Tag Archive | "Brian Nielsen"

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RBNY player ratings from 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Union

Posted on 25 April 2010 by ASN Staff

It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Red Bulls got the job done Saturday night at their namesake arena in Harrison, N.J., prevailing 2-1 again just as they did the week before against FC Dallas. This time, the victim was the expansion Philadelphia Union. ASN provides player ratings for all 11 RBNY starters. You are invited to assign a letter grade to the ratings to help us gauge their accuracy. Ratings are from 1-10 with 10 being highest. When you’re done here be sure to check out the photo gallery.

Condoul – 5
Wasn’t called on to make the really big saves he made in the FC Dallas match and the goal wasn’t really his fault either. Still, disappointed with his play away from his line in general and on crosses in particular. And what’s with the goal kicks?

Hall – 6
Better than the Dallas game but still not very secure as a right back. Let Le Toux behind him on the tying goal. Nice assist but was he really targeting Ibrahim with it? It’s irrelevant because it resulted in a goal and he deserves the assist. Besides quality crosses, even ones played into a general area, have been lacking. And he placed this one exactly right. But his passing was good and made some nice runs forward.

Petke – 5
Not a great game by Mike, who misplayed several balls that led to Philly chances. Also not sure what his deal is with booting the ball upfield every time he gets it. Don’t you want to move it around a bit and try to break down the opposing team’s defense?

Ream – 6.5
Maybe it’s because we expect so much from him after those first few games, but can’t help but be a little disappointed in this performance. Out of position several times on transition. Nearly committed a turnover on the last play of the game that would have been fatal, but not an isolated incident. Too much fancy dribbling in his own box. It’s okay to just boot those upfield sometimes. Petke does it all the time.

Miller: 4
The tying goal was made possible by him committing himself on an ill-timed overlapping run. It’s fine and good to attack with a 1-0 lead (especially at home) but that’s just foolish. Wasn’t his steady self at other times either. Spotted a few times of him “swinging and missing” at balls and sending crosses into the stands.

Richards: 5
A few decent plays, particularly defensively. But was mainly neutralized by Salinas. How? Easy: play back a few steps and open up his left side. He can’t use his left foot even to push the ball to the inside, it appears. If he could he would do a lot more damage. Instead he just puts his head down and sprints to the endline. At least now he appears to have the presence of mind to try a cross, which more often than not is played behind for a corner. There are worse things, but he also had several poorly-played balls when the team had space and numbers on counter attacks. Just not doing enough with all the balls he gets. Please play it down the left side more, because the guy there appears to have real talent. More on him in a bit.

Robinson: 3
Pretty much completely clueless out there. Lost his touch, his mobility is long gone, and he has no strength on the ball. Can’t even seem to put his body in a position for much of anything. What you’re left with is a holding midfielder who can’t hold the ball (or pass it for that matter). Other than that he’s fine. Can Seth Stammler not provide an improvement? Or Sinisa Ubiparipovic for that matter?

Joel Lindpere: 7
The midfield engine for the Red Bulls. Should have had an assist but Juan Pablo Angel uncharacteristically blew a chance from point blank range. Worked hard on both ends of the pitch. Looking more and more at home in Hans Backe’s formation. Also one of the only guys on the team who seems to know how to switch the ball.

Brian Nielsen: 6.5
A lynchpin on the left side. Why didn’t the team play the ball to him more? Especially rather than to Richards? Seems very strong technically and has terrific pace. His ideas need work, but that’s to be expected at this very early stage. Could be a special player for the Red Bulls once he figures out his teammates.

Ibrahim: 7
Much, much better than the Dallas game. Had more energy, made more runs, found spots in the Union defense. Then there was the goal he scored, exactly the way you’d hope a player of his size and strength to score one: by outmuscling his defender(s) and heading the ball into the net. Could have done some things better but we’ll take this level of improvement.

Angel: 5
Converted the penalty kick with gusto, but that’s about all the good things we can say about his performance. That blown chance toward the end of the first half was bad enough. Seemed lethargic, or hurt, or both. Was a step or two behind where he needed to be. Also didn’t pass the ball well when he was in a position to. Something’s up. He’s clearly playing hurt. Is it his back? Seems to be playing that way, but that’s an uneducated hunch based on cursory observations from somebody with no medical background.

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 19 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Welcome to the third 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’ lucky (yeah it was) win over FC Dallas on Saturday evening. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) see last week’s issue or read the bottom of this page.

