Tag Archive | "Salou Ibrahim"

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Who will start for Ubi at left mid? (updated)

Posted on 15 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Sinisa Ubiparipovic ©Scott Marsh/ASN

The assumption here is that Sinisa Ubiparipovic will not start at the position himself when the New York Red Bulls face FC Dallas at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night. It’s a shaky assumption too; all we have to go by is the fact that Ubiparipovic started for the reserves in their 3-0 win over St. John’s. Plus, Hans Backe has demonstrated that unlike his predecessor he is not one to make lineup changes on a whim.

Still, there are reasons to believe Ubi’s days as a starter are numbered. And we’re not just talking about his lackluster play against Chivas USA last week. The first is Salou Ibrahim, who is now available to start after getting his first taste of MLS action as a second half substitute. (Having said that, Ibrahim also played in the reserves match, which makes the already shaky assumption about Sinisa about moot, But let’s carry on because there are still signs this is where things are going).

Sinisa’s role on the team is mainly to plug holes. With Carl Robinson and Seth Stammler injured and Danleigh Borman not doing much in his limited audition at left midfield, there have been several of these in the early going.

Update: Carl Robinson reports via Twitter that he completed his first full training session on Thursday. If he is able to go it lessens the likelihood of Ubi baing in the starting lineup.

Carl Robinson is still listed as questionable and Stammler had a poor showing at Chivas. But with Salou Ibrahim expected to move into the starting lineup it makes Macoumba Kandji available for left midfield duty. This is not Kandji’s natural position (then again, what is?) but he showed promise in the role against Chivas and Backe told us he viewed Kandji as “an option as a wide left player.”

Plus, let’s face it: This team needs players who can create chances on the wings. Ubiparipovic, for all his hard work and solid skills as a defensive midfielder, does not seem able. Neither does Dane RIchards at right mid, though that is an entirely different story. Help is on the way, in the form of Brian Nielsen, but until he shows up it will remain a position by committee. Right now, Kandji is the man for the job.

But that’s just our view. What’s yours? Vote in the poll on who the team should start at left mid vs. Dallas.

[polldaddy poll=3059811]

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Photo gallery: RBNY 3, St. John's 0

Posted on 13 April 2010 by ASN Staff

ASN was at the New York Red Bulls exhibition match against the St. John’s Red Storm on April 13. The Red Bulls won 3-0 on goals from Salou Ibrahim (penalty), Andrew Boyens and Conor Chinn. Red Bulls Reader has a proper recap of the match.

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.

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Condoul costs Bulls first loss of the season

Posted on 10 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

Just like that, the New York Red Bulls’ fast start is history.

Bouna Condoul © Scott Marsh/ASN

It ended in a fashion fans of the team are all too familiar with: on defensive miscues and squandered opportunities. New York goalkeeper Bouna Condoul was the goat this time, scoring an embarrassing own-goal early in the second half. His team never recovered and eventually lost 2-0 at Chivas USA.

Condoul’s gaffe was without doubt the most egregious mishap of the day. But his poor play had plenty of company. The team never really seemed to find its rhythm, though it came close late in both halves. Part of this was due to the play of the hosts, who controlled the possession with patient build-up.
When the visitors did have the ball their only option seemed to be Dane Richards, the fleet but vapid right midfielder. Predictably, these went nowhere. (More on Richards and individual performances in the player ratings below).

Still, the Red Bulls had their opportunities in the first half. Macoumba Kandji had two free headers he should have buried. The first came off of a corner, the second from a terrific cross by Joel Lindpere. The second was probably the visiting team’s best sequence of the entire match. But for the most part, the Red Bulls had few ideas going forward and anyway seemed content to let Chivas control the tempo. This is a perfectly fine tactic on the road against a team in danger of an 0-3 start, and for a little while it even seemed to work. But New York’s defense was porous and Chivas had their chances. Chukwudi Chijindu alone could (and probably should) have scored twice in the first half for the hosts (then again, Kandji should have done the same for the visitors).

The Red Bulls’ luck ran out in the 47th minute. Condoul clearly deserves the blame for the goal, but he is by no means the only guilty party on the play. Start with Jeremy Hall, who gave Chijindu way too much space on the left wing. Hall was expecting the UConn product to go toward the endline but even then was too far away to have any effect. Richards’ run to help Hall was far too late and in his haste Richards didn’t track the trailing player, Jesus Padilla. Seth Stammler, who had a solid game to that point, correctly spotted the danger brewing on the left wing (in the video replay you can see him pointing toward that part of the field) but then failed to cut off Chijindu’s passing lane and was late recovering as a result to challenge Padilla. So Chijindu, an interesting young player but by no means a star in the league, managed to monopolize three Red Bulls players on one play. Mike Petke probably should have done better deflecting the ball upfield or out of bounds, though that is admittedly a bit nitpick-y. And then Condoul did the rest.

