Tag Archive | "Dane Richards"

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Photo gallery: RBNY 1, Chicago Fire 0

Posted on 28 March 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 1-0 triumph over the Chicago Fire on March 27. Here are just a few of our favorites, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). Even more of these photos are on our Facebook page. For more coverage of the Fire match check our story, with player ratings.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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A dream debut for Red Bull Arena

Posted on 20 March 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Mike Petke celebrates his first goal at Red Bull Arena--and a whole lot more ©Scott Marsh/ASN

The New York Red Bulls kicked off the Red Bull Arena era in style Saturday night, trouncing Santos FC by 3-1. It was a superb performance by New York and one clearly inspired by its new digs in Harrison N.J. The Red Bulls looked so good, it was hard to tell which team was the storied franchise from Brazil and which the supposedly pithy upstarts from Major League Soccer.

View ASN’s photo gallery here

Beyond the home side’s performance, which we’ll get to in a minute, the night was a celebration of its new ground. Here too all the elements came together exactly right; the weather felt more like late May than late March, with daytime temperatures in the 70s but the mood was livened from news that occurred earlier in the day. In a 1 p.m. conference call, the league and its players union announced a new, five-year collective bargaining agreement that will ensure the 2010 MLS season will start on time. So by the afternoon of gameday, fans knew there was nothing to hold back the good cheer.

It only took 11 minutes into the game for the positive vibe to increase to a fever pitch. Joel Lindpere booted a free kick from about 20 yards off the wall, somehow collected his own rebound and deposited it past Santos goalkeeper Fabio Costa.

Santos got back into the game and dominated possession for the ensuing 25 minutes. But the Red Bulls defense, anchored by Mike Petke (wearing the captain’s armband in Juan Pablo Angel’s absence) and rookie Tim Ream held firm.

Shortly before halftime New York took control of the match and largely decided matters. Off of a corner kick Ream headed the ball to a wide open Petke, who tapped it home. 2-0 Red Bulls. Moments later Macoumba Kandji switched the ball to an unmarked Dane Richards streaking down the right side. The Jamaican international wound up and unleashed a laser into the opposite top corner of the net, leaving Costa no chance.

Hans Backe made a few changes after halftime. Carl Robinson left the match, with Juan Agudelo entering in Kandji’s spot. Kandji took up position at left midfield. Ubiparipovic moved over to right mid. Aside from some rough play (mainly by Santos) and a last-minute goal by the visitors the second half was largely uneventful.


“We looked good today,” Backe said after the match. “We defended very well, all the time. We allowed them just three or four chances over 90 minutes and we created a lot by ourselves.”

The Swedish coach said he was particularly impressed with Condoul (“made some spectacular saves in the first half”) and Ream (“this must be a player for the U.S. national team in a couple of years”).

Backe said he would make a decision on trialist Ibrahim Salou “tomorrow” (Sunday). Asked to say which way he was leaning, the Red Bulls head coach said “I’m rather happy with what I’ve seen.”

Asked his impression of Red Bull Arena, Backe said “It’s one of the best I’ve ever been in the last 20 years.”

The move of Kandji to left midfield after halftime was not a one-off. “I think he can be an option as a wide left player,” the coach said.

John Wolyniec on Red Bull Arena:
“It was great. Fans got here early in numbers. We’re real happy about that. So proud. So grateful. The construction of the building is great. Even when the stadium was halfway full during warmups it was still pretty loud. We found it hard to even talk to each other on the bench [during the game]. It’s definitely a great atmosphere.”

Jeremy Hall on marking Brazilian prodigy Neymar
“I just tried to let him come at me as much as possible until I got around the 18. I knew he was going to run into help, he was gonna cut inside and go out wide. The team did a good job helping me out. He wasn’t really going anywhere, just coming inside and he got stuffed…overall I thought we did a great job defending him.”

Juan Agudelo on coming through the team’s developmental system as opposed to college:
“My goal in life is to be one of the best soccer players in the world, or the top 100. Most of those people that were in the top 100 didn’t go to college; they started their careers early and that’s what I would like to do. And that’s what’s going to happen.

