Tag Archive | "NY"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Red Bulls earn point in stalemate

Posted on 02 May 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC started their third straight home match on Thursday night in the same style as they finished the last two, scoring early through Marco Vélez but conceding a first-half free kick that levelled the scores at 1-1. As the rain fell and the plastic pitch at BMO Field became more difficult to play on, each side looked increasingly content to play out the draw.

{democracy}


Red Bulls fans vote here.

With the home fans slowly streaming into the stadium to make the 7 PM kick off, made worse by the conditions and the resulting traffic around Toronto’s Exhibition Place, both sides struggled to assert themselves in the early stages.

The game came to life in the 20th minute when Jim Brennan was fouled on the left side of the penalty area. With Amado Guevara and Laurent Robert hovering, the New York defense looked unsure how to defend it. Robert sent in a curling cross, and Marco Vélez popped up at the far post unmarked to power a header past Red Bulls keeper Jon Conway.

His first Major League Soccer goal was proudly celebrated by Vélez, who faced criticism early in the season but has since shown signs that he can be a proven MLS defender in Toronto. The Puerto Rican has experience in USL-1 but has at times struggled to keep up to the pace of the opposition so far in his first season at the highest level.

Just as Toronto were beginning to play some free-flowing football in spite of the worsening conditions, New York struck. Reds defender Tyrone Marshall was adjudged to have handled just outside the box, with the visitors lining up the resulting free kick. As Guevara stepped in to help line up his defensive wall, Red Bulls fans may have felt a tinge of nostalgia at seeing the Honduran standing over a New York set piece.

All sentiment aside, Dave van den Bergh sent a left-footed strike into the only gap the Reds had left open. Greg Sutton was unable to stretch far enough to keep the low strike out of the back of the net.

Both sides pressed for a go-ahead goal in the first half, but the slick field made passing more and more difficult. Adding to that, New York lost their talismanic midfielder Claudio Reyna through a leg injury at half-time, replacing the former Rangers and Manchester City man with Sinisa Ubiparovic.

After the break, the most exciting moment of the second half came when Laurent Robert shoved Hunter Freeman to the ground after being fouled by Jozy Altidore. The French winger received a booking from referee Abbey Okulaja but was lucky to stay on the field.

As the match neared completion, it became apparent that New York were largely satisfied with a point and Toronto were increasingly powerless to stop them. Amado Guevara brought the home fans to their feet with a late volley after forcing a turnover from the Red Bulls defence, but the dipping strike fell right into the hands of Conway.

One positive from the performance for Toronto was their ability to contain the highly-touted strike force of Altidore and Juan Pablo Angel.

New York boss Juan Carlos Osorio was as vocal as ever in directing his players, but was unable to force much of an attacking impetus as the match went on. The Colombian’s side were the first to so much as score at BMO Field this summer, ending the home side’s 100% home record but leaving their unbeaten status intact.

Toronto will enjoy a two week break from action until May 17th, a home tie against Columbus Crew that will signify the start of five games in 14 days, including a trip to Montreal Impact on May 27th for the inaugural tie in the Canada Cup. Along with Vancouver Whitecaps, TFC and l’Impact will be hoping to secure the 2008 trophy and a resulting spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here