Tag Archive | "Salou Ibrahim"

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Photo gallery: RBNY take Atlantic Cup

Posted on 11 July 2010 by ASN Staff

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

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

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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Back in the saddle, RBNY trounce Wizards, 3-0

Posted on 27 June 2010 by ASN Staff

Salou Ibrahim and Juan Pablo Angel combined to score three second half goals to give the New York Red Bulls an easy 3-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on Saturday night.
In their first game back after league-mandated FIFA World Cup break, the Red Bulls got their third straight victory in MLS play.

Bouna Coundoul turned in a strong performance for the visitors, recording seven saves and becoming the first goalkeeper in MLS history to record two assists in a league game.

The Red Bulls (8-5-0), whose last MLS match was a 1-0 win over Chivas USA June 5 at Red Bull Arena, stayed in a tie with Columbus for first-place in the Eastern Conference with 24 points after the Crew defeated D.C. United, 2-0, earlier in the evening. It was New York’s first victory in Kansas City since Sept. 10, 2005.

Solid defensive play dominated the first half with both teams having few chances to score. In the 21st minute, Wizards midfielder Davy Arnaud had a go from long range, but his shot was caught by Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. Five minutes earlier, Ibrahim headed a Sinisa Ubiparipovic delivery wide.

In the 25th minute, Kansas City’s Kei Kamara nearly gave the hosts the lead when he created space at the top of the penalty box and lashed an attempt just past the left post. Soon after, Ibrahim got hold of the ball near the penalty spot and rolled his shot at goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Ibrahim almost gave the Red Bulls the lead in the 30th minute with the team’s best chance of the half. Danleigh Borman had space on the left wing and whipped in a cross that Ibrahim deflected just past the right post from six yards out.

The Wizards looked to get on the board two minutes into the second half, with Josh Wolff putting Arnaud through into the box. However, the Kansas City midfielder could not put his strike on net. Later, Jack Jewsbury deflected in a Ryan Smith attempt that just missed the goal mouth.

New York took the lead in the 55th minute off a defensive miscue. Coundoul kicked it long into the Wizards’ half and the defense did not clear, as Ibrahim ran onto it and headed past Nielsen for his third goal of the season.

The game picked up after Ibrahim’s tally with Coundoul being called upon to make two saves within three minutes, first blocking away a Kamara attempt before parrying Arnaud’s blast from 20 yards out. On the other end, Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler almost doubled New York’s lead in the 58th minute when his 30-yard right-footed piledriver beat Nielsen, but slammed off the crossbar. Stammler again tested Nielsen from distance seven minutes later and the goalkeeper was able to push the Red Bull’s shot to the side.

Angel recorded his seventh goal of the season eight minutes from full time, racing onto a Coundoul pass and ripping a shot under Nielsen. The Colombian wasn’t done for the evening, notching his franchise-leading 11th multi-goal game for New York when he muscled his way past his defender, dribbled around Nielsen and slid it into the empty net.

The Wizards were reduced to 10 men in second half stoppage time, as Arnaud was shown a red card for a late tackle on midfielder Joel Lindpere.

New York returns to Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, taking on USL-2 side, the Harrisburg City Islanders, at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, PA, on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:00 PM in the tournament’s third round. The Red Bulls then travel to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday, July 4.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 3, Kansas City Wizards 0
June 26, 2010 – CommunityAmerica Ballpark; Kansas City, KS
Attendance: 10,385

Scoring Summary:
NY: Salou Ibrahim 3 (Bouna Coundoul 1) 55’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 7 (Bouna Coundoul 2) 82’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 8 (unassisted) 90’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Joel Lindpere (caution) 43’
KC: Jimmy Conrad (caution) 43’
KC: Graham Zusi (caution) 80’
KC: Davy Arnaud (ejection) 94’+

