga (6)- Made several threatening runs in the final third, most without the ball, a sure sign of his continuing development.  Showed real strength in holding off Emmanuel Osei before leaving the ball off to Le Toux in the 25th for the goal, despite being less than 100% with an illness.  This ultimately left him unable to go the full 90 minutes and he was replaced by Justin Mapp in the 56th minute.


FWD Alejandro Moreno (5)-
The slide to obscurity in this offensive unfortunately continues for Alejandro.  As the long balls are increasingly being used to spring Mwanga or allow Le Toux to use his pace, Ale’s style of holding up is finding less and less use with every passing game.   While he did play an integral role in setting up a number of the shots towards the end of the game, that situation is not typical and Moreno needs to find his role on this team before it is too late.

FWD Justin Mapp (5.5)– Came on in his debut for Mwanga in the 56th minute.  Seemed a bit bewildered at the prospect of stepping on the field for a team other than the Chicago Fire, but that will pass with time.  And when it does, the Union are going to have a perfect blend of youth and experience to complement breakout star Sebastien Le Toux.  For now, however, Mapp was not able to get into the flow of the offense and missed a couple of clear chances by a fair bit.  Count on things going up from here.

MID Andrew Jacobson (5.5)- Came on for Fred in the 77th minute and provided his usual injection of energy.  At this point in the season, it is fair to say that Jacobson, Shea Salinas and Nick Zimmerman create the most excitement when one sees them warming on the sideline preparing to enter the game.  You just know these three are going to go hard for whatever limited time they have on the pitch and sell out to help their team succeed.

FWD Jack McInerney (N/A)- Came on for Coudet in the 83rd minute.  Was involved in pushing play forward to go for the winner, but did not make a significant impact on the game.

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Philadelphia Union vs. Celtic FC: Player Ratings

Posted on 16 July 2010 by stoma

GK Brad Knighton (5.5)- First start in live action for the Union.  Looked a little skittish early, but seemed buoyed by the fact that he was getting touches in non-pressure situations through the 1st half.

LB Jordan Harvey (6.5)– Celtic appeared to be shutting down the left flank by strategy, perhaps as a result of scouting tape of the Union prior to the match.  Seemed frustrated in the 1st half by the lack of touches and buildup coming through him.  Frustration culminated in a hard challenge to the back of a Celtic attacked in the midfield that earned him a caution in the 37th minute.

CB Cristian Arrieta (6)- Looking more comfortable paired with captain Danny Califf, continued to press closer to the attackers instead of giving space to get comfortable and create. Solid game.

CB Danny Califf (6.5)- Not a lot of action for the central defenders through the 1st half.  Looked a bit shaky on a clearance approximately 30 meters away, but nothing too dangerous came of it.  In the 2nd half, however, the captain really shined.  Early on, with the other 6 field players replaced with youth and only the regular back four intact,

RB Michael Orozco Fiscal (5.5)- Played well on the offensive end when he received the ball in space, but still does not look particularly comfortable pressing up from the fullback position.  Despite his misgivings or lack of natural instinct, he joined the attack in earnest in the limited chances the Union were able to create in the 2nd half.

MID Fred (6)- Really enjoys playing alongside midfielders he can count on to perform holding duties so that he can concentrate on linking the attack, getting into a dangerous position himself, and creating.  Hopefully, we’re beginning to see a shape Piotr Nowak and staff can count on to produce more goals in the last two-thirds of the season.

MID Eduardo Coudet (6)- Making his first appearance in a Union uniform. Played aside Miglioranzi in the center of the diamond the 4 midfielders form.  Seemed a bit uneven at the outset, laying off and going for long balls instead of maintaining the buildup, but showed patience when he found himself in space just atop the penalty box.  He managed to hold the ball just long enough to allow Sebastien Le Toux to find space along the defensive line, then put the ball through beautifully to put Seba in for the game’s only goal.  At 35, not sure what promise this journeyman shows as part of a developing franchise, but on this night, he looked to be a stabilizing force.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (5.5)- Whether with Jacobson, as we had seen in the prior couple of matches, or tonight with trialist Eduardo Coudet, looks incredibly solid when paired with another pure holding midfielder.  The team really takes shape when it’s Migs and another true central midfielder in the middle of the diamond.

MID Roger Torres (5.5) – Lively and energetic, but didn’t really get a chance to produce anything before being injured, carried off the field and subbed for in the 44th minute.   The way he was working channels leads one to believe that he may have created something had he been able to stay on the pitch.

FWD Danny Mwanga (5.5)- The nightmare continued, as he had two consecutive chances early on that were shut down by opposing keeper Dominic Cervi.  As was also the case against San Jose, his touches intended for others around the area were somewhat lacking.

FWD Sebastien Le Toux (6.5) – Was able to find space early, seemed a bit more patient despite the frustration he faced against San Jose last time out.  Paid off in the 23rd minute when he sat level with the center back before receiving a pass from trialist Eduardo Coudet, shaking goalkeeper Dominic Cervi with a hard cut right, and putting it home to open (and close) the scoring.

Substitutions:

MID Andrew Jacobson (6)– Came on for injured Roger Torres in the 44th minute.  Looked eager to shoot; unfortunately, he may have been the only one, as the offense sputtered with the most inexperienced group on the pitch for the 2nd half.

