Tag Archive | "Salou Ibrahim"

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Angel, Ibrahim shoot RBNY to first DC win since '05

Posted on 01 May 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

The New York Red Bulls got a pair of goals early in the second half and never looked back, defeating DC United 2-0 on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital. Salou Ibrahim struck first for the visitors, after some great work by Dane Richards. Juan Pablo Angel doubled the lead shortly thereafter off a long ball from Joel Lindpere. United had few threats on the Red Bulls goal after that. There were no repeats of last year’s ugliness at the Meadowlands, almost exactly one year ago to the day.

We can now say with conviction that the Red Bulls’ season is off to a great start. The team had not always impressed coming into today’s grudge match. But after getting their first victory at RFK Stadium since 2005, the results speak louder than anything else.

Which is not to say today’s showing wasn’t impressive. The Red Bulls put up a great fight and scored two beautiful goals. That’s right: scored them. From the run of play. Not from a penalty (okay one was off a free kick but still). And not off mistakes from the other team. Sure, there were some shaky moments, particularly in the first half. But give Hans Backe’s team credit for a game well played.

The team is now 5-1, a franchise-best start to a season. Its lead in the Eastern Conference is a whopping seven points over second-placed Columbus (who have two games in hand, but still). Another tough road match awaits: The Red Bulls play at San Jose in a week’s time. The Quakes, victorious over the Colorado Rapids this week, have won three of their last four games and not yielded a goal at home since the season-opening loss against Real Salt Lake. But the Bulls will be stronger in one area: Chris Albright is slated to return from injury and start at right back. Where that leaves Jeremy Hall, who did not play great today, is another question entirely.

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Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 2, D.C. United 0
May 1, 2010 – RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.

Scoring Summary:
NY: Salou Ibrahim 2 (Dane Richards 1, Juan Pablo Angel 1) 51’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 4 (Joel Lindpere 2) 60’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Mike Petke (caution) 34’
DC: Santino Quaranta (caution) 39’


New York Red Bulls (5-1-0) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Roy Miller, Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Jeremy Hall, Seth Stammler, Joel Lindpere, Carl Robinson, Dane Richards (Danleigh Borman 73’), Juan Pablo Angel (Conor Chinn 93’+), Salou Ibrahim (Tony Tchani 72’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Brian Nielsen, Sinisa Ubiparipovic

D.C. United (0-5-0) – Troy Perkins, Rodney Wallace, Juan Manuel Pena (Luciano Emilio 66’), Carey Talley, Jordan Graye, Cristian Castillo, Clyde Simms (Stephen King 75’), Kurt Morsink, Santino Quaranta, Andy Najar (Jaime Moreno 56’), Adam Cristman

Substitutes Not Used: Bill Hamid, Danny Allsopp, Thabiso Khumalo, Devon McTavish

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Daniel Belleau, Claudio Badea
4th Referee: Dave Gantar
Attendance: 12,089

More coverage of the match:

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

Discuss the match in the new forum! No registration necessary! Your Facebook/Twitter/Gmail/Yahoo or other account gets you in!

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The march to D.C. is on!What to expect from this weekend's sojourn?

Posted on 30 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

After an interlude of wintry weather, spring is back in full force for this weekend’s game at RFK Stadium, where the New York Red Bulls take on archrivals DC United (sorry Philly. Maybe after you take a point from us?) A sizable contingent of New York fans will make the trip to the nation’s capital, hoping to see their team continue its hot start. Almost equally important, of course, is the task of prolonging DC’s miserable 0-4 start to the MLS regular season.

On paper, the Red Bulls should be the clear favorites–even though DC looked good defeating FC Dallas in their mid-week U.S. Open Cup match. Hans Backe’s team is off to its best-ever start and earlier this year proved it can win on the road with a 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC.