Hans Backe, in marked contrast to the team’s first game of the season (and to Richie Williams in the second), went to his bench early. Just seven minutes after the goal he brought on Salou Ibrahim for Seth Stammler. Kandji moved to left midfield with Sinisa Ubiparipovic taking Stammler’s vacant spot at holding mid. The move clearly paid dividends, as Ibrahim had several chances that could (and in one case should) have resulted in goals. But Backe’s second and third substitutions, for Tony Tchani and Conor Chinn, respectively, had little effect. The Red Bulls threw everything forward but lacked the rhythm to develop any real chances the rest of the way. Chivas scored an “insurance goal” in stoppage time, again off of mistakes by several Red Bulls players. Speaking of which, now to the player ratings:

Player ratings

New York Red Bulls players ranked 1-10 with 10 being highest:

Condoul: 2
I’ve been saying for some time that this guy is a liability on corners and crosses. However, I’ve been quick to defend his play as a shot-stopper. So where does this gaffe fit in? Nowhere, really. It was one of those mistakes that can happen in a hair-raising moment of the match. Bouna probably panicked after seeing the ball bounce off the post and was in the unusual situation of having to go toward his line, rather than away from it, to make the save. Remember that goalies are trained to deflect the ball away from goal, so when your back is turned your instincts can get a bit fuzzy. Which is not to make any excuse for the play. Unfortunately it wasn’t even his only mishap of the game. In the first half he hesitated coming off his line and was almost caught in no-man’s land by Jonathan Bornstein. He was poorly positioned on Chivas’ second goal as well.

Hall: 4
Speaking of liabilities, this is the second straight game that Hall was owned on the right side of the pitch. He was almost entirely ineffective as a defensive player and this incompetence had a large result in both goals. He did have a few nice forays into the opposing half though and narrowly missed on a shot in the second half. Perhaps it’s time to end this experiment at right back (which remember was a Juan Carlos Osorio project). Play Hall at right midfield, where his skills will be put to better use.

Petke: 5
Can’t blame him for the first goal, but his misjudgment of a ball (off a goal kick) led in part to the second. His man-marking was a bit lackadaisical as well. Granted his job is not made any easier by having to cover for Hall all the time.

Ream: 6.5
My only critique of Ream at this point is that he needs to make his presence felt more. I know this isn’t his style but he can quickly assume a leadership position on this defense by getting more vocal for example. But that’s light criticism. Did spot some moments where he probably should have marked his man tighter, but this guy is hard to beat one-on-one.

Miller: 7

Shut his side of the field down, again. Was also effective making runs into the opposing half. Would like to see more of this, particularly when the team is down a goal. He seems to link up well with Kandji as well, when Mac plays left mid. Perhaps something for Backe to consider.

Richards: 3
His first few possessions were promising, but he quickly reverted to the Dane Richards of old. He got lucky when a few of his balls were knocked behind for corners in the first half but time and again he was the final stop for Red Bull attacks. This is just frustrating to watch. Worse, Richards did little defensively (see reporting of first goal, above). Another guy I’ve been picking on for awhile, but it’s not without reason. Needs to sit on the bench or better yet, be waived. He’s just not cutting it.

Seth Stammler: 5
Started well but also had his part in the first goal. He did make a few terrific tackles early in the game but should have read that play better.

Joel Lindpere: 6.5
First half was very strong. His cross to Kandji was a thing of beauty. Second half, not so much. Turned the ball over too many times and wasn’t able to launch many attacks, which is his primary duty to this team at this point–especially when they find themselves down a goal. A lot is expected of the Estonian Express after his first two games at Red Bull Arena. So when he even disappoints a little, you feel let down a lot. This isn’t fair, but neither is life.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic: 5
Did far too little at left mid. A few nice plays in the first half and that was about it. Also turned the ball over too many times. A disappointing performance.

Macoumba Kandji: 6
His play in the second half earns him this respectable grade. In the first, he blew two chances. It’s amazing that a guy this tall doesn’t head the ball better. Something to work on in training, no doubt. But Kandji just seems far more comfortable as a withdrawn forward or even attacking midfielder, as his play in the second half justifies. Did well to link up with Salou, who blew his chances.

Juan Pablo Angel: 4
Invisible. Again. It’s very sad to see this, and even tougher to say it, but here goes: Angel needs to be benched for the good of the team. He’s just not bringing it this season. Maybe he will be more effective as a late game substitute? Yes, the team deserves a lot of the blame for not getting him better service, but where are his runs? Most of the time he’s loitering around midfield.

Salou Ibrahim: 4
His entrance into the game immediately made a difference but he should have done much, much better with the chances he had. But this guy’s game appears well suited for MLS. When he begins to start on a regular basis he’ll turn it on, just watch.