GK Brian Perk (6.5) * ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH *- Came on at halftime for his first appearance of the season, and only managed to completely electrify the crowd while withstanding a late barrage of shots when Celtic’s pride came to life. First impressions are often the most lasting, and we could be seeing the makings of a fan favorite here.  Showed the decisiveness that Chris Seitz lacked at the start of the season right from his first minute.  We join everyone else in waiting with baited breath for his next appearance.

FWD Nick Zimmerman (5.5)- Came on at halftime.   Looks natural at the top of the attack and very apparently enjoys the space he finds.  However, like most of the young attacking talent, he lacks the creative final touches and passes

FWD Jack McInerney (5.5)- Came on at halftime and showed that, despite his youth, showed that he is already the most polished of the teen contingent this side of Danny Mwanga.  Him and practice partner Nick Zimmerman featured some solid combos but were unable to work the final pass to get through to a real chance.  Jack Mac continues to impress.

MID Amobi Okugo (5)- Came on at halftime and looked the most comfortable of the young midfielders.  Presumably, these gentlemen have been working together steadily on the practice field, and Okugo appeared most ready to make that translate over to live game action.

MID Toni Stahl (4)- Came on at halftime and reprised his First Kick cameo, featuring several reckless slide tackles that eventually drew him a yellow card followed by a second and his second sending off in as many appearances for the Union.  We’d be surprised to see Stahl step on the field in a Philadelphia uniform again anytime soon, if ever.

MID JT Noone (5.5)- Came on at halftime for his first appearance in a Philadelphia uniform (or that of any MLS team, for that matter)  Appeared to have some difficulty adjusting to the speed of the game and got knocked off the ball a few times, but the natural talent is evident and here’s hoping we see more of this kid soon.

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Philadelphia Union vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Player Ratings

Posted on 11 July 2010 by stoma

Chris Seitz (GK) 6: Seriously looked in control, marshaling his defense into the proper position and directing traffic throughout the game.  Ultimately, tough to judge Seitz’s performance here.  While things such as his perfectly struck goal kick leading to Fred’s goal, his direction of the defense on balls coming through to him, and his strong play on set pieces play as high positives, he only saw 3 shots on goal and 2 of them ended up in the back of the net.  Look for continuing positive progression, however, as the blame for either goal could not be honestly be placed at his feet.

Michael Orozco Fiscal (RB) 6- After being returning from his suspension, he stepped right in and confidently struck a long shot that barely missed in the 12th minute.   For the rest of the game, however, he was tasked with holding back for the most part while his opposite wing, Jordan Harvey, took on the offensive responsibilities asked of the wing backs.

Danny Califf (CB) 6.5: He and Chris Seitz are really clicking now. The continuity of the relationship is beginning to show and, despite his demonstrative nature, one cannot help but note that the captain has been a calming influence on his goalkeeper, if not, unfortunately, the other members of the back four.   If there is a failing with Califf, it is an apparent failure to lead communication amongst his fellow defenders.  He is great at going it alone, single-handedly stopping and clearing several potential attacks per game.  But, when coordination is required, such as on the eventual equalizer at the end of the 1st half, Danny has not quite proven his mettle for this team yet.

Cristian Arrieta (CB) 5.5: As has sadly become a pattern this season, his failure to cover for the wing backs pressing up led to Cornell Glen running unmolested to the front of the goal and easily putting away the pass from Chris Wondolowski in the 46th minute to tie up the game at the time.  However, he was able to break his nasty habit of laying off strikers and giving them room to operate, stepping up and blocking a couple of attempted shots in the 2nd half.

Jordan Harvey (LB) 6.5: Much like during the Seattle game, asked to push up from the back in the 1st half, almost creating a 2nd goal on a cross from the left side in the 37th minute.  Really seems to have developed a feel for where the attackers want the ball served.  Caught up in the 46th minute when Wondolowski received a long ball and found Cornell Glen, compounded by the fact that Arrieta never picked Glen up and let him run free to the mouth of the goal for the equalizer.  Was asked to handle most of the offensive responsibilities from the back without recent wing back partner Shea Salinas in the starting lineup.

Fred (MID) 7 *ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH*: In a bit of a tactical change, Fred began the game as an attacking midfielder on the left wing.  This paid off in the 14th minute when he received Danny Mwanga’s flick-on of a goal kick in stride and banged it home past Jon Busch to open the scoring.  Almost scored a spectacular 2nd goal in the 37th minute on a volley of Jordan Harvey’s cross that went just wide of the far post.  Was able to move to the middle when Salinas came on in the 65th minute.  From there, he provided his unique mix of holding and creating, using his considerable dribbling ability to link the midfield with the attack.  Came off for extra striker Jack McInerney in the 81st minute.

Stefani Miglioranzi (MID) 6: Another quiet yet effective game for Miglioranzi.  An excellent job of holding the ball in the midfield until others could join him from the back and another stellar job of serving as the de facto 5th defender.  In danger of being taken for granted as a result of his uncanny consistency, but every bit a necessary stabilizing force for this burgeoning squad.

