Tag Archive | "Mike Petke"

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The Good, The Bad, The Red, The Dead

Posted on 20 July 2010 by dkarell

Well, it was a very exciting week for Red Bull New York fans, with the long awaited arrival of Thierry Henry as the 2nd DP. In this 11th edition of the column, we will be focusing on the Red Bulls 2-0 defeat against the first placed Columbus Crew last Saturday as well as the big signing.

The Good: The Red Bulls finally made it official, when announcing on July 14 (also coincidentally Bastille Day in France) that they had signed former French international and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on a four and a half year contract. He became the Red Bull’s second designated player, after Juan Pablo Angel. Henry is set to make his debut for his new club vs. Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly match at Red Bull Arena.

The Bad: Oh, there was a game on Saturday? Yes, yes there was, and the Red Bulls were thoroughly beaten by a better and more organized Columbus Crew squad. The Red Bull midfield was not connecting the defense with the forwards, and the defense was all over the place. It was shades of last season’s massive failures to say the least. Both goals given up were due to lazy marking or miscommunication at the most important junctures, in the final third of the field.

The Red: Two games in a row the defense for the Red Bulls has looked shaky, and the midfield has failed to hold any kind of possession. Joel Lindpere and Seth Stammler have not impressed recently in the central of midfield as well. One has to wonder if coach Hans Backe will maybe put Mike Petke back into the lineup to partner Tim Ream, or if he will play more of a defensive wing back instead of Danleigh Borman. Also, Dane Richards up top has failed to produce any results, and with Henry in the lineup now, Backe might want to lean towards a 4-3-3 with Henry on the left, Salou/Richards on the right, and Angel up top.

The Dead: John Wolyniec’s Red Bull/Metrostars career might be over, as it seems as though he is the odd man out for Thierry Henry to be added to the roster. Woly has played 167 games for the Red Bull/Metrostars franchise in all competitions, with 36 goals over nine years with the franchise. His effort, hustle, and hometown pride made him a fan favorite, and he will be missed and greatly remembered for always being a consummate professional.

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Player ratings: RBNY 2, Houston Dynamo 1

Posted on 03 June 2010 by ASN Staff

The Red Bulls pulled off quite the dramatic win last night. After missing several opportunities to seal the game, and nearly letting their dominance of the Dynamo slip through the cracks on Brian Ching’s game tying goal, they were able to regroup and find a way to their sixth win of the season on the leg of their team Captain, Juan Pablo Angel. Click here for the initial match report). But the fact is, the game could have been sealed and delivered long before that strike found its way to the back of the net. And a closer look at the individuals involved brings that to light.

Here are last night’s player ratings:


Bouna wasn’t forced to make any dramatic saves. Even so, he was solid in the air, using his hands to secure and deflect dangerous crosses throughout the match. His positioning was some of the best the team has seen of him this season, and he provided a steady basis for the defenders to work off of.


Playing his first 90 minutes all season, Albright immediately showed his worth on the right side. He played a solid game, subduing Houston’s biggest threats in Brad Davis and Brian Mullan throughout the night. His greatest contribution? An alert strike back in the box from a deflected set piece that found the leg of Sinisa Ubiparipovic for the games first strike.


Petke did a fantastic job of shadowing Brian Ching throughout the game, but was nowhere to be found on the forwards lone goal. It can be argued that the big Hawaiin was offsides, but leaving a man of his repertoire unmarked is a recipe for disaster. Still, Petke helped shut down the forwards with his physical play, and was an enforcer when Angel was brutally tackled and retaliation was needed. Unfortunately, that retaliation lead to yet another yellow for Petke, causing an immediate expulsion for the Chivas game (hence the lower rating).


Ream played the finesse role to Petke’s tough man act. He was calm and confident on the ball, which has become his MO throughout his young career, and was excellent in setting up the first pass in the build up to counter attacks. But, as with Petke, he was nowhere to be found on that Brian Ching goal, and that is what cost him.


Borman continues to impress with a new found patience and confidence on the ball. His tackles were perfectly timed, and his ability to set up breaking passes on the attack yielded results.