Lineups:
New York Red Bulls (8-5-0, 24 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Danleigh Borman, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Chris Albright, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Roy Miller 77’), Joel Lindpere, Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani (Mike Petke 89’), Salou Ibrahim (Conor Chinn 77’), Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton (GK), Luke Sassano, Irving Garcia, John Wolyniec

Kansas City Wizards (3-6-3, 12 pts.) –Jimmy Nielsen (GK), Michael Harrington, Aaron Hohlbein, Jimmy Conrad, Chance Myers, Craig Rocastle (Graham Zusi 66’), Jack Jewsbury (Teal Burnbury 71’), Davy Arnaud, Ryan Smith, Josh Wolff (Birahim Diop 84’), Kei Kamara

Substitutes Not Used: Eric Kronberg (GK), Matt Besler, Jonathan Leathers, Korede Aiyegbusi

Officials:
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Thomas Supple, Peter Manikowski
4th Referee: Geoff Gamble

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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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Thierry Henry will not be available for the Crew Thursday…

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

…neither will Salou Ibrahim or Carl Robinson. Or for that matter Austin da Luz, who will miss six weeks with a “Jones fracture” on his left foot. This information courtesy of the New York Red Bulls official Twitter account.

So where does that leave us?

With very few options in attack, for one. Juan Pablo Angel will almost certainly start. Not that there was any doubt before. But who will be paired with him on the front line? John Wolyniec? Perhaps the most realistic alternative. Brian Nielsen? That experiment didn’t exactly go well against the Sounders. Conor Chinn? He’s behind the aforementioned on Hans Backe’s depth chart. Dane Richards? Don’t laugh, it could happen.

Of course the choice of a striker partner for Angel depends in no small part on the midfield lineup. Hopefully Backe has had enough of the Seth Stammler at left midfield experiment. Regardless, Stammler is more urgently needed to fill Robinson’s spot of holding midfielder at this point. Does that mean Nielsen starts at left mid? One would expect so given his “deer in the headlights” performance at forward on Saturday.

Stammler is by no means a shoe-in to start at holding midfielder, however. Tony Tchani has played well in the role recently, especially in his one start at San Jose. This one is an open question and I don’t suspect Backe himself has decided on it at this point.

What about right mid? From Dane Richards’ early substitution from the Sounders match it would appear that Backe is finally on to his (numerous) shortcomings. Whether that translates into a benching is an entirely different matter of course.

I think one can reasonably expect Backe to roll the dice with Jeremy Hall in right midfield, for the following reasons:

  • Hall has been a good soldier and deserves his chance to start at his preferred position
  • He played effectively at the position in last week’s U.S. Open Cup win over New England
  • An element of surprise or unpredictability is needed against the Columbus Crew. Hall provides a spark at the position that other options (Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dane Richards) do not.

That would leave Wolyniec or perhaps Richards as Angel’s striker partner. But if Backe doesn’t like what he’s seeing from Richards at right midfield it is doubtful he would want him as a forward. Wolyniec is old reliable. You know exactly what you’re going to get. And he and Angel have trained and played together for more than three years.

Don’t expect Bouna Condoul to sit either, even though he probably should. Conor Chinn will likely make the bench along with Ubiparipovic, Stammler (if he doesn’t start), Tchani (if Stammler does), Carlos Mendes and perhaps Irving Garcia.

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 17 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Welcome to the eighth installment of this feature, which will run within a day or two of the team’s last game, this season. Today we focus on the New York Red Bulls’ 1-0 defeat to Seattle on Saturday. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good:
Danleigh Borman. After some difficulties in the opening minutes he got more comfortable as the game wore on. His goalline save, where he bailed out Bouna Condoul, was class.

Carl Robinson may just be a serviceable midfielder after all. Had his best game as a Red Bull. Granted that isn’t saying much but we’ll take what we can get. Little victories.

Jeremy Hall actually had a decent defensive game. For whatever reason Seattle chose not to have Steve Zakuani attack his part of the field. The few times they did it went nowhere.