Sebastien Le Toux (MID) 6: For possibly the first time this season, it could honestly be said that Seba looked off in the 1st half tonight.  He had a series of unproductive touches in the final third and inexplicably stopped a run that would have put him in on a through-ball from Andrew Jacobson.  He appeared to come to life early in the 2nd half when he chased down a ball from Ale Moreno intended for Danny Mwanga and created a scoring chance from it.  For the rest of the way, looked his pacy, energetic self but, like Mwanga, failed to finish his numerous chances.

Andrew Jacobson (MID 6)- Looked to actively participate in the offense, taking a long shot in the 16th and nearly hitting Le Toux on a lovely through ball later on in the 1st half.  Jacobson could develop into the reliable option at one of the wing midfield spots that this team has been seeking, having already run through Shea Salinas, Roger Torres and Kyle Nakazawa along with the core 3 with uneven results.  Was not able to make as influential an impact in the 2nd half, ultimately leading to his coming off for Salinas in the 65th minute.

Danny Mwanga (FWD) 6.5: The touches are still brilliant, and every time he is in the proximity of a 50/50 ball, you just feel as though he’s going to win it, but after his torrid scoring stretch, there was bound to be a game where he got his chances but just could not finish.  This was it.  All told, he still had a pretty darn good game, with an assist on Fred’s goal by way of a flick-on of Chris Seitz’s goal kick.  Still needs to work on his touches in the final third when creating his own shot is not the end desire.

Alejandro Moreno (FWD) 5: Didn’t really get into this one, as he seemed off his rhythm and not quite 100%, managing only to get into an ongoing tiff with referee Abiodun Okulaja before being taken off for Roger Torres in the 55th minute.  While he did successfully hold up two or three balls in the final third, he was not able to get rid of them as quickly as normal for him.  After the match, Piotr Nowak confirmed that Ale’s knee was not, in fact, completely healed yet.

Roger Torres (MID) 5.5: Came on for Alejandro Moreno in the 55th minute.  Sure, he misfired on an attempted final pass or two , but he also provided several highly productive balls, most notably a feathery chip that sent Sebastien Le Toux in against the keeper in the 87th minute. While it is clear that he will not be winning his starting job back any time soon, there were good signs in short bursts for the soon-to-be 19 year-old.

Shea Salinas (MID) 5.5: Came on for Andrew Jacobson in the 65th minute.  Seemed determined to provide a spark off the bench, as he really participated in the peppering of the San Jose goal in the last half hour of the game.  Was especially adept at finding space on the wings in the final third and sending numerous balls across the goal mouth.

Jack McInerney (FWD) 5.5: Came on for Fred in 81st minute. Albeit only in for about 13 minutes of action, but really showed his highest level of confidence and physicality to date.  Lost possession once and tracked all the way back until he won the ball back; another time he absorbed a body blow that has been regularly knocking him off the ball and successfully dished the ball to his right.  Good signs for Jack Mac, who could develop into a supersub for this team.

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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: 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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Player ratings: Sounders 1, RBNY 0

Posted on 16 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls lost their first home game of the season Saturday night, succumbing to the Seattle Sounders by a 1-0 score. The decisive goal came in the 85th minute off the foot of Fredy Montero. It was an all-around disappointing performance by the Red Bulls, who despite what some players might say did not do enough to win. Here are the individual player ratings.

Bouna Condoul: 3
Sometimes you know after one play the type of game a player is going to have. Coundoul, whose psyche appears more fragile than others’ at times, is one of those players. (Why you want a guy like that tending your goal is another question entirely). Here the play in question came in the very first minute of play, when he handled the ball outside of the 18-yard box. Looked incredibly shaky on crosses and there was that one play where he was bailed out by Danleigh Borman. He’s taking his goal kicks now, but not to much improved effect. Can also fault him for being out of position on the goal, though Mike Petke is clearly the greater culprit. Well, him and the referee for calling the decisive free kick in the first place.

Jeremy Hall: 6
Actually seemed to keep Steve Zakuani in check. Or did Seattle not try to launch Zakuani? Hard to say, but give Hall credit for holding his ground when he was called on. Did little for the team’s attack, which can be expected with the confusion Richards and Angel were creating. But had a chance to make a cross late in the half and did so poorly, playing it long where only Kasey Keller could catch it. Was excellent late in the game. Something to build on, perhaps. Which is more than you can say about just about any of his teammates.

Mike Petke: 5.5
Largely solid until the deciding play of the game, though did not look good on a first half chance where Zakuani narrowly missed the far corner of the goal. But should have done a lot better against Montero on the goal. Of course that’s easier said than done; Montero was fresh, just 10 minutes after entering. Petke was tired. A fresh Petke might have made the play. And he’s what, 10 years older than Montero? Also Condoul did him no favors on the play.

Tim Ream: 6
Played his position well, did a good job cleaning up the Red Bulls’ defense, passed the ball well; in short it was the type of performance we have come to appreciate from the rookie. Went a long way toward proving the performance at San Jose was a fluke. Well done.

Danleigh Borman: 6.5
Was beaten by Nyassi several times in the first half and stumbled when he should have launched Angel right on the stroke of halftime. But terrific effort recovering a Condoul mishap early in the second half. And did well later in the second also, keeping the underwear model in check and largely shutting his side of the field down.

