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Although the team has openly admitted it wasn't happy with the collective performance in Sunday's comeback win over Portland, you can't argue with the three-point result. The victory not only allowed New York to move within two points of first place Sporting Kansas City, but also jumped back into the Top 3 of Power Rankings across the board. Another three points on the road at Livestrong Sporting Park this Sunday could place New York first overall in the Eastern Conference and potentially even move them up to the No. 2 spot in Power Rankings.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at this week's rankings.
MLSsoccer.com says we're a "weird team." Not sure if that's a compliment or not, but the step up to No. 3 is appreciated:
"How do you quantify New York? They’re capable of falling behind 2-0 at home to one of the worst road teams in league history, needed to desperately rely on their journeyman ‘keeper to keep them in the game (again) and still came away with the full three points. Weird, weird team."
Well, thanks for that. Onto ESPN Soccernet, who says the Red Bulls can't keep defending the way they did against Portland and expect to win. Valid point. Good thing Hans Backe and company feel the same way and walked away from that result happy with the points but ready to strengthen up on D (without taking away any credit from the heroic play of Bill Gaudette):
"The Red Bulls beat Portland in spite of themselves, conceding two preventable goals -- and it could have been more -- before conjuring up an inspired fight back to win 3-2. New York knows it can't defend that poorly and expect to win again."
Sports Illustrated placed emphasis on the defense as well, but also showed some love for the aforementioned Gaudette:
"Between all of the trades this season, the Red Bulls' capture of goalkeeper Bill Gaudette has proven to be one of the more valuable acquisitions considering how he has covered for some defensive miscues in the absence of injured rookie Ryan Meara."
So there ya have it - Week 23 Power Rankings. It's understood the team is unsettled with the performance yet grateful for the points, so let's see what the response is like Sunday when they hit the road for a 9 PM kick off against Sporting Kansas City. Be sure to watch that one live on ESPN2.
What's your take on this week's power rankings?
The Claudio Reyna Foundation, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, the City of Newark, the City of Harrison, and The New York Red Bulls are hosting a 5K race on September 16 that will send runners on a path through Newark and Harrison to benefit the development of youth in urban communities.
The race will start at St. Benedict’s, bring the runners past City Hall, through Newark’s Iron Bound via Ferry St. and across the Jackson St. bridge before the race concludes at Red Bull Arena.
The 5K portion will begin at 9:30am, but other events are on the schedule for those wishing to participate, including a one-mile walk (start time: 9:50am) and a kid’s portion called the “Kid’s Mad Dash,” set to start at 10:30am.
More information about the race, including a detailed route and list of the supporting business and area landmarks can be found at http://www.reynarun.com.
The Claudio Reyna Foundation will include a pre-race ceremony that includes Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker, featured as an official race starter, and other VIPs from the City of Newark to honor members of the St. Benedict’s Preparatory School National Championship-winning soccer team.
For more information contact Josh Morgan, Executive Director of CRF, at 848.469.6086 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MLSsoccer.com has unveiled its online poll for fans to vote on the 24 best players under the age of 24.
The following Red Bulls players are included on the list:
This season is the first time since the list's inception three years ago that fan votes will count towards the final listing of "24 Under 24." Voting ends Friday at 5 PM, so get those votes in now!
New York rallied back from a 2-0 deficit Sunday night to defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2. Although the two early goals provided Portland with plenty of motivation to try and close out their first road win of the season, Hans Backe and company unleashed an offensive assault that produced two goals before the half to level the score. Kenny Cooper picked up his 14th of the season on a header in the 43rd minute, and New York doubled up shortly after in the 45th when Tim Cahill scored his first-career MLS goal.
While the offense was doing its part to add a few more tallies to the scoreboard, Red Bulls goalkeeper Bill Gaudette was coming up big in New York's own end, allowing the team to stay within striking distance and capture three points at home. The opportune moment came inside the 83rd minute when defender Heath Pearce headed home his second goal of the season to give the Red Bulls a 3-2 lead. His tally would stand as the game-winner as New York held off Portland's attack in the dying minutes to pull within two points of first-place Kansas City in the Eastern Conference table.
The Red Bulls will look to leapfrog Kansas City to capture first place when they take to the road for a crucial match at Livestrong Sporting Park Sunday at 9 PM ET. Watch all the action live on ESPN2.
Here are a few photos from Sunday's 3-2 win over Portland:
Heath Pearce stepped up with some last-minute heroics Sunday night to head home the game-winner in the 83rd minute as the Red Bulls went on to defeat the Timber 3-2. Pearce scored in similar fashion against Vancouver on June 20th to register his first-ever MLS goal that also helped the Red Bulls gain a point on the road.
Here's a replay of Pearce's game-winner:
Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill scored his first-career MLS goal in the 45th minute of Sunday's match to level the score at two heading into the half.
Kenny Cooper wasted no time finding the back of the net after subbing on in the 36th minute in place of defender Roy Miller. Watch a replay of his 14th goal of the season that came in the 43rd minute of Sunday's match:
Watch: The Moment - Holgersson's Second
Red Bulls defender Markus Holgersson has been named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week.
The honor comes following his performance against the Houston Dynamo, in which he tallied his second goal of the season off a great set up from Tim Cahill. Holgersson's goal stood as the game-winner, as New York exacted its revenge on the Dynamo in a 2-0 win at Red Bull Arena.
"A complete performance from the Swedish center back, who remained sturdy at the back (helped by Dax McCarty, of course) and scored an easy finish that ultimately stood up as the game-winner against Houston."
The Red Bulls also had a number of honorable mentions in the mix as well, as Cahill, Connor Lade, Dax McCarty, Roy Miller and Heath Pearce all received consideration for the Starting XI.
New York's back in action Sunday when they host the Portland Timbers for a 7 PM kick off on MSG+. Get tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Hard work on the pitch rarely goes unnoticed, as evidenced by Friday night's fan vote for the AT&T Man of the Match.
Well, Soccer By Ives took notice as well, and has in turn named Red Bulls rookie Connor Lade its Rookie of the Week.
In just his first year, Lade has shown incredible hustle at both ends of the field. His versatility has also allowed head coach Hans Backe to slot him into the lineup wherever he is needed - which given the unfortunate string of injuries this year, has been everywhere but between the pipes for the St. John's alumn.
Here's what SBI has to say about Lade following New York's 2-0 win over Houston:
"The versatile Lade, who got the start at right back, helped lock down in-form Houston forward Mac Kandji, played a vital role in the clean sheet and was his usual active self up and down the flank to earn SBI MLS Rookie of the Week honors."