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

6 Comments For This Post

  1. JCO Says:

    IIRC, Hall had played RB up until college, where his coach moved him to left mid… so was not COMPLETELY JCOs idea to play him there. Or am I incorrect…?

  2. ASN Editorial Says:

    Was not aware of that about Hall. You may very well be correct. But it's more fun to blame Osorio anyway.

  3. Homebrew4U Says:

    While I agree that I want to see Hall out of the RB position as soon as Albright is able to play, I think he's doing alright there. If he couldn't keep up with Zakawani, do you think Albright was going to? When Hall overlaps Richards, he gets hung out to dry almost every time. Not only does Richards fail to pass the ball, more often than not he loses possession, leaving a gaping hole on the right side because Hall has run past Dane, and then Stammy, Petke, and Ream are left scrambling while Hall sprints back and Richards stops to nurse the boo boo scratch on his hand from running into the LED wall… So, yes, absolutely right that Hall is not ideal. Albright will at least have a better positional sense back there, IMO. But Richards is making Hall much worse than he actually is, I think. Where is “Business Time” Dane from pre-season?!

  4. ASN Editorial Says:

    Preseason Dane Richards is neutralized by MLS defenders who know his game, which is to push the ball to the outside with his right foot and attempt to win a sprint to the endline, rinse and repeat. I agree that Hall has a tough time having to deal with Richards in front of him, but he also just doesn't play his position very well, I find. He's a decent tackler but gives his opponents way too much space and doesn't position his body correctly to anticipate their moves.

    Hall needs to move to right mid. He'll have plenty of defensive work there with Albright behind him. Like you correctly point out, Albright is not exactly Paolo Maldini either.

  5. Homebrew4U Says:

    While I agree that I want to see Hall out of the RB position as soon as Albright is able to play, I think he's doing alright there. If he couldn't keep up with Zakawani, do you think Albright was going to? When Hall overlaps Richards, he gets hung out to dry almost every time. Not only does Richards fail to pass the ball, more often than not he loses possession, leaving a gaping hole on the right side because Hall has run past Dane, and then Stammy, Petke, and Ream are left scrambling while Hall sprints back and Richards stops to nurse the boo boo scratch on his hand from running into the LED wall… So, yes, absolutely right that Hall is not ideal. Albright will at least have a better positional sense back there, IMO. But Richards is making Hall much worse than he actually is, I think. Where is “Business Time” Dane from pre-season?!

  6. ASN Editorial Says:

    Preseason Dane Richards is neutralized by MLS defenders who know his game, which is to push the ball to the outside with his right foot and attempt to win a sprint to the endline, rinse and repeat. I agree that Hall has a tough time having to deal with Richards in front of him, but he also just doesn't play his position very well, I find. He's a decent tackler but gives his opponents way too much space and doesn't position his body correctly to anticipate their moves.

    Hall needs to move to right mid. He'll have plenty of defensive work there with Albright behind him. Like you correctly point out, Albright is not exactly Paolo Maldini either.

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