Dane Richards: 3
Few “Dane being Dane” moments (when he puts his head down and sprints to the endline) but that does not mean he had a good match. Far from it, in fact. Turned over a ball early on that led to a Seattle counter-attack that was broken up at the last moment by Borman probably getting away with a foul on the former underwear model. Later took a ball away from Robinson that the Welshman could have fired on (if not into) goal. Decision-making questionable or worse. Didn’t contribute anything to the team’s attack and didn’t do much for its defense either.

Carl Robinson: 5.5
His best game as a New York Red Bull. Positioned himself well, made some key tackles, even had a few nice passes. Others were badly taken, however and a few of these could have launched attacks had they been on the money. Also should have been more on the spot on the decisive free kick, but then it was a questionable call to begin with.

Joel Lindpere: 5.5
Had some excellent moments in the first half, then disappeared, only to resurface in the 70th minute when he dove trying to draw a penalty. Yes it was a dive, though there was a little contact. Having re-watched the play on video, I can now make a more definitive assessment than I made on Twitter. Would have liked to see more of him. This is a common complaint about the Estonian Express, though the formation in the second half seemed to confuse a lot of people, him included.

Seth Stammler: 4
Granted left midfield is not his preferred position, but this effort was insufficient. His offensive forays were frankly pathetic. But again: attacking is not his game. Have to question the decision to play him at this position in a home match. Surely there were better options, even if it meant moving Lindpere out there and starting, say Tony Tchani in Lindpere’s spot.

Salou Ibrahim: 3
Looked lost. What was with the breakaway in the first half where he held up to square the ball? Don’t you try to rush to goal in those situations? Didn’t do anywhere near enough before leaving the match shortly after halftime. Hopefully his injury isn’t serious. Otherwise we could be seeing John Wolyniec or Conor Chinn in his spot.

Juan Pablo Angel: 2
His mobility is about nil at this point, so why is he running all over the pitch? Showed up at very strange positions, which may have contributed to Ibrahim’s confusion (see above). Spent a lot of time complaining about service, but didn’t make any runs other than to track back into midfield where his presence was about as welcome as an illegitimate child at Easter dinner. Quickly turning into a pathetic figure, hobbling around with what appear to be backpains (or something) trying to direct traffic and complaining to refs and teammates alike. (In fairness he had some valid complaints, particularly with Dane Richards). But things are going to come to a head soon on this. They’re going to have to. More on that in the Good, Bad, Dead, Red column tomorrow.

Substitutes:
Brian Nielsen: 5

Had a few good runs toward the end of the match but could have done a lot more. Obviously struggled to fit into the second forward spot and looked pathetic throwing himself onto the ground in search for a call. MLS refs are bad, but they aren’t that bad. And they’ll err on the side of playing on, too.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 4.5
Saw a lot of the ball after entering for Dane Richards, but did little with it. A few times made completely errant passes. Did have a nice cross that Nielsen should have done more with, however.

Tony Tchani: N/A

Did not play anywhere near enough (three minutes plus stoppage) to generate a rating.

More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Mike Petke makes his feelings known on the match

Photo gallery

Red Bull New York statement re: PATH station

Discuss the game on our forum, where you can also share your stories from the PATH fiasco.

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Chinn brace sees Baby Bulls past Philly in USOC prelim (updated with player ratings)

Posted on 27 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

New York Red Bulls rookie Conor Chinn has reasons to smile. Two of them, in fact, for the number of goals he scored for his team in Tuesday night’s frigid US Open Cup play-in game against the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls fielded a squad made up almost entirely of second-stringers, but still dominated the match against the Union, who played almost all starters. In the end the 2-1 scoreline did no justice to the team’s performance–probably its best of the season.

Enjoy this photo of Chinn celebrating one of his goals with teammate Andrew Boyens. Listen to Hans Backe’s postgame press conference, if you haven’t already or skip to the player ratings at the bottom of this page.

Andrew Boyens congratulates Conor Chinn on one of his goals Tuesday night ©Scott Marsh/ASN

Player Ratings

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest.

Greg Sutton 5.5
Looked a bit stiff. And there was the goal, which he should have done more to prevent. Bouna Time will return.

Luke Sassano: 7
Played well. The assist was a thing of beauty. Easily the team’s best goal of the season. Clearly has skills. Also did well after being switched to centerback though there were one or two moments late in the match where he was caught flat footed.

Carlos Mendes: 5
Didn’t make any egregious mistakes but did not look at all comfortable out there. Didn’t move well. Clearly not match fit. Would expect him to be the first player cut at this point.

Andrew Boyens: 7
Solid. Didn’t notice any crucial errors (but will probably need to see a replay of Sebastien Le Toux’ goal to be sure. Seemed to move a little better than I remember.

Danleigh Borman: 7.5
Shut his side of the field down and also provided good service to the attack. Made some nice runs. A serviceable left midfielder or left back for sure.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 5
Yeah he got an assist on the second goal but it was Stammler and Sassano (and obviously Chinn) who did the heavy lifting. Did a few things right but more often than not seemed to be holding up the flow of the team’s passing game. Also blew what would have been a 3-on-1 in the second half and had several other chances go wanting.

