Tag Archive | "Dane Richards"

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Thierry Henry will not be available for the Crew Thursday…

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

…neither will Salou Ibrahim or Carl Robinson. Or for that matter Austin da Luz, who will miss six weeks with a “Jones fracture” on his left foot. This information courtesy of the New York Red Bulls official Twitter account.

So where does that leave us?

With very few options in attack, for one. Juan Pablo Angel will almost certainly start. Not that there was any doubt before. But who will be paired with him on the front line? John Wolyniec? Perhaps the most realistic alternative. Brian Nielsen? That experiment didn’t exactly go well against the Sounders. Conor Chinn? He’s behind the aforementioned on Hans Backe’s depth chart. Dane Richards? Don’t laugh, it could happen.

Of course the choice of a striker partner for Angel depends in no small part on the midfield lineup. Hopefully Backe has had enough of the Seth Stammler at left midfield experiment. Regardless, Stammler is more urgently needed to fill Robinson’s spot of holding midfielder at this point. Does that mean Nielsen starts at left mid? One would expect so given his “deer in the headlights” performance at forward on Saturday.

Stammler is by no means a shoe-in to start at holding midfielder, however. Tony Tchani has played well in the role recently, especially in his one start at San Jose. This one is an open question and I don’t suspect Backe himself has decided on it at this point.

What about right mid? From Dane Richards’ early substitution from the Sounders match it would appear that Backe is finally on to his (numerous) shortcomings. Whether that translates into a benching is an entirely different matter of course.

I think one can reasonably expect Backe to roll the dice with Jeremy Hall in right midfield, for the following reasons:

  • Hall has been a good soldier and deserves his chance to start at his preferred position
  • He played effectively at the position in last week’s U.S. Open Cup win over New England
  • An element of surprise or unpredictability is needed against the Columbus Crew. Hall provides a spark at the position that other options (Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dane Richards) do not.

That would leave Wolyniec or perhaps Richards as Angel’s striker partner. But if Backe doesn’t like what he’s seeing from Richards at right midfield it is doubtful he would want him as a forward. Wolyniec is old reliable. You know exactly what you’re going to get. And he and Angel have trained and played together for more than three years.

Don’t expect Bouna Condoul to sit either, even though he probably should. Conor Chinn will likely make the bench along with Ubiparipovic, Stammler (if he doesn’t start), Tchani (if Stammler does), Carlos Mendes and perhaps Irving Garcia.

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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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Photo gallery: Sounders 1, RBNY 0

Posted on 16 May 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 1-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders May 15 at Red Bull Arena.

A few of our favorite shots 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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More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Mike Petke makes his feelings known on the match

Player ratings

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.

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Player ratings: Sounders 1, RBNY 0

Posted on 16 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls lost their first home game of the season Saturday night, succumbing to the Seattle Sounders by a 1-0 score. The decisive goal came in the 85th minute off the foot of Fredy Montero. It was an all-around disappointing performance by the Red Bulls, who despite what some players might say did not do enough to win. Here are the individual player ratings.

Bouna Condoul: 3
Sometimes you know after one play the type of game a player is going to have. Coundoul, whose psyche appears more fragile than others’ at times, is one of those players. (Why you want a guy like that tending your goal is another question entirely). Here the play in question came in the very first minute of play, when he handled the ball outside of the 18-yard box. Looked incredibly shaky on crosses and there was that one play where he was bailed out by Danleigh Borman. He’s taking his goal kicks now, but not to much improved effect. Can also fault him for being out of position on the goal, though Mike Petke is clearly the greater culprit. Well, him and the referee for calling the decisive free kick in the first place.

Jeremy Hall: 6
Actually seemed to keep Steve Zakuani in check. Or did Seattle not try to launch Zakuani? Hard to say, but give Hall credit for holding his ground when he was called on. Did little for the team’s attack, which can be expected with the confusion Richards and Angel were creating. But had a chance to make a cross late in the half and did so poorly, playing it long where only Kasey Keller could catch it. Was excellent late in the game. Something to build on, perhaps. Which is more than you can say about just about any of his teammates.