My targets [for this season] are to score a couple of goals and help the team when they need me. Get assists and goals. That’s my job.”


Prematch (Red Bull) player introductions:

Here Mike Petke discusses “the longest six weeks of my life”–the last 10 years leading up to tonight’s grand opening:

A stirring rendition of the star spangled banner by Kelly Rowland:

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 3, Santos FC 1
March 20, 2010 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ

Scoring Summary:
NY: Joel Lindpere (unassisted) 11’
NY: Mike Petke (Tim Ream, Carl Robinson) 43’
NY: Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji) 45’
SAN: Germano (Alex Sandro) 91’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Ibrahim Salou (caution) 16’
SAN: Bruno Aguiar (caution) 42’
SAN: Zezinho (caution) 58’
NY: Wolyniec (caution) 73’


Santos FC – Fabio Costa (Rapahel 86’), Bruno Aguiar, Alex Sandro (Wesley Santos 64’), George Lucas, Alan Santos (Jefferson 82’), Luciano Castan, Neymar, Germano, Breitner (Diego Monar 46’), Giovanni (Marcel 46’), Zezinho (Crystain 80’)

New York Red Bulls (7-0-3) – Bouna Coundoul (GK) (Greg Sutton 61’), Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Mike Petke (Andrew Boyens 80’), Jeremy Hall, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Joel Lindpere (Tony Tchani 85’), Carl Robinson (Juan Agudelo* 46’), Dane Richards (Luke Sassano 61’), Macoumba Kandji (Austin da Luz 73’), Ibrahim Salou* (John Wolyniec 67’)

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Thomas Supple
4th Official: Mark Geiger
Attendance: 25,000

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Q & A with Dane Richards

Posted on 17 March 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN moonlighter and fellow Seeing Red!… moderator Dave Martinez attended the New York Red Bulls media day March 16, where he caught up with Dane Richards. His report and interview follow.

Dane Richards at media day ©Keith Furman / First Row Photos

The fear of failure can be a huge motivating factor, and last year, the New York Red Bulls became the definition of the word. But few fell as far, or as hard, as Dane Richards, who just a year prior was one of the heroes in the team’s surprising run to the 2008 MLS Cup final. After that season in hell, Dane Richards appears to have found new life under new RBNY head coach Hans Backe and is looking to 2010 as a year of redemption. At the media day festivities, the usually jovial Jamaican had his game face on when speaking about the challenges of the new season.

How are you feeling heading into the season?

Well, I got to feel good and optimistic because after last season, try to stay positive, try to give the team a good start.

What do you contribute to your preseason success?

Well, I tried to be positive this season, try to get behind me last season, I want to give it a great start so it can go over into this season. Although in preseason, there is no points, you know? Now is the important time when the points come. So, I just try to be positive, play confident, and the coach allows me to play, and show him what I can do. It has been good so far. Once I’ve been scoring and assisting, it’s giving me confidence and I am just going to continue my stuff.

How has Hans Backe helped develop your game?

I’m feeling good you know, and when I am feeling good, anything can happen. He has shown me, given me a few hints here and there, how to make my runs, and what to do. Once I listen to him, and doing what he wants, it has been working all preseason so I am not changing anything right now.

How has your position and responsibilities changed this season?

Ya, well I have more responsibilities, come inside more, central midfield, I’ve been changing, I’ve been working on it all preseason, I am confident with it and I am doing well. No jitters, no butterflies, when the regular season starts, I should be fine.

This has to be the most serious I have seen you Dane. You have your business face on this season.

Ya I’ve got to be ready. After last season, it’s gotta be about business right now and try to win some games.

And what do you think about Red Bull Arena?

It’s unbelievable man, everybody is talking about it, asking me questions about it, and I haven’t even visited as much this year. I just tell them to look online and they were like OH MY GOD I gotta come to the first game. The amount of people who told me they are coming to the first game, I don’t think the stadium can hold.