The Bad:
Juan Pablo Angel. I’ve said it before: This guy can’t move. But it goes beyond that. He can no longer play his role as target striker. Instead he is caught in some kind of existential struggle to redefine his position. This is why you see him in midfield where (presumably) his body takes less of a pounding and where he does not have to engage defenders (even slow ones like Leo Gonzalez) in foot races. Except, this just causes more problems for the actual guys playing midfield. Specifically, it makes Joel Lindpere’s job much more difficult as he suddenly has to compete for balls with Angel and has less space to operate. Lindpere, lest we forget, is the team’s best and only midfield attacking weapon at this point. Yeah, we know, Angel isn’t getting the service he needs and deserves, particularly from the wings. But forwards also have to create chances for themselves by making runs and creating space. Angel does not appear capable of either at this point in his career. That’s a shame, but it has gotten to the point where it is dragging the rest of the team down as well. And oh yeah, his attitude, at least as displayed in his very visible body language during games, is not doing him any favors either. Instead of bitching about lack of service, how about starting a run to create a passing lane for somebody? Oh right, he can’t run. Then sit yourself on the bench. This is not the time or the place to redefine yourself as a midfielder. Unfortunately, with injuries to Macoumba Kandji and now Salou Ibrahim there are few realistic alternatives at striker.

Bouna Condoul had another horrible game. By sheer luck (and Danleigh Borman) he didn’t cost the team any goals, though he probably should have done better with Freddy Montero’s shot that ended up in the net.

Dane Richards was largely invisible except when he was giving the ball to the opposition and doing his best to turn scoring chances into exercises in futility.

The Red
There are a few potential flashpoints on this roster that deserve our attention in the coming weeks. One is obviously striker, where Angel appears incapable of positive contributions. But Angel isn’t going anywhere and not only because he’s the captain of the team. There just aren’t any other options at striker. Conor Chinn has serious weaknesses as we saw vs. New England, Kandji is out, John Wolyniec will probably need to take Salou’s place and that’s about it without getting Osorio-an.

At this point the goalkeeper position may be the team’s most glaring issue. Condoul has had his chance. Several of them, in fact. He still can’t position himself, can barely take goal kicks and does way too many bonehead things. But here too there is no real competition. Greg Sutton has done very little to prove he is at all reliable and there are no other goalies on the roster at present. It sure would be nice to have a guy like Jon Busch, wouldn’t it? Surely the second division has goalkeepers who can do better than either one on the New York Red Bulls’ roster at present. Please sign one or two. Or go to Europe if you absolutely need to. Just do something, please.

Dane Richards was taken out of the game pretty early, the first indication that Hans Backe might not be happy with his play. Will we see somebody else start at right midfield Thursday? Let’s hope so because Dane Richards doesn’t belong in MLS at this point.

Speaking of Backe, what was he doing playing Seth Stammler at left midfield in a home game? And why did he play Brian Nielsen as a forward, much less on the right side? Yes, we are now questioning Backe’s decisions. Well, it was inevitable.

The traffic/transportation situation to and from Red Bull Arena came back to bite the team. I’m not faulting the authorities for doing what they need to when situations involving suspicious packages and the like arise. But there are simply no contingency plans to deal with these type of issues. The area around Red Bull Arena not only lacks parking but appears to be a giant bottleneck. This was not the last time something like this will happen either. It doesn’t have to be a suspicious package. Debris on the track, electrical issues, “sick” passengers and any number of other issues can cut off the lone line of rail access from Manhattan to Harrison. With that, the team loses potential fans and its efforts to grow the sport in the area take a giant step back.

The Dead
The idea that Bouna Condoul and Dane Richards can be starters needs to be quashed.

Seth Stammler at left midfield. Never again, please.

Juan Pablo Angel as creative attacking midfielder. Unless he wants to try it in practice first.