Mike Petke: 5.5
Largely solid until the deciding play of the game, though did not look good on a first half chance where Zakuani narrowly missed the far corner of the goal. But should have done a lot better against Montero on the goal. Of course that’s easier said than done; Montero was fresh, just 10 minutes after entering. Petke was tired. A fresh Petke might have made the play. And he’s what, 10 years older than Montero? Also Condoul did him no favors on the play.

Tim Ream: 6
Played his position well, did a good job cleaning up the Red Bulls’ defense, passed the ball well; in short it was the type of performance we have come to appreciate from the rookie. Went a long way toward proving the performance at San Jose was a fluke. Well done.

Danleigh Borman: 6.5
Was beaten by Nyassi several times in the first half and stumbled when he should have launched Angel right on the stroke of halftime. But terrific effort recovering a Condoul mishap early in the second half. And did well later in the second also, keeping the underwear model in check and largely shutting his side of the field down.

Dane Richards: 3
Few “Dane being Dane” moments (when he puts his head down and sprints to the endline) but that does not mean he had a good match. Far from it, in fact. Turned over a ball early on that led to a Seattle counter-attack that was broken up at the last moment by Borman probably getting away with a foul on the former underwear model. Later took a ball away from Robinson that the Welshman could have fired on (if not into) goal. Decision-making questionable or worse. Didn’t contribute anything to the team’s attack and didn’t do much for its defense either.

Carl Robinson: 5.5
His best game as a New York Red Bull. Positioned himself well, made some key tackles, even had a few nice passes. Others were badly taken, however and a few of these could have launched attacks had they been on the money. Also should have been more on the spot on the decisive free kick, but then it was a questionable call to begin with.

Joel Lindpere: 5.5
Had some excellent moments in the first half, then disappeared, only to resurface in the 70th minute when he dove trying to draw a penalty. Yes it was a dive, though there was a little contact. Having re-watched the play on video, I can now make a more definitive assessment than I made on Twitter. Would have liked to see more of him. This is a common complaint about the Estonian Express, though the formation in the second half seemed to confuse a lot of people, him included.

Seth Stammler: 4
Granted left midfield is not his preferred position, but this effort was insufficient. His offensive forays were frankly pathetic. But again: attacking is not his game. Have to question the decision to play him at this position in a home match. Surely there were better options, even if it meant moving Lindpere out there and starting, say Tony Tchani in Lindpere’s spot.

Salou Ibrahim: 3
Looked lost. What was with the breakaway in the first half where he held up to square the ball? Don’t you try to rush to goal in those situations? Didn’t do anywhere near enough before leaving the match shortly after halftime. Hopefully his injury isn’t serious. Otherwise we could be seeing John Wolyniec or Conor Chinn in his spot.

Juan Pablo Angel: 2
His mobility is about nil at this point, so why is he running all over the pitch? Showed up at very strange positions, which may have contributed to Ibrahim’s confusion (see above). Spent a lot of time complaining about service, but didn’t make any runs other than to track back into midfield where his presence was about as welcome as an illegitimate child at Easter dinner. Quickly turning into a pathetic figure, hobbling around with what appear to be backpains (or something) trying to direct traffic and complaining to refs and teammates alike. (In fairness he had some valid complaints, particularly with Dane Richards). But things are going to come to a head soon on this. They’re going to have to. More on that in the Good, Bad, Dead, Red column tomorrow.

Substitutes:
Brian Nielsen: 5

Had a few good runs toward the end of the match but could have done a lot more. Obviously struggled to fit into the second forward spot and looked pathetic throwing himself onto the ground in search for a call. MLS refs are bad, but they aren’t that bad. And they’ll err on the side of playing on, too.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 4.5
Saw a lot of the ball after entering for Dane Richards, but did little with it. A few times made completely errant passes. Did have a nice cross that Nielsen should have done more with, however.

Tony Tchani: N/A

Did not play anywhere near enough (three minutes plus stoppage) to generate a rating.

More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

Mike Petke makes his feelings known on the match

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.

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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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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 03 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Welcome to the sixth 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’ 2-0 defeat of DC United on Saturday–the team’s first win at RFK Stadium since 2005. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good
The team is firing on all cylinders. Things are clicking. Morale is high. Very high in fact. This is not just conjecture, but based on what I observed in the team’s RFK Stadium locker room after Saturday’s victory.