For more on Martinez, check out his Red Bulls page at TheOffside.com. For more media day coverage, check out ASN’s videos, photo gallery and more from the event.

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Photo gallery: Media day

Posted on 17 March 2010 by ASN Staff

Keith Furman and First Row Photos were kind enough to supply ASN with a bevy of photographs from the New York Red Bulls 2010 media day event. Here are just a tiny sample of our favorites, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). For more media day coverage check the videos we supplied as well as this story.

All photos ©Keith Furman / First Row Photos

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RBNY media day videos

Posted on 16 March 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN is at Red Bull Arena for the New York Red Bulls 2010 media day activities. We will be updating this post constantly throughout the day, so be sure to check back often. Also follow us on Twitter, if you aren’t doing so already, where we have been posting photos.

Red Bulls GM Eric Stover introduces Red Bull Arena in cake form!

The all time First XI MetroBulls:

Here is footage from the intrasquad practice match that was played earlier. Just ignore the goofy commentary, keeping in mind these are unedited.

Practice Videos

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Red Bulls win second straight, eye sixth place

Posted on 31 August 2009 by arozsa

Richards got the game winner

After not winning a game since May, the New York Red Bulls have now won two straight after a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Columbus Crew Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Dane Richards scored in his second straight game for the home side as they climbed within five points of an improbable basement escape in the Eastern Conference with six games to play.

It may be too late to matter, but even a modest winning streak is a welcome tonic for a long-suffering franchise toiling through one of the worst non-expansion seasons in leauge history.

“Very happy to get another win,” said Interim Coach Richie Williams. “We haven’t had a whole lot this year so I’m proud of the guys.”

Columbus, still reeling from a 5-0 Champions League meltdown in Mexico midweek, rested key attacking starters Robbie Rogers, Alejandro Moreno and Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

“Jason (Garey) and Lenhart are very good players,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “They were a little bit fresher than the other guys, that’s why I started them.”

However complementary their manager might have been, all three of the rested starters made late cameos, but were unable to provide the final touch the visitors lacked all night.

The clearly travel worn Crew, along with with the play-out-the-string mentality of the Red Bulls and typical drudgery of the concrete-like surface at Giants Stadium, made for a game that was destined to be mired in midfield. The chances were few and far between in the first half, but as the Crew threw men forward for their numerous set piece opportunities, the space began to open up for New York on the counter attack.

Richards broke out in the 53rd on such a chance, but was unable to find his teammates running the channels and his tame effort from distance was blocked. He made no mistake on a similar circumstance 10 minutes later, after picking up a deflected cross from the Crew’s Frankie Hejduk. With no teammates in support and one man to beat, he side-stepped his defender and slotted past Columbus reserve goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who was caught halfway off his line.

“I was just trying to get it under control,” said Richards, who bumped his league tally to three with the goal.

“I waited until he backed up into the box and I took him one-on-one and finished it.”

Hejduk, who was unable to recover on the play after getting tangled up with Juan Pablo Angel, earned a yellow card for protesting what he seemingly felt was a deliberate attempt by Angel to take him out of the play. The Columbus defender declined to speak with reporters after the game.

New York, now seemingly restored in confidence during the most difficult season in recent memory, plays host to the struggling Kansas City Wizards next week. A third straight victory would put the interim Williams’ win tally on par with the departed Juan Carlos Osorio’s total for the season. Additionally, it would give the Red Bulls a fighting chance of finishing the season in something other than last place; something that would surely give weight to Williams’ application for the full-time position.

Despite all the nuances, there was no mistaking the biggest motivating factor.

“I don’t want to be remembered in history for being part of the worst team in the MLS,” said Angel.

Meanwhile, in the land of things that actually matter for this season, the Crew gave up a golden opportunity to move into the pole position for their second straight Supporters’ Shield after Houston and Chicago also lost this weekend. Their brutal September schedule continues next week with a trip to the ultimate nightmare CONCACAF venue, Estadio Saprissa, followed by a weekend league fixture at Chicago.