Richards lone highlight was a near perfect cross to Angel that was barely cleared out by Eddie Robinson in the box. Minutes later, he pulled up lame with a strained hamstring. Dane came into the game with a knock, and Backe was wary of risking further in injury to his speedy winger.


Starting once again on the left hand side, Stammler looked completely lost. And had it not been for a transition in mid game back to the central defensive midfield slot, his rating may have shot down even lower. Backe was clearly frustrated with his wing play, calling on Stammler on various occasions to the sideline to bark instructions at the out of place midfielder. His shots were errant, flying wide from absurd distances, and his distribution caused various turnovers. He only settled down when he was back in his natural defensive midfield position, where he played the heavy on many Dynamo attacks (which is his bread and butter).


After so much hard work put in all season long, Sinisa found the back of the net in a well deserved goal (his first of the season). His growth, whether at the midfield slot or on the far right, has been outstanding, with his patience on the ball, dribbling ability and overall confidence permeating through his game. Another solid performance.


Clearly, Joel was not at 100%. Even so, Lindpere drove the ball well earlyand distributed well in the midfield slot. His crosses proved very effective early on, and his set piece deliveries in particular were strong, but once he suffered the leg contusion, Backe made the decision to pull him in the 47th.


Wolyniec is a hustler, and deserved a goal. As a matter of fact, his cross bar clanking shot was all on the back of his hard work and relentlessness. He was even able to beat his defender on various occasions to create dangerous opportunities up, top so much so that he was continuously hacked throughout the game. A prototypical Wolyniec performance on his 100th MLS start.


What a difference 2 seconds can make. Up to that set piece game winner, Juan Pablo Angel was clearly wearing the goat horns. He could not beat Pat Onstad on two separate one on one situations, wasted various plays with poor distribution to attacking forwards and midfielders, was stoic early on in his play, and stiff in his deliveries. But all of that is erased with one shot on goal. Make no mistake about it; only Juan Pablo Angel can bury a shot like that. And a shot like that can overshadow all the bad that came before it.


CONOR CHINN: N/A (but encouraging)

Chinn came into the game at the 83rd minute, and almost immediately found himself on the end of a beautiful set piece cross that he was perfectly positioned to act upon. Conor has a natural ability to predict the path of a dangerous ball and put himself into position to make something happen. Of course, he didn’t do much in the waning minutes, but it is always encouraging to see a rookie have that kind of presence of mind.


Tonight, the Bulls saw a side of Tony Tchani they haven’t seen since his acquisition to the team; offensive threat. With Dane Richards down and Joel Lindpere falling to a leg contusion, Backe gave Tchani the green light to put high pressure and go on the attack. His deceptive speed and distributors touch lead to many a dangerous opportunity for the team, and helped keep the Dynamo on their heels.


Though he was able to cover on the left hand side, Hall wasted away plenty of possession opportunities late in the game with wild clearances up field instead of trying to hold on to the ball and look for the open man. He was effective, and at times, was able to push the ball forward, but his inability to patiently handle the ball when the team needed possession could have cost him.

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Angel the hero as RBNY nip Houston, 2-1

Posted on 02 June 2010 by ASN Staff

Juan Pablo Angel has struggled for large portions of the 2010 season, but he sure proved his worth tonight. His exquisitely-placed stoppage time freekick gave the New York Red Bulls a deserved 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo Wednesday, just when it looked like another disappointing result was in store for the Red Bull Arena faithful. “It was the last kick of the game, to win a game that we should have buried,” Angel told MSG immediately after the match. Speaking of MSG, it failed to broadcast the feed for the first 50-some minutes of the match, much to the consternation of one particular reporter who couldn’t make it to Red Bull Arena.

Below a photo sequence of the deciding goal. ©Scott Marsh / 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.

