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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