New York Player Ratings

Coundoul – 5 –
Didn’t have to make any big saves, but made things plenty interesting by repeated flapping at crosses. If Schelotto were given more than 5 minutes to work with, he would have been promptly punished.

Petke – 7 –
Typically well suited to match up against physical forwards, and did not disappoint, rendering Steven Lenhart (the love-child of Bill Laimbeer and Kurt Rambis) ineffective all night.

Boyens – 6 –
Steered clear of the gaffes that had plagued him from time to time, and so he gets a solid rating. Lost track of Jason Garey a few times in the first half, but was fortunate that his finishing was atrocious.

Borman – 5 –
Struggled with Ekpo early on, but tightened up as the game went on. Made a crucial clearance off the line in the first half. Did not offer much going forward.

Johnson – 6 –
Solid down the right, and presented the best service on the squad. Needs to keep his composure out there, though.

Stammler – 5 –
Looks thoroughly worn out, and spent most of the day chasing the play. Looking forward to seeing this guy play on a grass field day in and day out next year.

Ubiparipovic – 5 –
Chased and worked alongside Stammler. Had some neat connecting play, but also took a few wrong angles and had a few bad giveaways.

Richards – 6 –
Got the game winner, perhaps even despite himself, after spurning several chances. His teammates were as thrilled for him after the goal as they were frustrated after he repeatedly missed them in space.

Rojas – 4 –
Was this guy even on the field? Pulled for Kandji early in the second half, and the difference was palpable. Looks to be on the first plane back to Venezuela when the season ends.

Wolyniec – 7 –
Made himself a constant nuisance up top and was unlucky not to score after absolutely tattooing the near post in the second half. A savvy, effective veteran who is willing to play third or fourth fiddle on an MLS is a player that New York, whomever is calling the shots, would be insane not to bring back.

Angel – 7 –
Perhaps he’s not the DP caliber 20 goal scorer he was when he came into the league, but gave 100% for the cause, which usually meant coming back to midfield to get the ball and get whacked. Get this guy on a grass surface, with another high caliber forward beside him, and 15 goals is a possibility.

Kandji – 7 – Impacted the game immediately when he came on, streaking up and down the left side. Spent the rest of the game hitting the turf to mixed success.

Sassano – NR – Came on late to spell the midfield.

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Richards signed to new contract

Posted on 18 February 2009 by ASN Staff

Red Bull New York announced today that it had signed midfielder Dane Richards to a new, multi-year contract. Per club and MLS regulations, specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Richards will be starting his third season with the Red Bulls after a strong sophomore season, when he recorded a career-high three goals to go along with a team-high six assists in 23 appearances and 18 starts. The 25-year-old played in all four playoff games in the Red Bulls’ run to their first MLS Cup Final. The Montego Bay, Jamaica native was instrumental in the team’s success in its Western Conference Semifinal second leg match against the Houston Dynamo on Nov. 9, when he had a hand in each of the New York’s three goals in a 3-0 win. Richards won MLS Player of the Week for that performance. He also tallied an assist against the Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup Final.

In 2007, Richards was a MLS Rookie of the Year finalist after recording two goals and six assists in 28 games. On the international level, Richards has earned 12 caps for the Jamaican National Team. Richards was acquired by the Red Bulls via the 2007 MLS SuperDraft, when he was picked in the second round (19th overall).

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Richards, Red Bulls shock Houston to advance

Posted on 09 November 2008 by ASN Staff

Dane Richards scored one goal and set up another in a deciding portion of the first half as the New York Red Bulls beat the defending Houston Dynamo to pull off a stunning upset in the first round playoff series. The Red Bulls got a late goal by John Wolyniec to give New York a 3-0 victory and win the series 4-1 on aggregate and advance to play Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference finals.