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“We felt it was coming the whole game,” Sinisa Ubiparipovic said of Angel’s dramatic winner. “We kept pushing, kept creating chances…we pushed it up the last 10 minutes and created enough chances to score a beautiful goal.” Ubiparipovic played another excellent game starting at right midfield and put the team up in the first half. Halfway through the second, Brian Ching was left unmarked by Mike Petke and tied the game at 1-1. The Red Bulls had plenty of chances in what was probably their best performance of the season. In the first half, Angel blew a chance from point blank range. John Wolyniec hit the crossbar in the second, moments before Houston’s equalizer.

With the dramatic win the Red Bulls halt a four game losing streak in MLS matches. With the World Cup break coming up it comes at an opportune time indeed. Much more on this in a bit. In the meantime listen to Hans Backe’s postgame press conference.

Or discuss the match in our forum thread dedicated to that purpose.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 2, Houston Dynamo 1
June 2, 2010 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ
Attendance: 11,462

Scoring Summary:
NY: Sinisa Ubiparipovic 1 (Chris Albright 1) 15’
HOU: Brian Ching 2 (Bobby Boswell 1) 65’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 6 (unassisted) 94’+

Disciplinary Summary:
HOU: Richard Mulrooney (caution) 13’
HOU: Eddie Robinson (caution) 28’
NY: Danleigh Borman (caution) 31’
NY: Chris Albright (caution) 40’
HOU: Brian Mullan (caution) 40’
NY: Jeremy Hall (caution) 59’
NY: Mike Petke (caution) 75’
HOU: Lovel Palmer (caution) 89’

New York Red Bulls (6-5-0, 18 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Danleigh Borman, Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Chris Albright, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Joel Lindpere (Jeremy Hall 47’), Seth Stammler, Dane Richards (Tony Tchani 15’), John Wolyniec (Conor Chinn 83’), Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Irving Garcia, Luke Sassano, Juan Agudelo

Houston Dynamo (5-6-1, 16 pts.) – Pat Onstad (GK), Andrew Hainault, Eddie Robinson, Bobby Boswell, Richard Mulrooney, Danny Cruz, Lovel Palmer, Brad Davis, Brian Mullan (Corey Ashe 46’), Brian Ching (Joseph Ngwenya 81’), Cam Weaver (Dominic Oduro 61’)

Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Craig Waibel, Ryan Cochrane, Luis Angel Landin

Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkey, Jeff Muschik
4th Referee: Mark Geiger

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Photo gallery: Crew 3, RBNY 1

Posted on 22 May 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 3-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew May 20 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

Player ratings

Discuss the game in our new forum, which has an entire thread dedicated to that purpose.

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Player ratings: Crew 3, RBNY 1

Posted on 21 May 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls put up a solid team effort that was hard done by the final 3-1 result loss to the Columbus Crew on May 20. What about individual efforts and, more importantly, individual performances? We get to that here in our player ratings:

Bouna Condoul: 6
Definitely a performance to build on. Liked his aggressiveness on early crosses. Why he backed off of this is a mystery and may have in fact had an impact on the second goal by Columbus. Also had a terrific save (off Adam Moffat?) in the second half and did well stifling other Crew shots. Believe this is the first loss of the season where we can honestly say he didn’t play a direct role. Little victories. But the next (MLS) match will be crucial because he’s had encouraging performances earlier only to relapse to his old ways the next time out.

Chris Albright: 6.5
Solid in the first half and that on both ends of the pitch. Was a stabilizing force on defense and in the attack kept the ball moving and had a few nice passes into space. Unfortunately came undone a bit in the second half where he was beaten by his man on several occasions and turned the ball over. Maybe he ran out of steam? Hopefully it wasn’t another (or the same) injury.

Mike Petke: 2
Sad that his 300th MLS game was also one of his worst in recent memory. Very little went right for him. Could have faulted him on the first goal, at least in part. The second was scored by his man so he bears most, if not all of the responsibility. The third was even more egregious and came at a time when the team was gathering momentum for a final push to equalize. To his credit he took responsibility for his poor play.

Tim Ream: 3
Had one or two strong moments in the first 30 minutes of the game, but that was it. Caught in no-man’s land on the first goal, between Frankie Hejduk and Eddie Gaven, though Petke probably should have done a better job covering for him. Terrible mistake on the third goal, though again his partner in central defense bears a large part of the burden. But his lack of pace is beginning to show as a liability. Perhaps teams are learning to take advantage of him?

