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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