It is only the second time in franchise history that New York has advanced past the first round of the playoffs, but the first time (in 2000) was not unexpected. Today’s triumph, by contrast, goes down as one of the more shocking upsets not only in the annals of the club but in the history of the entire league. The Red Bulls were stung by late season suspensions to Jeff Parke and Jon Conway for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy that left an already weak defense relying on an untested second-year goalkeeper. Given a last chance to capture a playoff spot by their own hand, the team turned in perhaps its worst performance of the entire season, losing 5-2 at Chicago. After that loss, several pundits (ASN included) began questioning if head coach Juan Carlos Osorio should resign. When the Red Bulls finally made the playoffs after arch rival DC United lost to Columbus on the final day of the regular season, it did so as the lowest-ranked team and in the Western Conference bracket. Many fans hoped for a quick end against the two-time defending champions. Now, with the two lowest seeded teams facing off in the Western Conference final, New York suddenly has a very real chance of advancing to the MLS Cup for the first time in its history. The Red Bulls have already played at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium once (they tied, 1-1) and hold the edge over RSL in the season series.

There are obviously no calls for Osorio to resign now. The Colombian, in his first year as Red Bulls head coach, took a massive gamble in the playoff series when he benched the team’s three midseason acquisitions in favor of untested rookies and second year players. The move worked. Even though the Red Bulls gave up a late equalizer in the first leg of the Houston series, the young players–particularly Luke Sassano, who held Houston dangerman Dwayne DeRosario in check–were effective. As a result, Osorio went with the same lineup in the return leg at Robertson stadium.

“When it comes down to playing against Houston, to have a good chance you have to have a team spirit,” said Osorio in justifying his decision. “I think we did that last week, and I was pleased with all the guys that started, so that’s why I gave them a second chance this time around.”

Today, it was Dane Richards who stole the show, turning in what was in all likelihood his best individual performance since he as drafted out of Clemson University in 2007. Richards gave the visitors a 1-0 lead on 25 minutes when Sinisa Ubiparipovic found him on a through ball. Richards blew past Wade Barrett and into the box, where he rifled an attempt from 12 yards out past Pat Onstad.

“A lot had been said about the rivalry between him and the fullback (Wade) Barrett, but I think at the end, Dane got the better of the two with his pace,” said Osorio.

Ten minutes later, Richards’ speed again set the Red Bulls’ second goal when he ran free down the right and his cross was handled by Ricardo Clark and referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot. Angel stepped up and put his penalty kick into the side netting to Onstad’s right to give the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead.

Richards helped clinch the stunning victory when he made a remarkable run to the end line, crossing the ball in front to Wolyniec, who tapped the ball into the empty net in the 81st minute to ensure that there will be a new MLS Cup champion.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo
2008 MLS Playoffs, Western Conference semifinals, second leg
November 9, 2008 — Robertson Stadium

Scoring Summary:
NY– Dane Richards 1 (Sinisa Ubiparipovic) 25
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 2 (Penalty Kick) 36
NY — John Wolyniec 1 (Richards), 80


Houston Dynamo — Pat Onstad, Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett (Corey Ashe, 45), Brian Mullan, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brad Davis, Kei Kamara (Nate Jaqua, 53′), Brian Ching.

Substitutes Not Used: Tony Caig, Patrick Ianni, Craig Waibel, Geoff Cameron, Stuart Holden,

New York Red Bulls — Danny Cepero, Andrew Boyens, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji, 84), Luke Sassano, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dave van den Bergh (Carlos Mendes, 87), John Wolyniec, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Gabriel Cichero, Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas, Mike Magee.

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Dave van den Bergh (caution; tactical foul) 5
NY — Kevin Goldthwaite (caution; tactical foul) 28
NY — Luke Sassano (caution; tactical foul) 47+
Hou — Eddie Robinson (caution; ) 62
Hou — Brian Mullan (caution; ) 73

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Sean Hurd
4th official: Alex Prus
Time of game: 1:
Attendance: 30,053
Weather: Sunny and 74 degrees

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Red Bulls succumb to TFC, 3-1

Posted on 05 October 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker

©ASN/Fernando Rendon

The New York Red Bulls lost a game they needed to win, allowing three goals to a team that had never scored at Giants Stadium and not scored more than one in a match since June. Toronto FC’s Chad Barrett scored two of these for the visitors, including the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute after “Metro reject” Marvell Wynne blew by the entire Red Bulls defense on a breakaway.

