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Kenny Cooper may have headed in two goals against the Philadelphia Union, but Connor Lade played a big part in the action leading up to each tally.
In Coop's first goal, a header in the 43rd minute, Lade took a strong pass from Joel Lindpere and placed a nifty ball into the box that helped provide the Red Bulls with a 1-0 lead heading into the half. Then, in the 58th minute, Lade connected with Thierry Henry right outside the box, who then led Cooper in on goal for the forward's 13th of the season.
ProSoccerTalk.com took note of Lade's play, so much so that they named the rookie PST's Player of the Week:
"His precision cross turned into the first of two goals by Kenny Cooper, and the small left-sided midfielder was in the second-half sequence that led to Cooper’s second goal. Mostly, though, all that hustle and bustle was precisely what the Red Bulls needed to slog through a remarkably difficult two matches in four days in oppressive conditions."
Congrats to Lade, who is working his way onto the score sheet with signature hustle and take-no-gruff demeanor.
Newly-acquired goalkeeper Bill Gaudette is up for Save of the Week once again after making a spectacular stop on Philadelphia's Josue Martinez in the 40th minute of Saturday's 2-0 win over the Union:
Vote Gaudette now for MLS Save of the Week. Voting runs until 11:59 PM PT on Thursday.
Click here for complete Save of the Week coverage, including an archive of this year's winners.
It's nice to see everyone agree on something. What to eat for dinner, when to catch a movie or, in this particular case, where the Red Bulls land in Week 20 Power Rankings.
No arguments at all from our usual batch of Power Rankings, as MLSsoccer.com, Soccer By Ives, Sports Illustrated and ESPN place the Red Bulls second overall, behind only San Jose.
After a 2-0-1, seven-point home stand at Red Bull Arena, New York leapfrogged to the top of the Eastern Conference table, an obvious consideration for a promotion in power rankings.
And promote they did. Here's what Soccer by Ives had to say:
"The Kenny Cooper who carried New York on his back during Thierry Henry's injury woes earlier this year returned Saturday, recording a brace as New York notched its second win of the week and moved into first place in the Eastern Conference."
Sports Illustrated makes this accurate assessment:
"Wins over Chicago and Philadelphia have the Red Bulls atop the Eastern Conference standings, with the club returning to the formula of more unheralded performances by Dax McCarty and Connor Lade being combined with a Thierry Henry-Kenny Cooper-led attack to get the job done."
ESPN Soccernet acknowledges Kenny Cooper's tribute to Claudio Reyna's son Jack, who passed away late last week:
"The only thing classier than Kenny Cooper's two goals against Philadelphia was his touching tribute to former Red Bulls midfielder Claudio Reyna, whose 13-year-old son, Jack, passed away earlier in the week after a battle with cancer."
And finally, MLSsoccer.com promoted the Red Bulls from fifth to second thanks to the team's strong performance at home.
What's your take on this week's Power Rankings? Feel free to fire up the conversation below.
Cast your vote now for Thierry Henry to win MLS Goal of the Week. The winner is determined by the total number of votes cast online and via text and is announced on Fridays.
Vote online or text goal code to 22442.
Voting runs until 11:59 pm PT on Thursdays. For complete coverage of the AT&T Goal of the Week—including an archive of past winners—click here.
Members of the New York Red Bulls will be on hand July 26 - 29 to show their support for the Street Soccer USA National Cup, set to go down at New York City's Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Street Soccer USA is a not-for-profit organization that not only displays competitive street soccer, but also competes for bigger goals - to end homelessness and poverty through the power of team sport.
Red Bulls players will be in attendance for the July 26 Opening Ceremonies to cheer on New York City in the first match of the tournament; the Kevin A. Polk Award match.
Polk, a former Street Soccer USA Player, was the embodiment of everything the non-profit strives for in players, both on and off the pitch. Unfortunately, three years after getting off the street and into permanent housing, Polk passed away. But his spirit and inspirational story lives on through the opening match and sets the tone for what it sure to be a great weekend.
Matches start as soon as 9am on Thursday, July 26, but the Kevin A. Polk Award match is seen as the official start to the tournament. Soccer fans are encouraged to come down, show their support and join the fight against homelessness and poverty.
To learn more and to find out how you can help, visit iPlayFor.org.
The New York Red Bulls claimed another three points at home Saturday with a 2-0 win over the Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union.
Kenny Cooper's brace led the way, as he registered his first goal off a header in the 43rd minute thanks to a strong cross from Connor Lade. He later padded New York's lead to 2-0 thirteen minutes into the second half when he headed home his second of the match and 13th of the season to all but ensure the Red Bulls would claim the three-point victory.
Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette backstopped the team to its second-straight shutout, as the newcomer earned his second win in three starts to help New York improve to an undefeated 7-0-3 at home.
The Red Bulls return to action Saturday, July 28, when they visit Montreal's Stade Saputo for a 7pm kickoff against the Impact (Watch on MSG). They return home that weekend in preparation for the club's July 31 friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.
Get your tickets now by visiting Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Here are a few photos from Saturday's win:
Kenny Cooper gave the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead after he headed home his second of the match in the 63rd minute. The tally is his 13th of the season and puts him four behind San Jose's Chris Wondolowski, the league's leading scorer:
Kenny Cooper scored his 12th of the season in the 43rd minute of Saturday's match when he headed home a perfectly placed ball, courtesy of Connor Lade. The goal gave the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead heading into the half.