We don’t want to see him die but Tyrone Marshall is a punk thug who should get a lifetime ban for all the things he has already done. Most recent example: After getting a yellow card Saturday he responded with an obscene gesture to display his outrage. Never mind the fact that Marshall probably should have been thrown out of the game for trying to play referee and cop and being a general wanker on the previous play. The gesture was caught on camera. It was in plain sight, though the referee had his head turned slightly. That should have been a second yellow card and automatic expulsion.

More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Mike Petke makes his feelings known on the match

Player ratings

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.

Explanation of terms

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

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

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

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

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Photo gallery: Sounders 1, RBNY 0

Posted on 16 May 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 1-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders May 15 at Red Bull Arena.

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

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Mike Petke makes his feelings known on the match

Player ratings

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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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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A long night at Buck Shaw Sassano, Ream cause pain for Bulls

Posted on 08 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

This shot was from the Santos game and Sassano got ball that time ©Scott Marsh/ASN

For 10 minutes, the New York Red Bulls looked great on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara Calif. Then things fell apart. The immediate catalyst was a straight red card to surprises starter Luke Sassano in the 13th minute. The team kept its shape for about 30 minutes before Bobby Convey and Ryan Johnson (aided by Tim Ream) combined for a first goal by the San Jose Earthquakes on the stroke of halftime. The Red Bulls’ fate was effectively sealed shortly after the restart when Ream lost track of Joey Gjertsen, whose shot really should have been saved by Bouna Condoul.

Ream was hung out to dry on the third San Jose goal as well. Chris Wondolowski was able to position himself in front of the rookie and then deflect Ramiro Corrales’ cross past Condoul. The Earthquakes added one more for good measure off a late corner and nearly added a fifth when Cornell Glen hit the post.

The result is clearly a disappointment for Hans Backe’s team, who had many reasons to be confident coming into the match. Backe’s decision to start Sassano over Jeremy Hall will clearly be second-guessed, and deservedly so. But on paper it was a sound choice. Hall has been a defensive liability all season and with Bobby Convey returning to peak form on San Jose’s left flank it could have made for a long night for the Red Bulls. But don’t expect Backe to be quick to tinker with the lineup again after this. Or at least not by inserting Sassano, whose red card was certainly justified.

Player Ratings

On scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest:

Bouna Condoul: 3.5

A few decent saves but the second goal, which broke the team’s back, is largely on him (and largely on Tim Ream, whom we’ll get to in a minute). Disappointing performance because these are not the usual types of mistakes he makes. Throughout it all, we have always defended Condoul’s ability as a shot stopper. Now? Not so much. But with that gone, how can you justify Condoul as a starter? Luckily for him Greg Sutton is the only competition.

Roy Miller: 4

Started strong (then again, didn’t everybody?) but was very poor in the middle stretch of the game. Seemed to lack concentration again. A few encouraging overlapping runs in the first half but was not there to stem the tide in the second. Disappointing.

Tim Ream: 3

Talk about disappointing! This was clearly Ream’s worst match of the entire season and by a wide margin. The first goal was on him; should have done more on the second as well. Looked lackadaisical and lethargic. This may be his style but it makes performances like this look even worse. And this was very poor. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds from it. We have come to expect a lot of him in a very short amount of time. This isn’t entirely fair of course but hopefully he can justify these expectations.

Mike Petke: 4.5

Didn’t move well, was out of position several times, turned the ball over a lot. Never seemed to get into the game. Sure, it’s tough when you have to adapt to being a man down but you’d expect more from a veteran. Fortunately for him, others played so poorly you barely noticed.

Luke Sassano: 2

For about 12 minutes he did everything right. Undid it all and more with one poor decision. The studs up challenge on Bobby Convey was stupid and he deserved to see straight red for it. This was a referee who had demonstrated with a yellow to Tony Tchani moments before, that he would be quick with the cards. It’s good to be aggressive but not like this. Back to the bench, perhaps for good.