It was a disappointing night for New York, which played well at times–certainly lightyears better than it had in the 5-4 loss to Colorado a week prior. But the Red Bulls were undone by a first half defensive fowl-up by Gabriel Cichero that put the visitors up and it was Cichero’s forward run on a freekick that left the team exposed at the back on TFC’s second goal. Cichero’s performance against Colorado led him to be pulled at halftime.

Head Coach Juan Carlos Osorio didn’t point the finger at the Venezuelan defender this time. “He was doing okay…until the goal, but then after that it probably got stuck in his mind and was probably was doubtful on some plays,” said Osorio before adding. “We all are responsible.”

Dane Richards’ third goal of the year temporarily tied the game at one four minutes into second half, but Barrett’s 65th minute goal gave Toronto the lead for good. Abdus Ibrahim then put the game away, beating Conway off a pass from reserve Johann Smith in the 86th minute.

The loss was the third straight for New York, drops the team to 10-10-8 for the year, and combined with Real Salt Lake’s tie with New England tonight ties the two teams for a wild card playoff spot with 35 points each. The two teams meet in Salt Lake on Thursday night with major playoff implications on the line (ESPN 2).

Match Facts

Toronto FC (8-12-7) vs. New York Red Bulls (9-10-8)
October 4, 2008 — Giants Stadium

Scoring Summary:
TOR Barrett (8)
NY — Dane Richards 3 (Juan Pablo Angel 3, Kevin Goldthwaite 2) 49
TOR- Chad Barrett 9 (Marvell Wynne 1) 65
TOR — Abdus Ibrahim 2 (Johann Smith 1) 86

Toronto FC – Greg Sutton, Kevin Harmse, Hunter Freeman, Tyrone Marshall, Jim Brennan, Marvell Wynne, Amado Guevera, Carl Robinson, Rohan Ricketts, Danny Dichio

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Edwards, Marco Velez Tyler Rosenlund, Jarrod Smith

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Jeff Parke, Gabriel Cichero, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas, Seth Stammler, Dane Richards Mike Magee, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Matthew Mbuta

Misconduct Summary:
NY — Juan Pablo Angel (caution; Reckless Tackle) 35
TOR — Kevin Harmse (caution; Dissent) 35
NY — Jorge Rojas (caution; Delaying a Restart) 37
TOR — Chad Barrett (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
NY — Jeff Parke (caution; Reckless Foul) 79
NY- Gabriel Cichero (caution; Reckless Foul) 87

Referee: Ramon Hernandez
Referee’s Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Rob Fereday
4th official: Lee Suckle
Time of game: 1:56
Attendance: 13,756
Weather: Clear and 68 degrees

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Rapids outshoot Red Bulls in sloppy night at the Swamp

Posted on 28 September 2008 by Nathaniel E. Baker


The Colorado Rapids defeated the New York Red Bulls 5-4 in a rainy Saturday night game at Giants Stadium that was marked by defensive lapses on both sides. Seven of the goals were scored in the first half before the teams settled down a bit in the second. After the two newest members of the Red Bulls, Matthew Mbuta and Macoumba Kandji combined for a pretty goal to tie the game in the 74th minute, Conor Casey completed his hat trick with the game winner goal in the 90th.

“I thought we all were very poor today,” said Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio after the game. “This is the first time in my professional career that a team I have coached conceded four goals in one half. Absolutely terrible.” Asked for a Cliffs Notes version of what he told the team, Osorio replied, “You don’t want to know.”

Of Osorio’s speech defender Jeff Parke said only “He let us know in his own words [that] it’s not acceptable.”

Playing without two starters, Kevin Goldthwaite (red card suspension) and Dave van den Bergh (sports hernia), the Red Bulls started with a three man back line of Diego Jimenez, Gabriel Cichero and Parke. It became clear almost immediately that the defensive formation would not hold water–much less a Colorado team that attacked from the word go.

