Tag Archive | "Carl Robinson"

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Photo gallery: RBNY 2, Union 1

Posted on 25 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia Union April 24 at Red Bull Arena. For more coverage of the Philly match check our player ratings.

A few of our favorite photos follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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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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Photo gallery: RBNY 2, FC Dallas 1

Posted on 18 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 2-1 triumph over FC Dallas April 17 at Red Bull Arena. For more coverage of the FCD match check our player ratings.

A few of our favorite photos follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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Who will start for Ubi at left mid? (updated)

Posted on 15 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Sinisa Ubiparipovic ©Scott Marsh/ASN

The assumption here is that Sinisa Ubiparipovic will not start at the position himself when the New York Red Bulls face FC Dallas at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. It’s a shaky assumption too; all we have to go by is the fact that Ubiparipovic started for the reserves in their 3-0 win over St. John’s. Plus, Hans Backe has demonstrated that unlike his predecessor he is not one to make lineup changes on a whim.

Still, there are reasons to believe Ubi’s days as a starter are numbered. And we’re not just talking about his lackluster play against Chivas USA last week. The first is Salou Ibrahim, who is now available to start after getting his first taste of MLS action as a second half substitute. (Having said that, Ibrahim also played in the reserves match, which makes the already shaky assumption about Sinisa about moot, But let’s carry on because there are still signs this is where things are going).

Sinisa’s role on the team is mainly to plug holes. With Carl Robinson and Seth Stammler injured and Danleigh Borman not doing much in his limited audition at left midfield, there have been several of these in the early going.

Update: Carl Robinson reports via Twitter that he completed his first full training session on Thursday. If he is able to go it lessens the likelihood of Ubi baing in the starting lineup.

Carl Robinson is still listed as questionable and Stammler had a poor showing at Chivas. But with Salou Ibrahim expected to move into the starting lineup it makes Macoumba Kandji available for left midfield duty. This is not Kandji’s natural position (then again, what is?) but he showed promise in the role against Chivas and Backe told us he viewed Kandji as “an option as a wide left player.”

Plus, let’s face it: This team needs players who can create chances on the wings. Ubiparipovic, for all his hard work and solid skills as a defensive midfielder, does not seem able. Neither does Dane RIchards at right mid, though that is an entirely different story. Help is on the way, in the form of Brian Nielsen, but until he shows up it will remain a position by committee. Right now, Kandji is the man for the job.

But that’s just our view. What’s yours? Vote in the poll on who the team should start at left mid vs. Dallas.

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Question of the week: Do you start Salou Ibrahim?

Posted on 08 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

(The assumption here is that his name is in fact Salou Ibrahim and not Ibrahim Salou, as previously noted.)

Salou Ibrahim in the Red Bull Arena grand opener ©Scott Marsh/ASN

As you’ve probably heard by now the New York Red Bulls newest acquisition has received his visa and is ready to play for the team in an official match. He previously appeared in the Red Bull Arena grand opening match against Santos and the exhibition against Army (speaking of which, the Cadets are the only team to score against New York since the start of the regular season).

Saturday afternoon’s game at Chivas will be the first time that Salou/Ibrahim, Juan Pablo Angel and Macoumba Kandji are fit and available to start. Which means one is either going to need to start on the bench or play out of position. Kandji has seen spot duty at left midfield but with him seeming to find his comfort zone (not to mention scoring the winning goal) in the Seattle Sounders game, does Hans Backe really want to go there? Angel and Salou will not play anywhere but forward. Moving them would be downright Osorioan and those days are (thankfully) in the past. Speaking of which, don’t expect Backe to go with three strikers either. He’s married to the 4-4-2 for the immediate future.

Anyway, have your say on whether Salou/Ibrahim should start the match by voting in this poll:

[polldaddy poll=3024678]

Other things to look out for:
What’s going on with Carl Robinson? Is he healthy and eligible to play? He didn’t make the trip to Seattle but was also absent from the exhibition match against Rutgers, which implies he is not yet recovered from his knee injury.

Will Hans Backe even be healthy enough to make another cross country trip and coach the team?

If Kandji does start at left midfield, where does that leave Sinisa Ubiparipovic? Would he move into the center midfield spot occupied by Seth Stammler in Seattle?

Who travels with the team this week? Last week’s subs were Andrew Boyens, Austin da Luz, Juan Agudelo and Tony Tchani (and obviously Greg Sutton, the only other goalkeeper in the squad). As great as it is to see da Luz on this list, wouldn’t Carlos Mendes or Luke Sassano be better choices? Both are more versatile and can add late game relief at the defensive positions. Speaking of which…

Will Backe or Richie Williams use all three subs for the first time this season? (I have a full rant on this in the upcoming Seeing Red! episode. Stay tuned for that).

