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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

no images were found

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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Photo gallery: RBNY 2, Union 1 (US Open Cup)

Posted on 29 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 2-1 US Open Cup preliminary round win over Philadelphia Union April 27 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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Chinn brace sees Baby Bulls past Philly in USOC prelim (updated with player ratings)

Posted on 27 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

New York Red Bulls rookie Conor Chinn has reasons to smile. Two of them, in fact, for the number of goals he scored for his team in Tuesday night’s frigid US Open Cup play-in game against the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls fielded a squad made up almost entirely of second-stringers, but still dominated the match against the Union, who played almost all starters. In the end the 2-1 scoreline did no justice to the team’s performance–probably its best of the season.

Enjoy this photo of Chinn celebrating one of his goals with teammate Andrew Boyens. Listen to Hans Backe’s postgame press conference, if you haven’t already or skip to the player ratings at the bottom of this page.

Andrew Boyens congratulates Conor Chinn on one of his goals Tuesday night ©Scott Marsh/ASN

Player Ratings

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest.

Greg Sutton 5.5
Looked a bit stiff. And there was the goal, which he should have done more to prevent. Bouna Time will return.

Luke Sassano: 7
Played well. The assist was a thing of beauty. Easily the team’s best goal of the season. Clearly has skills. Also did well after being switched to centerback though there were one or two moments late in the match where he was caught flat footed.

Carlos Mendes: 5
Didn’t make any egregious mistakes but did not look at all comfortable out there. Didn’t move well. Clearly not match fit. Would expect him to be the first player cut at this point.

Andrew Boyens: 7
Solid. Didn’t notice any crucial errors (but will probably need to see a replay of Sebastien Le Toux’ goal to be sure. Seemed to move a little better than I remember.

Danleigh Borman: 7.5
Shut his side of the field down and also provided good service to the attack. Made some nice runs. A serviceable left midfielder or left back for sure.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 5
Yeah he got an assist on the second goal but it was Stammler and Sassano (and obviously Chinn) who did the heavy lifting. Did a few things right but more often than not seemed to be holding up the flow of the team’s passing game. Also blew what would have been a 3-on-1 in the second half and had several other chances go wanting.

Seth Stammler: 8.5
Provided leadership, poise and serenity to the team’s game. A pillar in defensive midfield and additionally a lynchpin for its attacks. This would have been a completely different game without him–and not in a good way. The man of the match. Now why isn’t he starting again?

Tony Tchani: 8
After a few nervous moments in the opening minutes he came on strong. Dominated the flow of the game at times. This is a guy who has size, strength, but also solid technical ability and vision to boot. A Jozy Altidore of the midfield–if he were five or six years younger. Even so, he could be a dominant player in MLS, perhaps even soon.

Brian Nielsen: 6.5
Had some nice moves in the early going but ran out of gas. Also got a bit sloppy and generally seems to lack creativity. Perhaps that is also due to not knowing his teammates well yet. Needs to get match fit. It’ll come.

Juan Agudelo: 6
Not a bad first start but would have liked to see more of him. Seemed tentative, which it turns out was due to a knock he picked up in practice. “A collision with the goalkeeper” that had him in the hospital for stomach tests Tuesday morning. Turns out it was just badly bruised. Showed excellent ball and body control though. Will be a special player someday. Kid’s only 17, remember.

Conor Chinn: 7
The weird thing about Chinn is he does not stand out for his pace or skill on the ball or even his size–just his ability to score goals. We saw this in the preseason. He simply has a nose for goal and is able to do what it takes, whether by hook or crook, to get the ball into the net. Both goals were examples of this: him making the run, getting himself in position, then seeing the play through. Of course he also missed plenty of chances too, particularly in the second half. Should have ended up with four or five goals.

Subs:
Albright: 8
Looked very solid at right back. Defended very well. Broke up plays and stayed in front of his man. In other words: all the stuff Jeremy Hall is unable to do. Looking forward to seeing him start the San Jose game next week.

Woly: 4
Looked a bit lost. Did nothing to contribute to the team’s attack and was tentative when he did have the ball. Perhaps still nursing injuries.

Da Luz: 4
That backheel was nice but otherwise disappointed. Didn’t even seem to keep his position. Misplayed several balls. It’s hard to come into a game cold but was expecting more from him.

Garcia: N/A
Kid has pace though. Could be a good player some day.

[polldaddy poll=3120645]

Match Facts

Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, April 27, 2009
Lamar Hunt US Open play-in game

Scoring Summary
NY — Conor Chinn (unassisted) 16
NY — Conor Chinn (Sassano, Ubiparipovic) 41
PHI — Sébastien Le Toux (Arrieta) 68

Misconduct Summary
PHI — Jacobson (yellow card) 31
NY — Borman (yellow card) 66
NY — Boyens (yellow card) 81

Lineups

Philadelphia: Seitz, Salinas, Orozco, Califf, Stahl (Arrieta), Torres (Moreno), Jacobson, Okugo, Zimmerman (Miglioranizi), Mwanga, McInerney (Le Toux).