We haven’t said much about Hans Backe except to criticize him for not using all his subs in the season opener against Chicago. Some praise is due. Probably even a lot of praise. Keep in mind seven of 11 starters from this squad were on the team that managed five wins all of last season. Yet here we are six games in to the 2010 campaign and the Red Bulls have already matched their victory total from all of last year. Yes, Joel Lindpere and Tim Ream have made a big difference. But Salou Ibrahim and Carl Robinson? Not so much (though Ibrahim has played well). Clearly the coach deserves credit. Both coaches, actually. While Backe has undoubtedly done an admirable job, it makes Juan Carlos Osorio look like even more of a clueless lost cause. How he’s having success in Colombia is beyond me.

Dane Richards. I picked up on some signs of improvement in the FC Dallas game (when he was “good”). Philly was a step back (had him “red”) but he was terrific Saturday. In fact, he leads the man of the match poll and at this point is a favorite to be my “bull” of the week on this week’s Seeing Red! podcast. Yes, you heard correctly: I am singing the praises of Dane Richards. And guess what? He deserves it.

Juan Pablo Angel is creating chances and scoring goals. In the first half of Saturday’s game his “midfield work” was more a disruption than anything else, but in the second half it resulted in a goal. But this does not mean Angel is exempt from criticism either. More on that further down.

Seth Stammler had another strong game, this time at left midfield. With Brian Nielsen presumably starting in that spot at San Jose on Saturday, it means Stammler should start in Carl Robinson’s spot at holding midfield. But it may not happen. Backe seems to like Robinson, for whatever reason.

The Bad:
Robinson. Really hard to figure out why he continues to start. He can’t really control the ball, can’t pass it and can barely run the pitch.

Bouna Condoul still can’t play goalkeeper. He’s great at stopping shots though.

What’s going on with Roy Miller? He played poorly again. Seems to lack focus or something.

The Red:
Angel’s conversion ratio of goal chances is very poor. He could have had three or four Saturday.

Salou also had an egregious miss late in the second half.

The team was poor defensively in the first half. DC should have scored at least two or three goals. The Red Bulls continue to dodge bullets in this area; we saw the same thing in the Dallas and Seattle games and elsewhere. Eventually it’s going to catch up with them and one of these brainfarts is going to result in a goal. MLS strikers may not be great but they’re better than this.

The San Jose Earthquakes are playing well and there is reason to be apprehensive about that game.

The Dead:
Jeremy Hall’s sojourn at right back appears to be, at least for now. Chris Albright is eligible to return from the injured list in Saturday’s match. Unless Backe decides he isn’t match fit, Albright should start. With Dane Richards now playing a lot better, you don’t want to give that spot to Hall either. Maybe try him on the left side? No, too many other options there. If Albright starts, Richards keeps improving and everybody else stays healthy, it’s hard to find a spot for Hall in the starting lineup.

Tim Ream has likely taken his last goal kick for a little while. Coundoul is apparently ready to resume those duties, per Backe.

Explanation

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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Player ratings: RBNY 2, DC United 0

Posted on 02 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls put in arguably their best (first team) performance of the season in a 2-0 win at DC United on May 1. It was the team’s first win at RFK Stadium since the 2006 “rebranding” and pushes its record on the young season to an impressive 5-1. Here are ASN’s player ratings for the match:

Bouna Condoul: 6.5
Once again excellent shot stopping. Twice robbed Clyde Simms, the second time (start of the second half) blind. But once again weak play elsewhere. Fortunately none of it was costly. One the whole, his excellent saves carry more weight in his rating, but it would be nice to see him learn to play the position at some point. He’s apparently ready to take goal kicks again, but didn’t do so due to a sore groin–a result of practicing goal kicks, conveniently enough. Also picked up a nasty bruise at the hand (or feet) of Adam Cristman. Showed it to me after the game; it was ugly. Apparently Cristman (whose ancestors clearly weren’t great spellers) did the same thing to Juan Pablo Angel. Didn’t catch that at the game or in the video but maybe somebody else did?

Roy Miller: 4.5
It was his poor clearance that forced Condoul’s best save of the day. Had a few other poor touches. Outplayed by Luciano Emilio on a late play that could have been costly. A quiet game, and not a good one. Would have liked to see him get more involved with the attack on a short pitch like RFK, especially when a defensive player, Seth Stammler, is starting at left midfield.