Chivas have not looked good at all in the first two games of the season, losses to the Colorado Rapids and the LA Galaxy in the SuperClasico. Their attacking game in particular is very weak. The new coach, Martin Vasquez, was expecting great things from Sacha Kljestan, who does not appear to have what it takes to lead this team–at least not yet. That may develop over the course of the season. It’s not like Kljestan will be traveling with the national team or anything.

That was harsh. But probably also true at this point.

Bottom line with Chivas: The Goats have their backs to the wall after an 0-2 start. They don’t want to go 0-3, least of all under a new head coach. Expect Vasquez to pull out every motivational tool in his arsenal (and then some) to get the team amped for this game. But ultimately, he just doesn’t have enough firepower in his arsenal. The Red Bulls’ defense has looked vulnerable and we do not expect the clean sheet to last. Neither will the winning streak. But the unbeaten streak will.

ASN prediction: Chivas USA 2, RBNY 2

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(Updated) preview and projected starting lineup for Week 2 vs Sounders

Posted on 02 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The Week 1 win over Chicago, though not without its flaws, was nice from a results standpoint. Very nice, even, considering New York had not defeated the Fire since the Bush administration. Tomorrow night at Seattle’s Qwest Field the Red Bulls can accomplish something else they haven’t done since a Republican inhabited the White House–win on the road.

It will not be an easy task. With its plastic pitch and raucous 35,000-odd crowd, Qwest Field is the toughest away match the Red Bulls face this year. On top of everything else, New York is still short-handed. Its best player, Juan Pablo Angel, may be fit on paper, but anybody who saw him against Chicago knows this isn’t the same guy who scored 73 goals in his first three seasons with the club. On this week’s Seeing Red! podcast (yeah that’s a shameless plug. Deal with it) I argued that Angel should be withheld from the lineup altogether. The risk of (further) injury is simply too great and the potential upside too small given that Angel is clearly not at his best and this is a game the Red Bulls are expected to lose anyway.

Ibrahim Salou is still awaiting his working papers and is not expected to be an option. Macoumba Kandji, who started alongside Angel last week, has not impressed either. So who to play up top? I’m told that Juan Agudelo has been seeing time with the first team in practice this week. Expect him to get his first MLS start at Qwest Field. Barring a major surprise Kandji will start at the other forward spot, even though he probably doesn’t deserve to. Of course Angel could go as well. But unless he is really 100% fit, the Colombian should sit this one out for the good of the team. With Carl Robinson expected to return the rest of the starting lineup will be identical to what it was in the Red Bull Arena grand opening game against Santos:

Update: Carl Robinson did not travel with the team and is ruled out of the Seattle match. Danleigh Borman probably did enough to get another start, though we’d still much rather see Austin da Luz. Sinisa Ubiparipovic will take Robinson’s spot as holding midfielder.


Dane Richards doesn’t deserve to start either after his performance against Chicago, but what ready-made alternatives does Hans Backe have at right mid? The obvious player to spell Richards, Matthew Mbuta, was jettisoned in the offseason. Luke Sassano, Tony Tchani and perhaps even Seth Stammler are options, but all lack the pace sought by Backe for that position. Trialist Damani Ralph saw time at right mid in the exhibition match against Army and Irving Garcia appears to have popped up there as well (judging by our photo gallery); are either of them perhaps being groomed to replace Richards? Don’t expect a move to happen right away–or at all, even. Richards appears to be the choice for right midfield and he will receive every opportunity to show he deserves the spot. My mind may be made up on Richards (again, defer to my Seeing Red! comments) but Backe does not agree with me (give him a few more games).

For Seattle, the big question is whether Freddie Ljungberg is fit. The Swedish midfielder picked up a knock in the Sounders’ season opening win over Philadelphia and at the time of this writing was questionable. If Ljungberg can’t go it will obviously be a break for Red Bull. But even then the home side will be favored. With Freddy Montero, Steve Zakuani, Osvaldo Alonso and Brad Evans, Seattle simply has too much talent at midfield and forward. The Red Bulls defense, which has performed very well to date and carries a clean sheet into the match, will have its hands full with or without Ljungberg. The Miller-Ream-Petke-Hall back four will be put to the test Saturday. How well they withstand the pressure could tell us a lot about the team’s chances this season.

The road winless streak will be snapped at some point this season–perhaps even some point soon; the Red Bulls’ next game is at Chivas USA, who have looked hapless in their first two games of the season. But it won’t happen in Seattle. If New York comes away with a point it will be a major accomplishment. Fans would be wise to adopt this attitude.

Speaking of which, both the Empire Supporters and Garden State Supporters clubs will host viewing parties Saturday night. ESC’s will be at Nevada Smith’s on Third Ave between 11th and 12th streets in Manhattan; GSS’ at MMM Bellos on Market Street in Newark, N.J. Kickoff is at 10:30pm.

