Red Bulls gore San Jose

Posted on 27 April 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls beat the San Jose Earthquakes on a second half penalty conversion by Mike Magee. Jozy Altidore added a second in stoppage time to give the Red Bulls a 2-0 win over the expansion Quakes. It was the first win since opening day for Juan Carlos Osorio’s team, who were playing without Juan Pablo Angel.

For most of the game, the Earthquakes were able to stifle New York’s attack. Nick Garcia and Ryan Cochrane were particularly effective in shutting down Altidore, who had few touches in the first 45 minutes. “It was a tough first half,” Altidore admitted after the game. “Something I haven’t faced really before. Nick Garcia and Cochrane; they’re pretty aggressive and it definitely disrupted me a bit and I let it get to me. It wasn’t something that I liked but it’s part of the game and I have to learn how to deal with it.”

A halftime pep talk with Osorio soothed Altidore’s nerves and helped him get back into the game. “I said a couple of things to him at the break and in the second half he dominated the game,” said Osorio. Asked what words of wisdom he imparted unto his teenage striker, Osorio answered “not to let the players get in his head and start personal battles and personal duels on the pitch. Just play football and use his strength and his pace to the benefit of the team and forget about personal issues on the ground.”

It finally paid dividends in the 79th minute when Altidore was brought down just inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Juan Pablo Angel, who is normally the team’s designated penalty taker, missed the game with a left hamstring strain leaving the question of who would take the spot kick. “Jozy looked like he wanted it,” said Magee. “But I put on my saddest face and asked him please and he let me.” Magee buried the PK, sending the ball narrowly out of reach of San Jose goalkeeper Joe Cannon. “I knew where I was going the whole time,” he said of his penalty, which was deposited into the right corner of the San Jose goal. “Joe Cannon was actually kind of standing toward the side where I wanted to go. That threw me off a little bit, but I was like ‘man I gotta go there either way.'”

For Magee, a second half substitute who has played sparingly, if at all the past two years and hadn’t scored an MLS goal since 2006, the game was elusive. “It’s been a really long and tough road for me,” he said after the game. “There were a lot of ups and downs, injury problems. To finally get a goal after all the rehab and time spent on a bicycle, is kinda worth it.”

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