Seth Stammler: 8.5
Provided leadership, poise and serenity to the team’s game. A pillar in defensive midfield and additionally a lynchpin for its attacks. This would have been a completely different game without him–and not in a good way. The man of the match. Now why isn’t he starting again?

Tony Tchani: 8
After a few nervous moments in the opening minutes he came on strong. Dominated the flow of the game at times. This is a guy who has size, strength, but also solid technical ability and vision to boot. A Jozy Altidore of the midfield–if he were five or six years younger. Even so, he could be a dominant player in MLS, perhaps even soon.

Brian Nielsen: 6.5
Had some nice moves in the early going but ran out of gas. Also got a bit sloppy and generally seems to lack creativity. Perhaps that is also due to not knowing his teammates well yet. Needs to get match fit. It’ll come.

Juan Agudelo: 6
Not a bad first start but would have liked to see more of him. Seemed tentative, which it turns out was due to a knock he picked up in practice. “A collision with the goalkeeper” that had him in the hospital for stomach tests Tuesday morning. Turns out it was just badly bruised. Showed excellent ball and body control though. Will be a special player someday. Kid’s only 17, remember.

Conor Chinn: 7
The weird thing about Chinn is he does not stand out for his pace or skill on the ball or even his size–just his ability to score goals. We saw this in the preseason. He simply has a nose for goal and is able to do what it takes, whether by hook or crook, to get the ball into the net. Both goals were examples of this: him making the run, getting himself in position, then seeing the play through. Of course he also missed plenty of chances too, particularly in the second half. Should have ended up with four or five goals.

Subs:
Albright: 8
Looked very solid at right back. Defended very well. Broke up plays and stayed in front of his man. In other words: all the stuff Jeremy Hall is unable to do. Looking forward to seeing him start the San Jose game next week.

Woly: 4
Looked a bit lost. Did nothing to contribute to the team’s attack and was tentative when he did have the ball. Perhaps still nursing injuries.

Da Luz: 4
That backheel was nice but otherwise disappointed. Didn’t even seem to keep his position. Misplayed several balls. It’s hard to come into a game cold but was expecting more from him.

Garcia: N/A
Kid has pace though. Could be a good player some day.

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Match Facts

Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, April 27, 2009
Lamar Hunt US Open play-in game

Scoring Summary
NY — Conor Chinn (unassisted) 16
NY — Conor Chinn (Sassano, Ubiparipovic) 41
PHI — Sébastien Le Toux (Arrieta) 68

Misconduct Summary
PHI — Jacobson (yellow card) 31
NY — Borman (yellow card) 66
NY — Boyens (yellow card) 81

Lineups

Philadelphia: Seitz, Salinas, Orozco, Califf, Stahl (Arrieta), Torres (Moreno), Jacobson, Okugo, Zimmerman (Miglioranizi), Mwanga, McInerney (Le Toux).

New York: Sutton, Sassano, Mendes (Albright), Boyens, Borman, Ubiparipovic (García), Stammler, Tchani, Nielsen (da Luz), Agudelo (Wolyniec), Chinn.

Attendance: 3,015

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RBNY player ratings from 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Union

Posted on 25 April 2010 by ASN Staff

It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Red Bulls got the job done Saturday night at their namesake arena in Harrison, N.J., prevailing 2-1 again just as they did the week before against FC Dallas. This time, the victim was the expansion Philadelphia Union. ASN provides player ratings for all 11 RBNY starters. You are invited to assign a letter grade to the ratings to help us gauge their accuracy. Ratings are from 1-10 with 10 being highest. When you’re done here be sure to check out the photo gallery.

Condoul – 5
Wasn’t called on to make the really big saves he made in the FC Dallas match and the goal wasn’t really his fault either. Still, disappointed with his play away from his line in general and on crosses in particular. And what’s with the goal kicks?

Hall – 6
Better than the Dallas game but still not very secure as a right back. Let Le Toux behind him on the tying goal. Nice assist but was he really targeting Ibrahim with it? It’s irrelevant because it resulted in a goal and he deserves the assist. Besides quality crosses, even ones played into a general area, have been lacking. And he placed this one exactly right. But his passing was good and made some nice runs forward.

Petke – 5
Not a great game by Mike, who misplayed several balls that led to Philly chances. Also not sure what his deal is with booting the ball upfield every time he gets it. Don’t you want to move it around a bit and try to break down the opposing team’s defense?

Ream – 6.5
Maybe it’s because we expect so much from him after those first few games, but can’t help but be a little disappointed in this performance. Out of position several times on transition. Nearly committed a turnover on the last play of the game that would have been fatal, but not an isolated incident. Too much fancy dribbling in his own box. It’s okay to just boot those upfield sometimes. Petke does it all the time.

Miller: 4
The tying goal was made possible by him committing himself on an ill-timed overlapping run. It’s fine and good to attack with a 1-0 lead (especially at home) but that’s just foolish. Wasn’t his steady self at other times either. Spotted a few times of him “swinging and missing” at balls and sending crosses into the stands.