But two things speak against New York’s role as favorites. First off, this is MLS. What is a truism in nearly every other league in the world–that on any given matchday any team can win its game–is cold, hard fact in this league. Certainly home field advantage and injuries play their role but for all intents and purposes it’s a crapshoot. Flip a coin and it’s likely to be a better indicator of any prediction.

Second, while the Red Bulls’ record is indeed stellar, every one of its wins has come by a one-goal margin. In at least one or two of those (Chicago, Dallas) New York was not even the best team on the pitch. Its one impressive victory came with a side made up mainly of reserves.

Also, we’ve been here before. The Red Bulls entered their match with Chivas USA in similar circumstances; that is, New York was flying high and Chivas were still seeking their first win and frankly looking rather clueless doing it. We all know what happened. Chivas didn’t play particularly well, but New York did play particularly poorly, especially at one position (you know who you are, Bouna Condoul) before losing 2-0.

Lest we forget, the Red Bulls have never won at RFK since, well, ever. (It’s true the team’s last win at RFK came when they were the MetroStars). And Luciano Emilio will be available to come off the bench for DC United. He may even start. With him and Jaime Moreno, DC are a different foe.

From Hans Backe’s side, expect the identical starting lineup to the first Philly game, though there is a slight chance Seth Stammler or Tony Tchani could take Carl Robinson’s place as holding midfielder. Both played very well in the US Open Cup win, while Robinson was very poor in his last start. Then again, Backe has been impervious to lineup moves for reasons other than injuries so unless Robbo has reaggravated his injury, don’t count on it.

Frankly, a lot probably hangs on Juan Pablo Angel’s form and fitness. The former Aston Villa man has not been himself since the vicious tackle by Julian de Guzman in the preseason. If Angel is anything close to full strength, it could be a long day for United and their fans. If not, a hobbled JPA could seriously disrupt the flow of the team’s attack. It will also be interesting to watch Salou Ibrahim in his second regular season start. The Ghanaian played very well against Philly and there is reason to expect even better things from him against DC.

Despite all this, I optimistically predicted a 3-1 victory in the most recent Seeing Red Episode. What’s yours?

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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 25 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Welcome to the fourth installment of this feature, which will run within a day or two of the team’s last game, this season. Today we focus on the New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 defeat of Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) skip to the bottom of this page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explanation of terms
The Good – Should speak for itself. Players, formations, strategies, substitutions and other things that “looked good” for whatever reason (but not aesthetically. We don’t care about players’ hairstyles and the like).

The Bad – Opposite of good. Who and what looked lousy and why.

The Red – Things that have us concerned. Primarily individual play but could also be strategies, (lack of) substitutions and putting players at positions they have no business occupying (though that practice thankfully appears done with the departure of Juan Carlos Osorio).

The Dead – Players, schemes or strategies that deserve to be put out to pasture.

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Photo gallery: RBNY 2, Union 1

Posted on 25 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia Union April 24 at Red Bull Arena. For more coverage of the Philly match check our player ratings.

A few of our favorite photos follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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RBNY player ratings from 2-1 victory over Philadelphia Union

Posted on 25 April 2010 by ASN Staff

It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Red Bulls got the job done Saturday night at their namesake arena in Harrison, N.J., prevailing 2-1 again just as they did the week before against FC Dallas. This time, the victim was the expansion Philadelphia Union. ASN provides player ratings for all 11 RBNY starters. You are invited to assign a letter grade to the ratings to help us gauge their accuracy. Ratings are from 1-10 with 10 being highest. When you’re done here be sure to check out the photo gallery.

Condoul – 5
Wasn’t called on to make the really big saves he made in the FC Dallas match and the goal wasn’t really his fault either. Still, disappointed with his play away from his line in general and on crosses in particular. And what’s with the goal kicks?

Hall – 6
Better than the Dallas game but still not very secure as a right back. Let Le Toux behind him on the tying goal. Nice assist but was he really targeting Ibrahim with it? It’s irrelevant because it resulted in a goal and he deserves the assist. Besides quality crosses, even ones played into a general area, have been lacking. And he placed this one exactly right. But his passing was good and made some nice runs forward.