Danleigh Borman: 5
Had a few strong moments, particularly in the first half, but was too inconsistent. Love his hustle but needs to take care of the ball better. Maybe better suited for midfield?

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 7
Stellar first half; probably his best 45 minutes as a pro (or at least in recent memory). Effectively ran the offense in Joel Lindpere’s absence. Distributed the ball well, hustled, created space for his teammates. Exactly the type of stuff this team has been lacking from its midfield players, Lindpere excepted. Seemed to drop off a bit in the second half but still Hans Backe’s decision to substitute him was a curious one. Even though central midfield appears to be his natural position he may be more effective at right wing. Or at least more effective than Dane Richards.

Seth Stammler: 5
A completely average performance. Didn’t make any decisive mistakes but didn’t contribute all that much either, especially for the attack. Don’t think he’s starter material, frankly.

Roy Miller: 5
Had a poor first half but was playing out of position. Seriously, what’s up with these lineups by Backe? Miller is not a center midfielder. Left wing is enough of a stretch. And he was doing fine as left back. Why mess with a good thing? Don’t understand that. Came alive a bit in the second but created far too little. Then again, that’s not a role he’s suited for in the first place.

Jeremy Hall: 3
Did far too little. Needed to help out covering Hejduk as a left mid but failed to do so and it came back to haunt the team on the first goal. Contributed even less offensively. That changed a little in the second half when he was moved to the right side, but not enough. He’s going to have to do a lot more to keep his spot as a starter.

Juan Pablo Angel: 3.5
The freekick was nice (didn’t go in though, did it?) and it was good to see him find a seam in the defense for that early shot that went narrowly wide. But that’s it for nice things we can say about him. His first touch has abandoned him altogether. Literally every time in the second half that he had the ball he turned it over. Still can’t move. His retreats to midfield were a little better planned this time, but he did it far too often and dropped far too deep. Saw him even with the backline on a few occasions. Not sure what he’s trying to prove at this point.

Dane Richards: 6
As I suspected (on the latest Seeing Red! podcast) there was more use for him at forward than in the midfield. Did well to get open and show for the ball. But should have finished better. Or finished, period. Once again his weak technical abilities (no left foot) and inability to see the field (or, if you prefer, his “low soccer IQ”) haunted him. Either way should have done a lot more with his chances.

Tony Tchani: 8
Caused problems for the Crew defense as soon as he entered the match in the 65th minute. Looked great on the ball and love his strength and speed. One question: Why didn’t he start? The team clearly could have used his contributions. Congrats on the first goal, which displayed aerial ability to go with the footwork skills we already knew he had.

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Tchani debut goal spoiled in 3-1 loss to Columbus

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls outplayed the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena Thursday but at the end of the night had nothing to show for it. After dominating the first 35 minutes of possession, Frankie Hejduk combined with former MetroStar Eddie Gaven to give the Crew a 1-0 lead before Andy Iro doubled it off a corner four minutes later. The Red Bulls had most of the match in the second half as well and appeared to seize the momentum when Tony Tchani scored his first professional goal nine minutes from time. But a miscommunication between Tim Ream and Mike Petke led to a third Columbus goal in the 83rd minute and Red Bull never recovered.

“It’s a defeat that hurts, that’s for sure,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said in the postgame press conference, which can be listened to in its entirety here.

“Credit to them tonight,” Petke said of the Crew. “I don’t think they deserved it, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Petke described the mix-up on the third goal as “bad miscommunication” between him and Tim Ream. “I’ll take the blame,” he added.

It was not a memorable 300th game in Major League Soccer for the Babylon, N.Y., native. “I feel like I played 300 games in the last week,” he said.

Player ratings are out and be sure to check out the photo gallery!