Tim Ream: 5
Caught out of position on one of the very first plays of the game that almost led to Cristman putting a shot on goal. Around the 15 minute mark he failed to pick up Simms’ overlapping run, though in fairness Mike Petke put him in a tough position of having to cover two men (see below). Not tested much in the second half, where he did much better.

Mike Petke: 6
Much better than the last two games, but his decision-making still leaves a bit to be desired. Case in point: The aforementioned play that nearly resulted in Simms scoring a goal. For reasons obscure he saved a ball played by a DC player from going into touch. Was then hopelessly out of position when it fell to Rodney Wallace who passed it to Kurt Morsink, who crossed it in to Simms, who on top of everything went unnoticed by Ream. Simms somehow managed to head a perfect ball directly at Condoul from about eight feet in front of goal. Also let Jaime Moreno behind him on a play in the second half, which nearly turned in to a goal. However, His passing was greatly improved. And he also did well defensively at other times, with strong tackles and decisive headers.

Jeremy Hall: 5.5
A tale of two halves. In the first, beaten time and again by his man (Castillo, usually). At least he had the presence of mind to commit fouls. His passing was also poor. Much better in the second half; outlet pass to Angel nearly led to a second Red Bulls goal moments after the first. Later passed an excellent ball to Danleigh Borman on an overlapping run that nearly led to (yet) another Angel goal. Better defensively too. Kept Moreno in check. What will happen now that Albright is eligible to return?

Stammler: 7
Was a pest on the left side, a place he had not started since 2006. Heads-up play almost led to a goal around the 30 minute mark of the first half. Passed the ball well and should have been rewarded with an assist but Angel shot a ball right at Perkins (this was in the first half just a minute or two after the previous play)

Robinson: 5
Turned the ball over constantly, or did something (errant pass) that led to it being turned over. But was well positioned defensively, which has to count for something. Okay, so it gives him a perfectly average rating.

Lindpere: 7
Was obviously not comfortable in the heat and consequently did not run as much as he normally does (which is probably more than any other player on the team). But provided excellent service to the forwards, and not just on Angel’s goal. There was an early free kick that was almost the exact mirror image of that play, except Angel headed it wide, and a second one that led to a corner. Also had some decisive tackles in midfield.

Richards: 8
Brilliant work on the first goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Did well otherwise. Saw him track back defensively to pick up a DC player on the completely opposite end of the pitch. Much better decision-making as well. Made the smart, short passes, other than try to win a sprint to the endline. Should have had a second assist but Ibrahim blew the header from point blank range. His best game of the season, by far.

Juan Pablo Angel: 6.5
Hans Backe claimed he was the high target man, so why was he distributing the ball from midfield? Interestingly enough, he did quite well in this role. Exhibit A: The winning goal. The flick header that doubled this advantage was brilliant as well. But probably should have scored two or three more. The old Angel (circa 2007 vintage) would have. It may be time to accept that player is gone now. But so what if he keeps scoring and setting up goals?

Salou Ibrahim: 7.5
The goal was excellent and demonstrated footwork skills of a much smaller man. Was otherwise pretty quiet but so what if he got on the scoresheet? With strikers that’s often all that matters. And frankly, you don’t see plays like in this league very often. Probably few MLS players would have been able to put the ball in the net on that play (and those who were, are likely much shorter guys). But we have to fault him on the second half header, which he really should have buried.

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More coverage of the match:

Initial report and reaction
Hans Backe’s postgame press conference
Petke: ‘I can’t get over the fact that we’re 5-1’
Photo gallery

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 25 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Welcome to the fourth 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’ 2-1 defeat of Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good:
A win is a win is a win is a win. Is a win.

Tim Ream. I picked on him for a play in the fourth minute of the match that, it turns out, was not his fault. On the play in question, Alejandro Moreno found Sebastien Letoux on a counter that really should have resulted in a goal but the Frenchman did not get any power or accuracy behind his one-timer. The play was caused by Dane Richards losing the ball after a corner. Roy Miller, not Ream, was responsible for picking up Le Toux. Mike Petke was caught way up the pitch and was late to recover. Jeremy Hall was a traffic cone. Moreno made a great play. All of the aforementioned are to blame before Ream was. The above realization came after watching the match a second time. Ream’s match rating has been adjusted.