The Good:
Luck, fortune, happenstance; whatever you want to call it. The Red Bulls’ changing fate has buried, at least for now, the “same ol’ Metro” talk. Fact is, last year’s team would not have won any of the three games the Red Bulls did this season. It probably wouldn’t have even taken a point. Sometimes, you’d just rather be lucky than good. This team certainly deserves being on the other side of luck ledger after everything it endured the past 14 seasons.

Bouna Condoul. It’s been said before in this space: As a shot-stopper, Condoul is one of the very best in the business. It’s the play away from his line that gets him into trouble. There were a few hairy moments on Saturday night, but these were very limited (which doesn’t make them any less fatal, of course). Condoul also did several things right on crosses. And nobody is downplaying his saves in the second half; these flat-out kept Red Bull in the game. No surprise that he led our player ratings with an unprecedented (for this season at least) 9/10. What’s particularly impressive is that Condoul looked confident almost immediately after making his first big save. You need to have a short memory as a goalkeeper and there was a lot of fear last week that Bouna’s psyche could be damaged from his gaffe against Chivas. Now, the concern is that he’ll be overconfident!

Juan Pablo Angel. He’s still not his full self, but no question he improved vastly over the team’s first three games. You’ve got to give him credit for not only stepping up and taking the second penalty, but also converting it (speaking of short memories). JPA simply has ice in his veins, which is exactly what you want from an elite striker. And Angel is still in that category.

Dane Richards. I’ve been one of Richards’ harshest critics. Just last week I called him “deplorable…simply not starter material” and said he “has no business taking the field with the starting 11.” This week I’m willing to at least back off that a bit. Richards had a good game vs. Dallas. His passing was crisp, his crosses were on target and his defensive work was very commendable. Only a few times did he “pull a Dane” of putting his head down and trying to win a sprint to the byline. It was his cross to Kandji that led to the first penalty and he very nearly assisted on what should have been a goal by Kandji. Obviously, a lot more is going to be required if we can begin to talk about Richards having turned the corner, but at least it’s something to build on.

Joel Lindpere played a stellar match as well. The assist to Angel was a thing of beauty, but he was front and center at other points too, even defensively.

The Bad
The whole backline had a subpar game. Even Tim Ream was beaten on a few plays close to goal. Mike Petke’s turnover led to Dallas’ goal and he nearly caused several others as well. Roy Miller did many things right but was beaten several times by Atiba Harris. It appears this guy is weak in the air.

But the worst one of all was Jeremy Hall–by far. The second-year player just isn’t a defender. He had some good games last season but for whatever reason nothing seems to be clicking in 2010. Time to move him back to a midfield position. Except, with the impending acquisitions of Brian Nielsen and Luke Rodgers, the midfield is becoming increasingly crowded. Once Chris Albright comes back, Hall’s days as a starter may be numbered anyway. At that point he could become buried in the depth charts.

Salou Ibrahim was next to invisible. He had a golden opportunity to open the score off a Roy Miller cross but wasn’t even able to direct it goalward.

The Red
Speaking of days being numbered, Hans Backe said in the postgame press conference that Nielsen could play forward in addition to left wing, which could mean the end of John Wolyniec’s days with the club. Woly didn’t even dress for Saturday’s match.

Kandji may end up following him out the door. He wasn’t terrible against Dallas, but did very little in terms of creating chances for his team. It just looks like there isn’t a natural position for this guy. Or at least not in MLS.

The Dead
Jeremy Hall at right back. Please. End. It. Now.

Mac Kandji at left wing. It’s been tried more than one time. It hasn’t worked.


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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Brian Nielsen move official

Posted on 15 April 2010 by ASN Staff

The move of Vejle midfielder Brian Nielsen to the New York Red Bulls is official, Danish media are reporting (links to awkwardly-worded Google Translate piece).

Update: The team has announced the move as well. “Nielsen will be added to the team’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC),” they said. “He must also pass a team physical. Per club and League policy, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.”

The left wing’s services are sorely needed by Red Bull, who have received little in the way of attacking service from that side of the field. Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Danleigh Borman and even Macoumba Kandji have been tried at the position, with unsatisfactory results.

Nielsen’s activities off the field are a different question entirely. Much like Hans Backe’s other transfer target, Luke Rodgers, the 23-year old Dane has a history of alleged drinking-related offenses, though (unlike Rodgers) no brushes with the law (that we know of at least). The Danish Extrabladet even appears to refer to Nielsen as a “problem child,” though that may be a glitch in the translation.

The move will go through Red Bull Salzburg, the same Danish outlet reported yesterday.

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