Petke – 5
Not a great game by Mike, who misplayed several balls that led to Philly chances. Also not sure what his deal is with booting the ball upfield every time he gets it. Don’t you want to move it around a bit and try to break down the opposing team’s defense?

Ream – 6.5
Maybe it’s because we expect so much from him after those first few games, but can’t help but be a little disappointed in this performance. Out of position several times on transition. Nearly committed a turnover on the last play of the game that would have been fatal, but not an isolated incident. Too much fancy dribbling in his own box. It’s okay to just boot those upfield sometimes. Petke does it all the time.

Miller: 4
The tying goal was made possible by him committing himself on an ill-timed overlapping run. It’s fine and good to attack with a 1-0 lead (especially at home) but that’s just foolish. Wasn’t his steady self at other times either. Spotted a few times of him “swinging and missing” at balls and sending crosses into the stands.

Richards: 5
A few decent plays, particularly defensively. But was mainly neutralized by Salinas. How? Easy: play back a few steps and open up his left side. He can’t use his left foot even to push the ball to the inside, it appears. If he could he would do a lot more damage. Instead he just puts his head down and sprints to the endline. At least now he appears to have the presence of mind to try a cross, which more often than not is played behind for a corner. There are worse things, but he also had several poorly-played balls when the team had space and numbers on counter attacks. Just not doing enough with all the balls he gets. Please play it down the left side more, because the guy there appears to have real talent. More on him in a bit.

Robinson: 3
Pretty much completely clueless out there. Lost his touch, his mobility is long gone, and he has no strength on the ball. Can’t even seem to put his body in a position for much of anything. What you’re left with is a holding midfielder who can’t hold the ball (or pass it for that matter). Other than that he’s fine. Can Seth Stammler not provide an improvement? Or Sinisa Ubiparipovic for that matter?

Joel Lindpere: 7
The midfield engine for the Red Bulls. Should have had an assist but Juan Pablo Angel uncharacteristically blew a chance from point blank range. Worked hard on both ends of the pitch. Looking more and more at home in Hans Backe’s formation. Also one of the only guys on the team who seems to know how to switch the ball.

Brian Nielsen: 6.5
A lynchpin on the left side. Why didn’t the team play the ball to him more? Especially rather than to Richards? Seems very strong technically and has terrific pace. His ideas need work, but that’s to be expected at this very early stage. Could be a special player for the Red Bulls once he figures out his teammates.

Ibrahim: 7
Much, much better than the Dallas game. Had more energy, made more runs, found spots in the Union defense. Then there was the goal he scored, exactly the way you’d hope a player of his size and strength to score one: by outmuscling his defender(s) and heading the ball into the net. Could have done some things better but we’ll take this level of improvement.

Angel: 5
Converted the penalty kick with gusto, but that’s about all the good things we can say about his performance. That blown chance toward the end of the first half was bad enough. Seemed lethargic, or hurt, or both. Was a step or two behind where he needed to be. Also didn’t pass the ball well when he was in a position to. Something’s up. He’s clearly playing hurt. Is it his back? Seems to be playing that way, but that’s an uneducated hunch based on cursory observations from somebody with no medical background.

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Red Bulls sneak by Philadelphia, 2-1

Posted on 24 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Stop me if you’ve heard this storyline before. The New York Red Bulls underperformed in front of a lackluster-sized crowd at Red Bull Arena, then prevailed 2-1 in a game they really had no business winning. Juan Pablo Angel converted a penalty kick in the second half to break the tie. That’s what happened in the team’s last match against FC Dallas. It’s also what took place today against Philadelphia Union.

Check out the Red Bulls player ratings here or skip right to the photo gallery.