Omar Cummings put the visitors up after only three minutes when Cichero let Conor Casey walk past him. Jon Conway made the initial save but Cummings slotted home the rebound. After Colorado’s Cory Gibbs returned the favor and gifted Mike Magee the equalizer, Conor Casey again bulled past the Red bull defense and put the Rapids up, 2-1.

To Osorio’s credit, he switched the formation on the fly, moving Carlos Mendes to right back to create a four man back line. The move appeared to work as the Red Bulls slowly regained control of the game. Pablo Mastroeni was called for a hand ball in his own penalty box that gave the Red Bulls a questionable penalty. “It’s extremely harsh on the defender when he gets it rammed into him from a yard away that the referee calls hand ball,” said Rapids interim head coach Gary Smith. “I don’t think it was a case of arm to ball–more a case of ball to arm. In that case I really think a bit of common sense needs to be shown.”

Juan Pablo Angel converted the penalty for New York and Dane Richards put the hosts up 3-2 in the 40th minute. It appeared the Red Bulls had the upper hand and would perhaps even coast to victory against a Colorado Rapids team that has struggled for large portions of the 2008 season.

That was not to be, however, as Colorado came roaring back to equalize and then take the lead. Mike Petke scored the first after the Red Bulls defense failed to clear a corner and Casey converted a penalty to put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time.

Osorio made another adjustment to start the second half, pulling Cichero for Andrew Boyens. “I think that was a wake up call for him,” Osorio said of the Venezuelan defender. “They [Colorado] played very direct football and he just couldn’t handle it…I think he struggled physically against Casey.” Dane Richards left the game with a hyperextended right knee in the 55th minute. Replacing him was 23-year old forward Macoumba Kandji, signed on loan from USL’s Atlanta Silverbacks earlier this month. Fifteen minutes later, Mbuta got his chance, entering the game in the 70th minute for Carlos Mendes.

The Red Bulls equalized four minutes later on an inspired combination from their two newest players. “It was a great play,” said Kandji after the game. “The right back passed it to me, I passed it back, hit it to [Mbuta], flick it, I go back…couldn’t have put it any better.”

For Mbuta, the goal was only the second time he touched the ball. “When I came in I just did exactly what he [Osorio] asked me to do and I scored the goal,” said Mbuta, who scored against the Red Bulls as a member of USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore in that team’s upset of New York in the U.S. Open Cup earlier this season.

Red Bulls player ratings

On scale of 1-10 where 10 is highest.

Conway – 4 – Partially to blame for the first two goals, left hung out to dry on the last three. Didn’t convince, especially when coming off the line.

Parke – 4 – Hard to give a defender a good mark when five goals were conceded. Switched from a right sided back in a 3 man backline to a center back in a 4 man backline and back throughout the match. Lost Conor Casey at the end to give up the winner.

Cichero – 4 – Got mixed up with Conway on the first goal and was abused by Conor Casey on the second goal. Physically overmatched by Casey and also Omar Cummings. Osorio abandoned the three man backline midway through the first half, then pulled Cichero at half time and immediately went back to it. The dreaded halftime sub might be a low point for his season.

Jiminez – 5 – Had all the work to do playing behind Rojas and couldn’t possibly cover enough ground to make it happen. Settled down and had a solid second half.

Richards – 6 – Took a while for him to get involved, but once the Red Bulls started to play more direct, he began to cause problems. Got injured right when he was starting to heat up. Excellent run through the box on his goal.

Pietravallo – 8 – MOTM for NY despite committing the foul that earned Colorado’s penalty. Outstanding workrate in the midfield, and began to assert himself in possession in the second half. Great run to set up the equalizer in the second half.

Rojas – 5 – Better second half cancelled out an awful first half. Was not up for the task of playing as a wide man in a 3-5-2 once again, as he left Jiminez isolated and forced Osorio to move to a 4-4-2. Played well as a quasi-target man in the second half and looked better coming into the middle of the field.

Stammler – 5 – Really was redundant with Pietravallo holding up the middle and Colorado playing mostly over the top. A quiet game for him, but could have been better utilized by his manager.