Tony Tchani: 4
Did not look at all comfortable and didn’t seem to play the ball properly even once. It’s tough to get your MLS debut in a game and situation of this type, but more is expected of the youngster. He’ll get it together if he sees more time (perhaps for Dane Richards? Or hell, try him out at right back).

[polldaddy poll=3036374]

Match Facts

New York Red Bulls 0, CD Chivas USA 2
April 10, 2010 – The Home Depot Center; Carson, CA
Attendance: 12,597

Scoring Summary:
CHV: Bouna Coundoul (own goal) 47’
CHV: Jesus Padilla 1 (Zach Thornton 1) 91’+

Disciplinary Summary:
NY: Mike Petke (caution) 19’
CHV: Jesus Padilla (caution) 90’


New York Red Bulls (2-1-0) – Bouna Coundoul (GK), Roy Miller (Conor Chinn 83’), Tim Ream, Mike Petke, Jeremy Hall, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Tony Tchani 77’), Joel Lindpere, Seth Stammler (Salou Ibrahim 54’), Dane Richards, Macoumba Kandji, Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyens, Danleigh Borman, Carlos Mendes

CD Chivas USA (1-2-0) – Zach Thornton, Ante Jazic (Jesus Padilla 39’), Dario Delgado, Michael Umana, Mariano Trujillo, Jonathan Bornstein, Marcelo Saragosa, Blair Gavin, Sacha Kljestan, Chukwudi Chijindu, Maicon Santos (Maykel Galindo 58’, Michael Lahoud 77’)

Substitutes Not Used: Dan Kennedy, Yamith Cuesta, Justin Braun, Osael Romero


Referee: Paul Ward
Referee’s Assistants: Joe Fletcher, Philippe Briere
4th Referee: Ramon Hernandez

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Question of the week: Do you start Salou Ibrahim?

Posted on 08 April 2010 by Nathaniel E. Baker

(The assumption here is that his name is in fact Salou Ibrahim and not Ibrahim Salou, as previously noted.)

Salou Ibrahim in the Red Bull Arena grand opener ©Scott Marsh/ASN

As you’ve probably heard by now the New York Red Bulls newest acquisition has received his visa and is ready to play for the team in an official match. He previously appeared in the Red Bull Arena grand opening match against Santos and the exhibition against Army (speaking of which, the Cadets are the only team to score against New York since the start of the regular season).

Saturday afternoon’s game at Chivas will be the first time that Salou/Ibrahim, Juan Pablo Angel and Macoumba Kandji are fit and available to start. Which means one is either going to need to start on the bench or play out of position. Kandji has seen spot duty at left midfield but with him seeming to find his comfort zone (not to mention scoring the winning goal) in the Seattle Sounders game, does Hans Backe really want to go there? Angel and Salou will not play anywhere but forward. Moving them would be downright Osorioan and those days are (thankfully) in the past. Speaking of which, don’t expect Backe to go with three strikers either. He’s married to the 4-4-2 for the immediate future.

Anyway, have your say on whether Salou/Ibrahim should start the match by voting in this poll:

[polldaddy poll=3024678]

Other things to look out for:
What’s going on with Carl Robinson? Is he healthy and eligible to play? He didn’t make the trip to Seattle but was also absent from the exhibition match against Rutgers, which implies he is not yet recovered from his knee injury.

Will Hans Backe even be healthy enough to make another cross country trip and coach the team?

If Kandji does start at left midfield, where does that leave Sinisa Ubiparipovic? Would he move into the center midfield spot occupied by Seth Stammler in Seattle?

Who travels with the team this week? Last week’s subs were Andrew Boyens, Austin da Luz, Juan Agudelo and Tony Tchani (and obviously Greg Sutton, the only other goalkeeper in the squad). As great as it is to see da Luz on this list, wouldn’t Carlos Mendes or Luke Sassano be better choices? Both are more versatile and can add late game relief at the defensive positions. Speaking of which…

Will Backe or Richie Williams use all three subs for the first time this season? (I have a full rant on this in the upcoming Seeing Red! episode. Stay tuned for that).

Chivas have not looked good at all in the first two games of the season, losses to the Colorado Rapids and the LA Galaxy in the SuperClasico. Their attacking game in particular is very weak. The new coach, Martin Vasquez, was expecting great things from Sacha Kljestan, who does not appear to have what it takes to lead this team–at least not yet. That may develop over the course of the season. It’s not like Kljestan will be traveling with the national team or anything.

That was harsh. But probably also true at this point.

Bottom line with Chivas: The Goats have their backs to the wall after an 0-2 start. They don’t want to go 0-3, least of all under a new head coach. Expect Vasquez to pull out every motivational tool in his arsenal (and then some) to get the team amped for this game. But ultimately, he just doesn’t have enough firepower in his arsenal. The Red Bulls’ defense has looked vulnerable and we do not expect the clean sheet to last. Neither will the winning streak. But the unbeaten streak will.

ASN prediction: Chivas USA 2, RBNY 2

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