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(Updated) home opener thoughts and projected starting lineup

Posted on 25 March 2010 by ASN Staff

The “grand opening” of Red Bull Arena is still fresh in everybody’s mind but starting this weekend the games will count. There will be 14 opportunities to see the New York Red Bulls at home in MLS regular season action after this, but already a lot is riding on Saturday night’s match with the Chicago Fire. As great as the Santos match was, it will mean nothing if the team gets off to another bad start.

Juan Agudelo against Santos ©ASN/Scott Marsh

Chicago is not the ideal opponent for the team to face in this situation. The Red Bulls have lost their last five meetings with the Fire and have an overall 11-23-6 record against them (information supplied by Metrofanatic.com). However, this is a different team from the one the Red Bulls faced the last few years. Gone are Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Chris Rolfe, Bakary Soumare and Jon Busch. New head coach Carlos de los Cobos brings an entirely different style from his predecessors Denis Hamlett and Juan Carlos Osorio. Expect the new Fire to aim for possession control and short passes. It won’t quite be the Osorio-style of bunkering (then again, what is?) but it will be conservative and defensive–especially playing in a packed house as the visiting team.

To counter this, Red Bull head coach Hans Backe will want speed on the flanks and more of the quick passing out of midfield that successfully sprung attacks against Santos. The last few days have brought good news on the injury front, with star striker Juan Pablo Angel telling Big Apple Soccer he was “hopeful” of a full recovery by Saturday. Dane Richards also returned to practice Thursday. The previous day, Carl Robinson tweeted that he had a “great day” of training and that things were “improving very well.” But he missed the following day because he was in Toronto sorting out visa issues (this also from his Tweets). We expect Robinson to start on the bench.

Update: Soccer by Ives and the New York Post are reporting Juan Agudelo has signed with the team as a “home grown” player. This makes Agudelo available for the match. We think he will start up top with Angel. Kandji, whom we had starting at that position previously, will start on the bench though there is a very real possibility he could start at left midfield. Meanwhile, Robinson remains stuck in Toronto with visa issues. This reinforces our suspicion that he will not be available tomorrow–or at least not as a starter after missing two days’ worth of training. These news items are reflected this in our projected starting lineup below.

da Luz–Lindpere–Ubiparipovic–Richards

The need for speed on the flanks, along with Roy Miller’s unsatisfactory contribution to the team’s attack will push Austin da Luz into the starting lineup. We do not anticipate Macoumba Kandji will last for a starter much longer. As soon as either Ibrahim Salou or Juan Agudelo are signed and/or receive the proper visas, Kandji will be relegated to bench duty and spot starter status. In this role could also see some time at left midfield, where he started the second half of the Santos match. But for now, experience is in short supply so Kandji gets the nod. Backe does not seem to view the team’s most experienced forward, John Wolyniec, as anything other than an emergency starter. The Swedish coach could also start Conor Chinn, who has seen a lot of time and scored several goals in preseason (though not against Santos). If nothing else, Chinn should make the bench. So should Woly.

What do you think of this starting lineup? Do you like Austin da Luz as the starting left midfielder? Post your thoughts on these and other matters in the comment area below.

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Backe says nine of 11 starters decided and more from media day

Posted on 17 March 2010 by ASN Staff

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe today said he had decided on all but two starters for the March 27 opening day match against the Chicago Fire. “I would say I have nine out of 11 [starters] in my head for the Chicago game,” he told ASN. He declined to provide specifics but did effectively rule out a few possibilities.

Carl Robinson “is close to being a starter–yeah definitely.”

Tony Tchani “not probably as a starter–but he’s rather close,” said Backe. “He’s improving all the time I would say. I think the youngsters haven’t been through a preseason like this so they’re rather tired.”

Conor Chinn, “he’s good for goals. He’s always in the box. He’s a very brave striker.” But probably not as a starter either.

The team will in all likelihood play a 4-4-2 formation, Backe said. The Red Bulls are unlikely to cut any more players before opening day. “I think we are 21 players, so we are close…we have perhaps one or two players on the injured list if you look at [Chris] Albright and Kevin Goldthwaite.”

Ibrahim Salou is not signed. “He is just here for trial. He will play on Saturday against Santos and I will take a decision after that.” There are no other trialists on the team.

John Agudelo “is in the squad for us and I don’t know if they have signed the contract yet–but I think they will.”

Strike talks

Labor talks were a particularly popular discussion point, as might be expected. Players were extremely tight-lipped and did not provide any new information, preferring to defer to the team’s union representative, John Wolyniec. When cornered by reporters, Wolyniec tried to say as little as possible in as quiet a tone as possible, as evidenced in this video:

Be sure to view the other videos from media day.

Speaking to ASN later, he did reiterate the union’s resolve on the matter. “We’re pretty united–we’ve been talking about this for a long time,” he said. “There are certain issues that we really need to resolve as far as players’ rights go. We don’t think we’re asking for anything unreasonable. Hopefully we can get that done.”

Just in case there was any doubt, Wolyniec ruled out any possibility of kicking off the 2010 campaign without a new collective bargaining agreement. “We will not start the season without it,” he said.

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