Seth Stammler: 5

Very quiet game and not necessarily in a good way. Did well defensively at times but was out of position at others. Had to switch to right back after the expulsion. That’s not an easy transition to make in the middle of the game so he gets some sympathy for it. But at this point he’s a veteran and would have liked to see him organize the defense better.

Joel Lindpere: 6.5

A solid performance. Ran a ton. Could have done better with a chance in the first half that was set up by Salou Ibrahim. But never really seemed to settle in to his spot on the pitch. Still clearly the team’s engine. That’s not changing.

Tony Tchani: 7
One of the lone bright spots on the night. Easily the best Red Bull on the pitch. This guy can clearly play and it’s great to see him get the chance. With performances like these, he’s bound to get others. And not just in US Open Cup games.

Dane Richards: 5.5

Only counted two “Dane being Dane” moments, both in the first half. Stopped paying close attention after that but he was also very quiet. Did okay work defensively. Kept the ball moving for the most part. Also put in a tough position by the early red card.

Juan Pablo Angel: 5

Looked fine early on, then seemed to become more stiff and ornery as the game wore on. Does not move well at all; even less so after about 15-20 minutes. Didn’t see many balls and can’t really fault him on that, but his runs (when he made any) left a lot to be desired.

Salou Ibrahim: 6
Not a bad match. Continues to find his form. Had a few nice passes. Would still like to see more of him though.

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Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 0, San Jose Earthquakes 4
May 8, 2010 – Buck Shaw Stadium; Santa Clara, CA

Scoring Summary:
SJ: Ryan Johnson 1 (Bobby Convey 3) 44’
SJ: Joey Gjertsen 1 (Ryan Johnson 3, Bobby Convey 4) 55’
SJ: Chris Wondolowski 4 (Ramiro Corrales 2, Ryan Johnson 4) 77’
SJ: Bobby Burling 1 (Bobby Convey 5) 85’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Tony Tchani (caution) 4’
NY: Luke Sassano (red card, ejection) 13’
SJ: Bobby Convey (caution) 43’

Lineups:

New York Red Bulls (5-1-0) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Roy Miller (Danleigh Borman 67’), Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Luke Sassano (Ejected 13’), Seth Stammler, Tony Tchani (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 75’), Joel Lindpere, Dane Richards, Juan Pablo Angel, Salou Ibrahim (Jeremy Hall 58’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Brian Nielsen, Conor Chinn

San Jose Earthquakes (3-2-0) – Joe Cannon, Chris Leitch, Bobby Burling, Jason Hernandez, Ramiro Corrales, Joey Gjertsen, Brandon McDonald, Andre Luiz, Bobby Convey, Ryan Johnson (Scott Sealy 85’), Chris Wondolowski (Cornell Glen 85’)

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Busch, Ramon Sanchez, Justin Morrow, Brad Ring, Omar Jasseh

Referee: Andrew Chapin
Referee’s Assistants: Craig Lowry, Paul Scott
4th Referee: Yader Reyes
Attendance: 9,711

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 03 May 2010 by ASN Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explanation

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

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

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

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

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Player ratings: RBNY 2, DC United 0

Posted on 02 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls put in arguably their best (first team) performance of the season in a 2-0 win at DC United on May 1. It was the team’s first win at RFK Stadium since the 2006 “rebranding” and pushes its record on the young season to an impressive 5-1. Here are ASN’s player ratings for the match:

Bouna Condoul: 6.5
Once again excellent shot stopping. Twice robbed Clyde Simms, the second time (start of the second half) blind. But once again weak play elsewhere. Fortunately none of it was costly. One the whole, his excellent saves carry more weight in his rating, but it would be nice to see him learn to play the position at some point. He’s apparently ready to take goal kicks again, but didn’t do so due to a sore groin–a result of practicing goal kicks, conveniently enough. Also picked up a nasty bruise at the hand (or feet) of Adam Cristman. Showed it to me after the game; it was ugly. Apparently Cristman (whose ancestors clearly weren’t great spellers) did the same thing to Juan Pablo Angel. Didn’t catch that at the game or in the video but maybe somebody else did?