New York: Sutton, Sassano, Mendes (Albright), Boyens, Borman, Ubiparipovic (García), Stammler, Tchani, Nielsen (da Luz), Agudelo (Wolyniec), Chinn.

Attendance: 3,015

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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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Not yet rivals Union, Red Bulls show little animosity in first meeting

Posted on 24 April 2010 by ASN Staff

The Philadelphia Union picked a curious time to play their first match without picking up so much as a yellow card. The New York Red Bulls had only one such infraction in the teams’ much-anticipated first meeting of the season (a second half yellow card to Mike Petke). This was not a case of MLS referees being MLS referees either. There simply weren’t any rough challenges or verbal barbs by either side. The only exchange worth noting was between members of the same team, when Bouna Condoul, Tim Ream, Mike Petke and various Red Bulls coaches argued over who would take goal kicks.

The Red Bulls seemed to do more arguing among themselves than with their opponents ©Scott Marsh/ASN

To a man, Red Bulls players said they did not feel any of the animosity typically felt between traditional rivals.
“There wasn’t really that much rivalry,” said midfielder Danleigh Borman. “But people are saying it’s a rivalry.”

“I don’t think today felt like a rivalry, it being their first time coming up here” said Jeremy Hall.

“There wasn’t much of the chippiness,” added Tim Ream.

“Normally in a derby game it’s the first 30 minutes: a lot of freekicks, tackles, battle and then the game settles down,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe in the postgame press conference (the first part of which can be listened to here). “But it was a rather quiet game, in a way.”

“It’s too early to get any emotion out of it,” said Borman. “It isn’t that much of a derby, but I’m sure down the years….it will be much more of a derby.”

Hall agreed. “I think it will definitely turn into a rivalry, us being so close and whatnot,” he said. “I’m sure when we go down to Philly later in the year a lot of our fans are going to go out there so I think it is going to be a great rivalry with games to come…I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be awesome to play in.”

Hall, Borman and others will likely get their first chance tomorrow night in the U.S. Open Cup game. Both could see starts. More on that later.

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Kandji out at least 2 months; who gets a chance to step in?

Posted on 21 April 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls announced today, April 21, that midfielder/forward Macoumba Kandji would undergo foot surgery and miss 8-12 weeks. Kandji broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in training April 20 and was due for surgery at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery.

The injury is a blow to the team, as Kandji started all four regular season games this season. He scored the winning goal against Seattle on March 27 in the Red Bulls’ first away win in nearly two years. Otherwise, his performances were mixed. His player ratings were 4.5 for the season opener against the Chicago Fire, 8 for the aforementioned Seattle match, 6 for the loss at Chivas on April 10 and 5.5 for Saturday’s victory over FC Dallas. This works out to an average rating of exactly 6. (Of course the ratings are entirely subjective so take them with a grain of salt if you don’t already. But for what it’s worth, his Metrofanatic.com rating, which is voted on by fans, is 5.6).

The question becomes who should step in to fill the 6’4-sized void left by Mac, who has started at both forward and left midfield this year? Have your say in the poll below. Then read our take below that.

[polldaddy poll=3089745]

ASN’s take:
With the arrival of Salou Ibrahim, Kandji’s days at forward were numbered anyway. While Ibrahim has not impressed in his limited time on the pitch so far, Hans Backe has given every indication he will let the Ghanaian play his way into shape as a starter alongside Juan Pablo Angel.

That leaves left midfield, where Kandji was effectively keeping the spot warm for Brian Nielsen, who is reportedly ready to go against Philadelphia this weekend. If Nielsen isn’t ready, expect Sinisa Ubiparipovic, who has also started at left mid, to get the call against Philadelphia.

So from the looks of it, Kandji was about to be moved to the bench anyway. His presence there will surely be missed, as he can create matchup problems and provide spark as a late game substitute. But with the acquisition of Ibrahim, and the impending arrival of Nielsen, it does not really mean New York is losing a starter.

Who will take Kandji’s role on the bench then? Conor Chinn is the obvious candidate and not just because he’s of a similar stature. But Chinn has dressed for all but the very first game of the season and we expect him to continue to do so in light of today’s news. Kandji’s injury may have bought some time for John Wolyniec. Danleigh Borman will also see increased time and a regular spot in the travel squad if he doesn’t have one already. A player we’d love to see is Austin da Luz, who appears buried on the depth charts. But he should move up with Kandji out. Whether he gets a chance in a game is another matter entirely.

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Brian Nielsen move official

Posted on 15 April 2010 by ASN Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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