Richards: 5
A few decent plays, particularly defensively. But was mainly neutralized by Salinas. How? Easy: play back a few steps and open up his left side. He can’t use his left foot even to push the ball to the inside, it appears. If he could he would do a lot more damage. Instead he just puts his head down and sprints to the endline. At least now he appears to have the presence of mind to try a cross, which more often than not is played behind for a corner. There are worse things, but he also had several poorly-played balls when the team had space and numbers on counter attacks. Just not doing enough with all the balls he gets. Please play it down the left side more, because the guy there appears to have real talent. More on him in a bit.

Robinson: 3
Pretty much completely clueless out there. Lost his touch, his mobility is long gone, and he has no strength on the ball. Can’t even seem to put his body in a position for much of anything. What you’re left with is a holding midfielder who can’t hold the ball (or pass it for that matter). Other than that he’s fine. Can Seth Stammler not provide an improvement? Or Sinisa Ubiparipovic for that matter?

Joel Lindpere: 7
The midfield engine for the Red Bulls. Should have had an assist but Juan Pablo Angel uncharacteristically blew a chance from point blank range. Worked hard on both ends of the pitch. Looking more and more at home in Hans Backe’s formation. Also one of the only guys on the team who seems to know how to switch the ball.

Brian Nielsen: 6.5
A lynchpin on the left side. Why didn’t the team play the ball to him more? Especially rather than to Richards? Seems very strong technically and has terrific pace. His ideas need work, but that’s to be expected at this very early stage. Could be a special player for the Red Bulls once he figures out his teammates.

Ibrahim: 7
Much, much better than the Dallas game. Had more energy, made more runs, found spots in the Union defense. Then there was the goal he scored, exactly the way you’d hope a player of his size and strength to score one: by outmuscling his defender(s) and heading the ball into the net. Could have done some things better but we’ll take this level of improvement.

Angel: 5
Converted the penalty kick with gusto, but that’s about all the good things we can say about his performance. That blown chance toward the end of the first half was bad enough. Seemed lethargic, or hurt, or both. Was a step or two behind where he needed to be. Also didn’t pass the ball well when he was in a position to. Something’s up. He’s clearly playing hurt. Is it his back? Seems to be playing that way, but that’s an uneducated hunch based on cursory observations from somebody with no medical background.

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RBNY 2, FC Dallas 1: Player ratings, man of the match

Posted on 18 April 2010 by ASN Staff

You’ve read the match report and had a morning to reflect on what was a highly improbable New York Red Bulls victory. Now check out the player ratings. All 11 starters are rated, including those who barely registered (you know who you are Salou Ibrahim). The man of the match was easy: Bouna Condoul. We’ll start with him:

Bouna Condoul: 9
If it weren’t for Atiba Harris’ second-half header off the crossbar (Condoul was caught off his line on that play was very nearly punished) there would be little to keep him from a perfect score. Several saves from point-blank range were world class but his play away from his line was greatly improved as well. So were his goal kicks, for that matter. A stellar performance. If he can continue to develop his position (i.e. non shot stopping) play there’s really nothing keeping this guy from becoming one of the great goalkeepers.

Jeremy Hall: 3
A sieve at right back. Hopeless at times against Harris and Heath Pearce and later Eric Avila. His overlapping runs went nowhere (and not because Richards didn’t pass to him. They simply weren’t timed very well). Did not always recover in times from these runs either. A few times this was almost fatal. Bottom line: This guy is a major liability at right back. It took a world class performance from his keeper, and a lot of luck, to keep him from costing the team the game. Next time they won’t be so lucky. When is Chris Albright eligible?

Mike Petke: 5
Way too many mistakes, both in committing turnovers, poor first touches (one of these in fact led to the McCarty goal) and blown defensive assignments. In fairness he had to cover for Hall several times, which could not have been easy. And did well deflecting or clearing a few balls into the box. But overall a disappointing performance. Hopefully it was a one-off.

Tim Ream: 6
Let Cunningham get behind him on a play in the second half that would have been a goal had it not been for Condoul. Also some of those long balls end up going nowhere (though a few are pretty impressive). But very strong at other times. Even covered Petke on some of his mistakes. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?

Roy Miller: 6
Generally very strong on both sides of the ball. A steadying influence on defense and skilled at settling the team when it had the ball in its own third. Offensively had many good ideas and well-timed overlapping runs. Should have had an assist in the first half but Ibrahim whiffed on his cross. But it was he who was beaten on Harris’ header off the crossbar and Harris also beat him to a headball later. There’s not really an excuse for that.

Dane Richards: 7
His best game of the regular season by far. Sure there were a few “Dane Richards” moments, but these were by and large limited to the first half. A strong performance defensively; bailed out Hall (who clearly needed the help) a number of times. Had some very good passes into space and even a few terrific crosses, such as the one that led the the Red Bulls first penalty. What’s this? Dane Richards crossing the ball? To effect? Believe it. Of course in the past three years every time Richards looked like he was on the verge of breaking out he relapsed into the Dane Richards of old in the next performance. But something to build on, clearly.

Seth Stammler: 5
Had some nice tackles but when the opposing team attacks and creates as many chances as FC Dallas did in the first 10 minutes you’ve got to look at your defensive midfielder. And where was Stammler, when he should have been providing leadership and a calming influence to the back four? Ball watching a few times, caught out of position at others.