Brian Nielsen should be a force for the Red Bulls ©Scott Marsh/ASN

Brian Nielsen could be an awesome player for the Bulls. He has pace and technical ability and is a natural left-footer–a rare commodity in world soccer. Much more so when you’re talking about a 23-year old. How he ended up here is still a bit of a mystery but we’ll certainly enjoy watching him for as long as he stays. It may just be a summer holiday though.

Salou Ibrahim broke out in a major way against Philadelphia. The goal speaks for itself but he was very active, particularly in the first half. His fitness does not appear to be quite up to par, but that can be easily changed. When it does, and he becomes more familiar with his teammates and their style of play, he could be a very dangerous player in this league. Especially with Angel drawing defenders away from him.

Danleigh Borman was terrific after entering the game for Roy Miller.

The Red Bulls supporter groups. There was a point after the equalizer that the game threatened to tilt in Philadelphia’s favor. Peter Nowak’s men were brimming with confidence and taking control of possession. It was at this point that the supporters became the most vocal. They simply didn’t let their team fall apart the way others in the past might would have. Let’s keep in mind that the Red Bulls are perfect in four home games, three of which were official MLS matches. The home field advantage is very real, despite a lackluster turnout from the local population at large. Speaking of which…

The Bad:
The attendance, or lack thereof. The turnout was simply disappointing. No other way to put it. Every variable was in place for this match to see a huge crowd: The weather was perfect, the team’s local rival were in town, there were few other options to watch a professional sporting event. The “this is Metro/Red Bull” excuse doesn’t hold much water either. It’s hard to imagine why people would care about what happened the preceding 14 years when there is a brand new soccer temple that has received nothing but rave reviews. You’d think local soccer fans, of which there are many (and not just Eurosnobs) would have used this opportunity out of sheer curiosity, if nothing else. Or did that happen already in the Santos match?

Roy Miller played poorly and almost single-handedly caused the equalizer by Philly.

Carl Robinson was atrocious. Hard to see what purpose he serves on this team and hard to believe Seth Stammler or Sinisa Ubiparipovic don’t present better options for Hans Backe.

Bouna Condoul showing up the coaches with his hand gestures and other body language (as well as vocally) when they decided to have Tim Ream take goal kicks. Fact: Condoul was barely reaching the center circle with some of these. But it’s irrelevant what their rationale is/was. It’s their decision, you may not like it, but you deal with it and do so in a way that doesn’t show them up. That’s just weak, man.

The Red:
Dane Richards. This guy just continues to drive you crazy. He’ll play a great ball square or into space for a teammate that results in a chance. Then he’ll lose the ball at an inopportune time and the opposing team will break down the field. Then he’ll actually try to cross a ball and be moderately successful, only to “pull a Dane” (put his head down and try to dribble through his man) the very next play.Just for good measure he’ll have a great defensive play, tracking back to make the tackle and launch the Red Bulls’ attack. The inconsistency is enough to drive you mad. I’m halfway there myself (quite a bit further than that, if some people are to be believed).

Why didn’t this team launch more attacks down the left flank to take advantage of Brian Nielsen? Not a rhetorical question. Keep in mind Nielsen was only part of one practice. After practicing with the team all week the Red Bulls attack should have an entirely different look. It had better…

Condoul is up to his old tricks, and I’m not talking about the goal kicks, which have already been discussed. His play on crosses is once again a danger to his team. At one point in the second half, it nearly caused a second equalizer by Philly. Together with his conduct on in-game coaching decisions (see “the bad”) could this result in a benching? Sutton will surely start the U.S. Open play-in game. Will he be given a chance to win the job with a good performance? Something to keep an eye on.

The Dead
Jeremy Hall is a lost puppy at right back. It’s becoming ridiculous. Check that: It’s been ridiculous. And this is not the first time we’ve made this point. It’s been over a year now and he still can’t play the position. Please put somebody else–anybody else, seriously–there and let Hall compete with Richards for the right midfield spot. Because besides everything else, Hall is a promising midfield talent. It isn’t fair to him to continue this.

Robinson shouldn’t start again either. Both Stammler and Ubiparipovic are better options for that position.


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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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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