Mendes – 5 – Could have been more useful on the backline as he spent most of the game watching the ball being played overtop of him. Didn’t add anything to the attack.

Magee – 5 – Failed to impress. Seemingly given a free role by Osorio, he does little to impose himself on the game. Was gifted the first goal, but did little else. When Dave van den Bergh gets healthy it’s unlikely he’ll keep his spot.

Angel – 6 – Invisible in the first half. Very effective in the second half as NY pumped every ball straight into his feet or up high in his direction. Was combining well with Richards when he left the game. Headed a clear chance right at the keeper in the second half.

Boyens – 7 – Came in a calmed down the defense in the second half making some important challenges. Was in the right position on the final goal, but was beaten by the quality of the cross.

Kandji – 6 – Looked uncomfortable with his new teammates, but still managed to create the 4th goal in the second. The physical tools and energy are all there for him to make the second forward spot his.

Mbuta – 7 – Added a spark that the Red Bulls sorely needed when Richards came out. Really threw his body around and combined nicely with Kandji on his goal. Very pacy.

Notes and Observations on the visitors:

Conor Casey was an absolute menace in front of the net. One wonders how many goals he could have scored tonight had Terry Cooke been serving crosses opposite Colin Clark the entire game. He’s definitely Bob Bradley’s type of player, so another game or two like this, and you might be seeing him back in a US kit for the first time since he left the 2005 Gold Cup on a stretcher. He’s got to offer more than Eddie Johnson.

Cory Gibbs, other than his mistake on the first goal, looked fast and athletic. His manager, Gary Smith, was extremely complimentary of him after the game, noting that it might have been the first mistake he’d seen Cory make since he came to the team. What in the world could LA have been thinking passing this guy up?

Pablo Mastroeni looked very lively as well, and should get himself a nice payday in Serie A next season.

How out of favor are Jose Burciaga and Christian Gomez that they can’t crack this lineup ahead of Nick Labrocca and Jordan Harvey?

Match Facts

Colorado Rapids (10-12-4) vs. New York Red Bulls (9-9-8)
September 27, 2008 — Giants Stadium

Scoring Summary:
COL — Omar Cummings 6 (unassisted) 3
NY — Mike Magee 5 (unassisted) 5
COL — Conor Casey 6 (Omar Cummings 3) 11
NY — Juan Pablo Angel 11 (penalty kick) 34
NY — Dane Richards 2 (Juan Pietravallo 1, Jorge Rojas 5) 40
COL — Mike Petke 2 (unassisted) 43
COL — Conor Casey 7 (penalty kick) 45
NY — Matthew Mbuta 1 (Macoumba Kandji 1) 74
COL — Conor Casey 8 (Mehdi Ballouchy 4) 90


Colorado Rapids — Preston Burpo, Kosuke Kimura, Cory Gibbs, Mike Petke, Jordan Harvey, Mehdi Ballouchy (Jacob Peterson 94+), Nick LaBrocca (Terry Cooke 79), Pablo Mastroeni, Colin Clark, Conor Casey, Omar Cummings (Greg Dalby 85).

Substitutes Not Used: Jose Burciaga Jr., Christian Gomez, Bouna Coundoul, Ugo Ihemelu

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Jeff Parke, Gabriel Cichero (Andrew Boyens 46), Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards (Macoumba Kandji 55), Juan Pietravallo, Jorge Rojas, Seth Stammler, Carlos Mendes (Matthew Mbuta 70), Mike Magee, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Chris Leitch, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, John Wolyniec

Misconduct Summary:
COL — Nick LaBrocca (caution; Reckless Tackle) 13
COL — Conor Casey (caution; Dissent) 35
NY — Carlos Mendes (caution; Reckless Foul) 61
NY — Andrew Boyens (caution; Reckless Tackle) 67
NY — Diego Jimenez (caution; Tactical Foul) 75
COL — Jacob Peterson (caution; Reckless Tackle) 94+

referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Nate Clement
4th official: Lee Suckle
time of game: 1:53
attendance: 14,795
weather: Showers -and- 68 degrees

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