Joel Lindpere: 8
His best game since Chicago. His energy and work rate were terrific. Great play on the equalizer. Wouldn’t be surprised if he led the team in touches. Also helped out a lot defensively with some key tackles.

Macoumba Kandji: 5.5
Did a few things well. His passing was generally strong (it was he who launched Lindpere on the tying goal) with a few glaring exceptions, telegraphing passes etc. On the whole, didn’t do enough and turned the ball over too much. Also had a few chances he should have done better with. Brian Nielsen, whoever he is, is sorely needed.

Salou Ibrahim: 3
If his name wasn’t on the game sheet you wouldn’t know he was in the game at all. Almost completely invisible. Had one solid chance in the first half that was not due to his work (but Roy Miller’s). Hans Backe said he was tired. Whatever it was, he needs to change it, pronto, or there’s no use in starting him. Or playing him at all for that matter.

Juan Pablo Angel: 6.5
Much, much better from the team’s star and I’m not even talking about the goals. His first touch was much better, he seemed to have more energy and better mobility than in the previous three games. The first goal looked easy but it required vast amounts of skill and guile to find the seam in the defense, notice that the goalkeeper was cheating toward one side, and then send the ball into the opposite corner on a one-timer. That’s why this guy gets paid the big bucks and that’s why the team needs him in the lineup even when he’s not at full strength. Also showed nerves of steel on the second penalty. So why doesn’t he get a better rating? Not because of the first penalty; sure, it could have been taken better but Sala really pulled a rabbit out of his hat with the save. The reason is he just isn’t JPA yet; not only is he tentative (though less so) but also wanders around weird parts of the pitch (such as defensive midfield) at strange times. Also he’s still very weak on the ball and this resulted in numerous turnovers, particularly in the first half.

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Condoul costs Bulls first loss of the season

Posted on 10 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Just like that, the New York Red Bulls’ fast start is history.

Bouna Condoul © Scott Marsh/ASN

It ended in a fashion fans of the team are all too familiar with: on defensive miscues and squandered opportunities. New York goalkeeper Bouna Condoul was the goat this time, scoring an embarrassing own-goal early in the second half. His team never recovered and eventually lost 2-0 at Chivas USA.

Condoul’s gaffe was without doubt the most egregious mishap of the day. But his poor play had plenty of company. The team never really seemed to find its rhythm, though it came close late in both halves. Part of this was due to the play of the hosts, who controlled the possession with patient build-up.
When the visitors did have the ball their only option seemed to be Dane Richards, the fleet but vapid right midfielder. Predictably, these went nowhere. (More on Richards and individual performances in the player ratings below).

Still, the Red Bulls had their opportunities in the first half. Macoumba Kandji had two free headers he should have buried. The first came off of a corner, the second from a terrific cross by Joel Lindpere. The second was probably the visiting team’s best sequence of the entire match. But for the most part, the Red Bulls had few ideas going forward and anyway seemed content to let Chivas control the tempo. This is a perfectly fine tactic on the road against a team in danger of an 0-3 start, and for a little while it even seemed to work. But New York’s defense was porous and Chivas had their chances. Chukwudi Chijindu alone could (and probably should) have scored twice in the first half for the hosts (then again, Kandji should have done the same for the visitors).

The Red Bulls’ luck ran out in the 47th minute. Condoul clearly deserves the blame for the goal, but he is by no means the only guilty party on the play. Start with Jeremy Hall, who gave Chijindu way too much space on the left wing. Hall was expecting the UConn product to go toward the endline but even then was too far away to have any effect. Richards’ run to help Hall was far too late and in his haste Richards didn’t track the trailing player, Jesus Padilla. Seth Stammler, who had a solid game to that point, correctly spotted the danger brewing on the left wing (in the video replay you can see him pointing toward that part of the field) but then failed to cut off Chijindu’s passing lane and was late recovering as a result to challenge Padilla. So Chijindu, an interesting young player but by no means a star in the league, managed to monopolize three Red Bulls players on one play. Mike Petke probably should have done better deflecting the ball upfield or out of bounds, though that is admittedly a bit nitpick-y. And then Condoul did the rest.

Hans Backe, in marked contrast to the team’s first game of the season (and to Richie Williams in the second), went to his bench early. Just seven minutes after the goal he brought on Salou Ibrahim for Seth Stammler. Kandji moved to left midfield with Sinisa Ubiparipovic taking Stammler’s vacant spot at holding mid. The move clearly paid dividends, as Ibrahim had several chances that could (and in one case should) have resulted in goals. But Backe’s second and third substitutions, for Tony Tchani and Conor Chinn, respectively, had little effect. The Red Bulls threw everything forward but lacked the rhythm to develop any real chances the rest of the way. Chivas scored an “insurance goal” in stoppage time, again off of mistakes by several Red Bulls players. Speaking of which, now to the player ratings:

Player ratings

New York Red Bulls players ranked 1-10 with 10 being highest:

Condoul: 2
I’ve been saying for some time that this guy is a liability on corners and crosses. However, I’ve been quick to defend his play as a shot-stopper. So where does this gaffe fit in? Nowhere, really. It was one of those mistakes that can happen in a hair-raising moment of the match. Bouna probably panicked after seeing the ball bounce off the post and was in the unusual situation of having to go toward his line, rather than away from it, to make the save. Remember that goalies are trained to deflect the ball away from goal, so when your back is turned your instincts can get a bit fuzzy. Which is not to make any excuse for the play. Unfortunately it wasn’t even his only mishap of the game. In the first half he hesitated coming off his line and was almost caught in no-man’s land by Jonathan Bornstein. He was poorly positioned on Chivas’ second goal as well.