Roy Miller: 4.5
It was his poor clearance that forced Condoul’s best save of the day. Had a few other poor touches. Outplayed by Luciano Emilio on a late play that could have been costly. A quiet game, and not a good one. Would have liked to see him get more involved with the attack on a short pitch like RFK, especially when a defensive player, Seth Stammler, is starting at left midfield.

Tim Ream: 5
Caught out of position on one of the very first plays of the game that almost led to Cristman putting a shot on goal. Around the 15 minute mark he failed to pick up Simms’ overlapping run, though in fairness Mike Petke put him in a tough position of having to cover two men (see below). Not tested much in the second half, where he did much better.

Mike Petke: 6
Much better than the last two games, but his decision-making still leaves a bit to be desired. Case in point: The aforementioned play that nearly resulted in Simms scoring a goal. For reasons obscure he saved a ball played by a DC player from going into touch. Was then hopelessly out of position when it fell to Rodney Wallace who passed it to Kurt Morsink, who crossed it in to Simms, who on top of everything went unnoticed by Ream. Simms somehow managed to head a perfect ball directly at Condoul from about eight feet in front of goal. Also let Jaime Moreno behind him on a play in the second half, which nearly turned in to a goal. However, His passing was greatly improved. And he also did well defensively at other times, with strong tackles and decisive headers.

Jeremy Hall: 5.5
A tale of two halves. In the first, beaten time and again by his man (Castillo, usually). At least he had the presence of mind to commit fouls. His passing was also poor. Much better in the second half; outlet pass to Angel nearly led to a second Red Bulls goal moments after the first. Later passed an excellent ball to Danleigh Borman on an overlapping run that nearly led to (yet) another Angel goal. Better defensively too. Kept Moreno in check. What will happen now that Albright is eligible to return?

Stammler: 7
Was a pest on the left side, a place he had not started since 2006. Heads-up play almost led to a goal around the 30 minute mark of the first half. Passed the ball well and should have been rewarded with an assist but Angel shot a ball right at Perkins (this was in the first half just a minute or two after the previous play)

Robinson: 5
Turned the ball over constantly, or did something (errant pass) that led to it being turned over. But was well positioned defensively, which has to count for something. Okay, so it gives him a perfectly average rating.

Lindpere: 7
Was obviously not comfortable in the heat and consequently did not run as much as he normally does (which is probably more than any other player on the team). But provided excellent service to the forwards, and not just on Angel’s goal. There was an early free kick that was almost the exact mirror image of that play, except Angel headed it wide, and a second one that led to a corner. Also had some decisive tackles in midfield.

Richards: 8
Brilliant work on the first goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Did well otherwise. Saw him track back defensively to pick up a DC player on the completely opposite end of the pitch. Much better decision-making as well. Made the smart, short passes, other than try to win a sprint to the endline. Should have had a second assist but Ibrahim blew the header from point blank range. His best game of the season, by far.

Juan Pablo Angel: 6.5
Hans Backe claimed he was the high target man, so why was he distributing the ball from midfield? Interestingly enough, he did quite well in this role. Exhibit A: The winning goal. The flick header that doubled this advantage was brilliant as well. But probably should have scored two or three more. The old Angel (circa 2007 vintage) would have. It may be time to accept that player is gone now. But so what if he keeps scoring and setting up goals?

Salou Ibrahim: 7.5
The goal was excellent and demonstrated footwork skills of a much smaller man. Was otherwise pretty quiet but so what if he got on the scoresheet? With strikers that’s often all that matters. And frankly, you don’t see plays like in this league very often. Probably few MLS players would have been able to put the ball in the net on that play (and those who were, are likely much shorter guys). But we have to fault him on the second half header, which he really should have buried.

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More coverage of the match:

Initial report and reaction
Hans Backe’s postgame press conference
Petke: ‘I can’t get over the fact that we’re 5-1’
Photo gallery

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