Angel, Ibrahim and Lindpere celebrate the team's second goal ©Scott Marsh/ASN

There were a few key differences between the two events, however. It was the Red Bulls who scored first against Philadelphia, all goals came in the second half and the team was never really outplayed for stretches of time the way they were against Dallas. Also, today was not a cold night against an opponent nobody really cares about, but a beautiful afternoon against the Philadelphia Union who are widely expected to compete with DC United as the Red Bulls’ primary rival.

By and large there was none of the chippiness expected of the encounter. There were no red cards–a first for the Union in an away match–and just one yellow card, to Mike Petke in the 70th minute.

“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 (which can be listened to in its entirety here). “But it was a rather quiet game, in a way.”

New York defender Tim Ream offered an at least partial explanation. “Having two reds in the first three games got them a little on their heels,” he said of the Philadelphia Union.

The Union were far better organized (and disciplined) than either of their first two away games. In the end they were unlucky to come away with no points from the encounter. The deciding goal came after a handball in the box by Michael Orozco, eight minutes after Sebastien Le Toux answered Salou Ibrahim’s first goal as a Red Bull. The Union’s second half substitute Jack McInerney had a golden opportunity for a second equalizer but headed a pinpoint cross from Alejandro Moreno wide.

Much more to follow from this match, including player ratings. In the meantime vote for man in the match in the poll below:

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If you have an idea for a different nominee you may supply that in the comment area, but really, you’ll have to make a pretty compelling case.

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 2, Philadelphia Union 1
April 24, 2010 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

Scoring Summary:
NY: Salou Ibrahim 1 (Jeremy Hall 1) 50’
PHI: Sebastien Le Toux 4 (Alejandro Moreno 3) 59’
NY: Juan Pablo Angel 3 (penalty kick) 67’

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Mike Petke (caution) 70’


New York Red Bulls (4-1-0) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Roy Miller (Danleigh Borman 67), Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Jeremy Hall, Brian Nielsen (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 67’), Joel Lindpere, Carl Robinson, Dane Richards, Juan Pablo Angel, Salou Ibrahim (Seth Stammler 74’)

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Conor Chinn, Tony Tchani

Philadelphia Union (1-3-0) – Chris Seitz, Cristian Arrieta, Shea Salinas, Michael Orozco, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 78’), Stefani Miglioranzi, Fred, Roger Torres (Nick Zimmerman 46’), Andrew Jacobson (Danny Mwanga 59’), Sebastien Le Toux, Alejandro Moreno

Substitutes Not Used: Brad Knighton, Amobi Okugo, Toni Stahl, Kyle Nakazawa

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Kermit Quisenberry, Peter Balciunas
4th Referee: Mark Geiger
Attendance: 15,619

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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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The Good, the Bad, the Red, the Dead

Posted on 19 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Welcome to the third 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’ lucky (yeah it was) win over FC Dallas on Saturday evening. To see an explanation of these terms (Good, Bad, Red, Dead) see last week’s issue or read the bottom of this page.

The Good:
Luck, fortune, happenstance; whatever you want to call it. The Red Bulls’ changing fate has buried, at least for now, the “same ol’ Metro” talk. Fact is, last year’s team would not have won any of the three games the Red Bulls did this season. It probably wouldn’t have even taken a point. Sometimes, you’d just rather be lucky than good. This team certainly deserves being on the other side of luck ledger after everything it endured the past 14 seasons.

Bouna Condoul. It’s been said before in this space: As a shot-stopper, Condoul is one of the very best in the business. It’s the play away from his line that gets him into trouble. There were a few hairy moments on Saturday night, but these were very limited (which doesn’t make them any less fatal, of course). Condoul also did several things right on crosses. And nobody is downplaying his saves in the second half; these flat-out kept Red Bull in the game. No surprise that he led our player ratings with an unprecedented (for this season at least) 9/10. What’s particularly impressive is that Condoul looked confident almost immediately after making his first big save. You need to have a short memory as a goalkeeper and there was a lot of fear last week that Bouna’s psyche could be damaged from his gaffe against Chivas. Now, the concern is that he’ll be overconfident!