Hall: 4
Speaking of liabilities, this is the second straight game that Hall was owned on the right side of the pitch. He was almost entirely ineffective as a defensive player and this incompetence had a large result in both goals. He did have a few nice forays into the opposing half though and narrowly missed on a shot in the second half. Perhaps it’s time to end this experiment at right back (which remember was a Juan Carlos Osorio project). Play Hall at right midfield, where his skills will be put to better use.

Petke: 5
Can’t blame him for the first goal, but his misjudgment of a ball (off a goal kick) led in part to the second. His man-marking was a bit lackadaisical as well. Granted his job is not made any easier by having to cover for Hall all the time.

Ream: 6.5
My only critique of Ream at this point is that he needs to make his presence felt more. I know this isn’t his style but he can quickly assume a leadership position on this defense by getting more vocal for example. But that’s light criticism. Did spot some moments where he probably should have marked his man tighter, but this guy is hard to beat one-on-one.

Miller: 7

Shut his side of the field down, again. Was also effective making runs into the opposing half. Would like to see more of this, particularly when the team is down a goal. He seems to link up well with Kandji as well, when Mac plays left mid. Perhaps something for Backe to consider.

Richards: 3
His first few possessions were promising, but he quickly reverted to the Dane Richards of old. He got lucky when a few of his balls were knocked behind for corners in the first half but time and again he was the final stop for Red Bull attacks. This is just frustrating to watch. Worse, Richards did little defensively (see reporting of first goal, above). Another guy I’ve been picking on for awhile, but it’s not without reason. Needs to sit on the bench or better yet, be waived. He’s just not cutting it.

Seth Stammler: 5
Started well but also had his part in the first goal. He did make a few terrific tackles early in the game but should have read that play better.

Joel Lindpere: 6.5
First half was very strong. His cross to Kandji was a thing of beauty. Second half, not so much. Turned the ball over too many times and wasn’t able to launch many attacks, which is his primary duty to this team at this point–especially when they find themselves down a goal. A lot is expected of the Estonian Express after his first two games at Red Bull Arena. So when he even disappoints a little, you feel let down a lot. This isn’t fair, but neither is life.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 5
Did far too little at left mid. A few nice plays in the first half and that was about it. Also turned the ball over too many times. A disappointing performance.

Macoumba Kandji: 6
His play in the second half earns him this respectable grade. In the first, he blew two chances. It’s amazing that a guy this tall doesn’t head the ball better. Something to work on in training, no doubt. But Kandji just seems far more comfortable as a withdrawn forward or even attacking midfielder, as his play in the second half justifies. Did well to link up with Salou, who blew his chances.

Juan Pablo Angel: 4
Invisible. Again. It’s very sad to see this, and even tougher to say it, but here goes: Angel needs to be benched for the good of the team. He’s just not bringing it this season. Maybe he will be more effective as a late game substitute? Yes, the team deserves a lot of the blame for not getting him better service, but where are his runs? Most of the time he’s loitering around midfield.

Salou Ibrahim: 4
His entrance into the game immediately made a difference but he should have done much, much better with the chances he had. But this guy’s game appears well suited for MLS. When he begins to start on a regular basis he’ll turn it on, just watch.

Tony Tchani: 4
Did not look at all comfortable and didn’t seem to play the ball properly even once. It’s tough to get your MLS debut in a game and situation of this type, but more is expected of the youngster. He’ll get it together if he sees more time (perhaps for Dane Richards? Or hell, try him out at right back).

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Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 0, CD Chivas USA 2
April 10, 2010 – The Home Depot Center; Carson, CA
Attendance: 12,597

Scoring Summary:
CHV: Bouna Coundoul (own goal) 47’
CHV: Jesus Padilla 1 (Zach Thornton 1) 91’+

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Mike Petke (caution) 19’
CHV: Jesus Padilla (caution) 90’

Lineups:

New York Red Bulls (2-1-0) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Roy Miller (Conor Chinn 83’), Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Jeremy Hall, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Tony Tchani 77’), Joel Lindpere, Seth Stammler (Salou Ibrahim 54’), Dane Richards, Macoumba Kandji, Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Danleigh Borman, Carlos Mendes

CD Chivas USA (1-2-0) – Zach Thornton, Ante Jazic (Jesus Padilla 39’), Dario Delgado, Michael Umana, Mariano Trujillo, Jonathan Bornstein, Marcelo Saragosa, Blair Gavin, Sacha Kljestan, Chukwudi Chijindu, Maicon Santos (Maykel Galindo 58’, Michael Lahoud 77’)

Substitutes Not Used: Dan Kennedy, Yamith Cuesta, Justin Braun, Osael Romero

Officials:

Referee: Paul Ward
Referee’s Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Philippe Briere
4th Referee: Ramon Hernandez

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