Tony Tchani ©Scott Marsh/ASN

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 1, Columbus Crew 3
May 20, 2010 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ
Attendance: 11,940

Scoring Summary:
CLB: Eddie Gaven 2 (Frankie Hejduk 2) 35’
CLB: Andy Iro 2 (Eddie Gaven 2) 39’
NY: Tony Tchani 1 (Carlos Mendes 1) 81’
CLB: Emilio Renteria 1 (unassisted) 83’

Disciplinary Summary:
CLB: Adam Moffat (caution) 52’
CLB: Andy Iro (caution) 60’
NY: Seth Stammler (caution) 75’
NY: Tim Ream (caution) 85’


New York Red Bulls (5-4-0, 15 pts.) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Danleigh Borman, Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Chris Albright (Carlos Mendes 71’), Jeremy Hall (John Wolyniec 68’), Roy Miller, Seth Stammler, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Tony Tchani 65’), Dane Richards, Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Conor Chinn, Luke Sassano, Irving Garcia

Columbus Crew (5-0-2, 17 pts.) – William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Eric Brunner, Andy Iro, Danny O’Rourke, Brian Carroll, Adam Moffat (Jed Zayner 57’), Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo (Emilio Renteria 68’), Steven Lenhart, Jason Garey (Duncan Oughton 89’)

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum, Gino Padula, Dilly Duka, Sergio Herrera


Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Peter Manikowki
4th Referee: Jorge Gonzalez

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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.

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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Petke on Sounders match: 'We shouldnt' have even tied'

Posted on 16 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Mike Petke ©First Row Photos

A visibly dejected Mike Petke did not sugarcoat his feelings after the New York Red Bulls’ 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders. Never one to mince his words, the centerback said his team were hard done by the result, their first loss at Red Bull Arena. “It’s a game we shouldn’t have lost, I can tell you that,” he said. “If anything, worst case scenario we should have walked out with a tie and still be pissed off like we are right now. We shouldn’t have even tied the game.”

The visiting Sounders were “a team that we were better than, that we should have put away,” Petke added. “We didn’t and they ended up walking out of here with a positive result for themselves.”

Still, the Babylon, N.Y., native found plenty to criticize about his own side. “It was too much in spurts tonight…instead of putting our will on them starting from the opening whistle.”

The decisive play of the game came off a freekick around the midfield line. Brad Evans played a long ball over Petke onto the foot of Fredy Montero, who did the rest, leaving Bouna Condoul little chance in depositing the ball into the short corner of the goal.

“Noone reacted right,” Petke said of the play. “Immediately there should have been someone in front of that wall and us four should have reacted–obviously–a little better.”

How much do the Red Bulls need a playmaking midfielder? “It’s hard to answer that question,” he said. “If we get a superstar that could help us…that’s gonna help us. I think Joel [Lindpere] is capable.”

Ultimately the addition of players like Thierry Henry or Ze Roberto mattered little if the team’s core could not produce.

“It doesn’t matter who we have. Getting players like that will improve us always…We have to right these things ourselves. one or two players doesn’t make a team.”

Petke knows things do not get any easier from here for the Bulls. A short week awaits, followed by a visit by the undefeated Columbus Crew on Thursday night. With a loss to the two-time defending Supporters Shield champions, the Red Bulls drop out of first place in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re playing Thursday against a very good team, Columbus. Man up and put our balls to the wall,” was how Petke assessed the situation.

A packed schedule of five games in two weeks will then lead the team into the two-week World Cup break. The Red Bulls visit New England May 29, a place they have not won in years. A tough Houston Dynamo squad visit Red Bull Arena June 2 before the pre-World Cup schedule concludes with a visit from Chivas USA June 5.

More ASN coverage of the match

Hans Backe’s postgame press conference audio

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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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 10 May 2010 by ASN Staff

Welcome to the seventh 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’ 4-0 defeat at San Jose on Saturday. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

The Good:

Tony Tchani played well in his first MLS start. He’s got a few kinks to sort out but he can definitely become a solid contributor in this league. Maybe a lot more than that.

Salou Ibrahim wasn’t terrible.

Yes, that’s what we have to resort to this week in “The Good” category. “Not terrible.” That kind of week, folks. Hopefully there won’t be one of these for quite some time.