Juan Pablo Angel. He’s still not his full self, but no question he improved vastly over the team’s first three games. You’ve got to give him credit for not only stepping up and taking the second penalty, but also converting it (speaking of short memories). JPA simply has ice in his veins, which is exactly what you want from an elite striker. And Angel is still in that category.

Dane Richards. I’ve been one of Richards’ harshest critics. Just last week I called him “deplorable…simply not starter material” and said he “has no business taking the field with the starting 11.” This week I’m willing to at least back off that a bit. Richards had a good game vs. Dallas. His passing was crisp, his crosses were on target and his defensive work was very commendable. Only a few times did he “pull a Dane” of putting his head down and trying to win a sprint to the byline. It was his cross to Kandji that led to the first penalty and he very nearly assisted on what should have been a goal by Kandji. Obviously, a lot more is going to be required if we can begin to talk about Richards having turned the corner, but at least it’s something to build on.

Joel Lindpere played a stellar match as well. The assist to Angel was a thing of beauty, but he was front and center at other points too, even defensively.

The Bad
The whole backline had a subpar game. Even Tim Ream was beaten on a few plays close to goal. Mike Petke’s turnover led to Dallas’ goal and he nearly caused several others as well. Roy Miller did many things right but was beaten several times by Atiba Harris. It appears this guy is weak in the air.

But the worst one of all was Jeremy Hall–by far. The second-year player just isn’t a defender. He had some good games last season but for whatever reason nothing seems to be clicking in 2010. Time to move him back to a midfield position. Except, with the impending acquisitions of Brian Nielsen and Luke Rodgers, the midfield is becoming increasingly crowded. Once Chris Albright comes back, Hall’s days as a starter may be numbered anyway. At that point he could become buried in the depth charts.

Salou Ibrahim was next to invisible. He had a golden opportunity to open the score off a Roy Miller cross but wasn’t even able to direct it goalward.

The Red
Speaking of days being numbered, Hans Backe said in the postgame press conference that Nielsen could play forward in addition to left wing, which could mean the end of John Wolyniec’s days with the club. Woly didn’t even dress for Saturday’s match.

Kandji may end up following him out the door. He wasn’t terrible against Dallas, but did very little in terms of creating chances for his team. It just looks like there isn’t a natural position for this guy. Or at least not in MLS.

The Dead
Jeremy Hall at right back. Please. End. It. Now.

Mac Kandji at left wing. It’s been tried more than one time. It hasn’t worked.

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, FC Dallas 1

Posted on 18 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN photographer Scott Marsh was at the New York Red Bulls 2-1 triumph over FC Dallas April 17 at Red Bull Arena. For more coverage of the FCD match check our player ratings.

A few of our favorite photos follow, complete with snarky commentary (by ASN). The full set can be viewed on our Facebook page. If you’re already a fan of our’s on Facebook go directly to the gallery here.

All photos ©Scott Marsh / ASN

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RBNY 2, FC Dallas 1: Player ratings, man of the match

Posted on 18 April 2010 by ASN Staff

You’ve read the match report and had a morning to reflect on what was a highly improbable New York Red Bulls victory. Now check out the player ratings. All 11 starters are rated, including those who barely registered (you know who you are Salou Ibrahim). The man of the match was easy: Bouna Condoul. We’ll start with him:

Bouna Condoul: 9
If it weren’t for Atiba Harris’ second-half header off the crossbar (Condoul was caught off his line on that play was very nearly punished) there would be little to keep him from a perfect score. Several saves from point-blank range were world class but his play away from his line was greatly improved as well. So were his goal kicks, for that matter. A stellar performance. If he can continue to develop his position (i.e. non shot stopping) play there’s really nothing keeping this guy from becoming one of the great goalkeepers.