I suppose that’s another good thing; that this is an anomaly rather than the norm it was last year. Or at least it has been so far.

The Bad:

Start with the team as a whole. They clearly quit after the second San Jose goal. It wasn’t so much about keeping the Quakes’ margin of victory respectable (goal difference carries little weight in MLS) but that it just doesn’t speak well to the team’s spirit. It was the first time you can really say the team as a whole disappointed this season.

If we’re going to pick on individual players for their gaffes (and yes, we absolutely will) it starts with one name: Luke Sassano.

Contrary to many fans, I do not fault Hans Backe for starting Sassano in Jeremy Hall’s place. Hall has been a major defensive liability and with Bobby Convey in form it was going to make for a long night. Of course, as it turned out it was a long night anyway. Blame Sassano for this. All he had to do was keep Convey in check, guard the byline and eliminate his runs down that side. Okay, so that’s a lot easier said than done. But the point is that having a defensive player in that role, even if it’s just to cut off some passing lanes, would have done more for the team’s defense than Jeremy Hall does at that position. The one caveat being that the player in question had to actually stay in the game. Sassano failed at this in a very egregious manner, by committing a boneheaded foul (that was absolutely red card worthy by the way) and getting himself sent off after 13 minutes.

That foul threw the entire gameplan, of which Sassano played a major role, out the window. The team basically had to retreat into a shell, with Seth Stammler abandoning his spot in left midfield to take over the right back spot. This cut into the Red Bulls’ presence in midfield, which in turn eliminated the service to the forwards.

Even so they should have done better.

Tim Ream finally had his rookie game. It was unfortunate that it happened right when the team was forced to rely on him more than usual. We’re willing to give him a pass because it’s the first time this happened. But his overall level of urgency seemed lacking. He was burned on the first Quakes goal and had a large part in the second (though not as much as the guy we’re about to pick on). I realize part of this is Ream’s overall demeanor, but still, you want to see somebody a little more fired up in those situations.

Bouna Condoul’s gaffe gifted the Quakes their second goal, causing the team to pack it in before losing 4-0. You can’t blame Bouna for the fact that the team quit, but you can blame him for letting in a soft goal when the team could ill afford it. A two goal deficit in the second half, with a man down on the road is very, very difficult to come back from. But the Red Bulls certainly could have salvaged something had the score remained 1-0 for awhile. It didn’t though, and the reason for that has a name: Bouna Condoul (with assist to Tim Ream).

Seth Stammler needs to step up in situations like this. I know it’s not an ideal scenario, but he and Mike Petke were the veteran guys back there and the team really could have used some leadership.

The Red:

Juan Pablo Angel looked completely lost. He could barely move after about 20 minutes. This has been going on too long to write it off as a lingering injury or bad form. It may very well be one or the other, or even both, but age and wear and tear are no doubt the larger factors. We are in all likelihood witnessing the twilight of Angel’s career. At this point you can barely justify bringing him back as as non-designated player next year. Or, if current patterns hold you won’t be able to at season end. Very sad.

After such a disappointing loss, what will the turnout be this weekend against the Seattle Sounders?

If the gate is even weaker than it was for Philly (say 13K or below) and the Red Bulls lose, then what?

Who exactly are this team’s leaders? Angel is ineffective. Mike Petke? He didn’t appear to do the job Saturday, or even want it. Stammler? Not a regular starter. Lindpere, Carl Robinson, Roy Miller and Ibrahim Salou are too new. Dane Richards? Uh, right.

What role, if any, does Backe envision for Jeremy Hall? Obviously Sassano is not a realistic alternative, but we’re (again) expecting Chris Albright to start Saturday at right back.

Speaking of Backe, how, if at all, does he react to the team’s first truly disappointing outing of the season?

The Dead
Who does this team have to play goalie? It appears neither Coundoul nor Greg Sutton are up for the job. Where have you gone Caleb Patterson-Sewell?

Will Sassano get a chance to redeem himself in the US Open Cup game Wednesday? Or did he hang himself with the rope Backe supplied him?

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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