Jeremy Hall: 3
A sieve at right back. Hopeless at times against Harris and Heath Pearce and later Eric Avila. His overlapping runs went nowhere (and not because Richards didn’t pass to him. They simply weren’t timed very well). Did not always recover in times from these runs either. A few times this was almost fatal. Bottom line: This guy is a major liability at right back. It took a world class performance from his keeper, and a lot of luck, to keep him from costing the team the game. Next time they won’t be so lucky. When is Chris Albright eligible?

Mike Petke: 5
Way too many mistakes, both in committing turnovers, poor first touches (one of these in fact led to the McCarty goal) and blown defensive assignments. In fairness he had to cover for Hall several times, which could not have been easy. And did well deflecting or clearing a few balls into the box. But overall a disappointing performance. Hopefully it was a one-off.

Tim Ream: 6
Let Cunningham get behind him on a play in the second half that would have been a goal had it not been for Condoul. Also some of those long balls end up going nowhere (though a few are pretty impressive). But very strong at other times. Even covered Petke on some of his mistakes. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around?

Roy Miller: 6
Generally very strong on both sides of the ball. A steadying influence on defense and skilled at settling the team when it had the ball in its own third. Offensively had many good ideas and well-timed overlapping runs. Should have had an assist in the first half but Ibrahim whiffed on his cross. But it was he who was beaten on Harris’ header off the crossbar and Harris also beat him to a headball later. There’s not really an excuse for that.

Dane Richards: 7
His best game of the regular season by far. Sure there were a few “Dane Richards” moments, but these were by and large limited to the first half. A strong performance defensively; bailed out Hall (who clearly needed the help) a number of times. Had some very good passes into space and even a few terrific crosses, such as the one that led the the Red Bulls first penalty. What’s this? Dane Richards crossing the ball? To effect? Believe it. Of course in the past three years every time Richards looked like he was on the verge of breaking out he relapsed into the Dane Richards of old in the next performance. But something to build on, clearly.

Seth Stammler: 5
Had some nice tackles but when the opposing team attacks and creates as many chances as FC Dallas did in the first 10 minutes you’ve got to look at your defensive midfielder. And where was Stammler, when he should have been providing leadership and a calming influence to the back four? Ball watching a few times, caught out of position at others.

Joel Lindpere: 8
His best game since Chicago. His energy and work rate were terrific. Great play on the equalizer. Wouldn’t be surprised if he led the team in touches. Also helped out a lot defensively with some key tackles.

Macoumba Kandji: 5.5
Did a few things well. His passing was generally strong (it was he who launched Lindpere on the tying goal) with a few glaring exceptions, telegraphing passes etc. On the whole, didn’t do enough and turned the ball over too much. Also had a few chances he should have done better with. Brian Nielsen, whoever he is, is sorely needed.

Salou Ibrahim: 3
If his name wasn’t on the game sheet you wouldn’t know he was in the game at all. Almost completely invisible. Had one solid chance in the first half that was not due to his work (but Roy Miller’s). Hans Backe said he was tired. Whatever it was, he needs to change it, pronto, or there’s no use in starting him. Or playing him at all for that matter.

Juan Pablo Angel: 6.5
Much, much better from the team’s star and I’m not even talking about the goals. His first touch was much better, he seemed to have more energy and better mobility than in the previous three games. The first goal looked easy but it required vast amounts of skill and guile to find the seam in the defense, notice that the goalkeeper was cheating toward one side, and then send the ball into the opposite corner on a one-timer. That’s why this guy gets paid the big bucks and that’s why the team needs him in the lineup even when he’s not at full strength. Also showed nerves of steel on the second penalty. So why doesn’t he get a better rating? Not because of the first penalty; sure, it could have been taken better but Sala really pulled a rabbit out of his hat with the save. The reason is he just isn’t JPA yet; not only is he tentative (though less so) but also wanders around weird parts of the pitch (such as defensive midfield) at strange times. Also he’s still very weak on the ball and this resulted in numerous turnovers, particularly in the first half.

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