MLS Regular Season
Saturday's scoreless draw against Sporting Kansas City, combined with a D.C. United win over the Columbus Crew, helped the Red Bulls punch their ticket to the 2012 MLS postseason. With only one match remaining, an Oct. 27 road trip to Philadelphia, the Red Bulls will now battle for a higher seed in a field that includes Sporting Kansas City, D.C. United, Chicago Fire and last year's MLS Cup runner-up, Houston Dynamo.
Tickets for the first home match of the Red Bulls' postseason go on sale to the general public Tues., October 23, at 2pm. Stay up to date on all the latest news surrounding New York's playoff run by visiting the Red Bulls' playoff hub at http://www.newyorkredbulls.com/runwithus.
Here is a collection of photos from Saturday's match against SKC:
Inside the 23rd minute, with both sides locked in a scoreless tie, Dax McCarty fired a hard shot on frame that forced Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Brian Nielsen off the line to make a diving stop. Unable to hang on to the ball, the rebound squirted free and found the foot of a charging Kenny Cooper. Unfortunately Coop's attempt went off the mark and out.
Saturday's match against the Chicago Fire wasn't exactly the best match of the season, and that definitely reflects in Week 31 Power Rankings.
On the bright side, New York can still claim a spot in the postseason with a win/draw against Kansas City on Oct. 20 and/or a Columbus Crew loss. Ideally, in an effort to avoid that play-in game, the perfect scenario would have Columbus defeating DC United and New York beating Sporting KC to leapfrog DC and claim third place in the East.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves right now. The team has a week off to get things back on track before SKC and reset the odometers for a run into the postseason. Until then, we'll have to settle for the following spots in the power rankings:
The Power Rankings Politburo may have lost faith with the Red Bulls. With seven games left they had five at home and two winnable road games; they’ve gone 2-2-1 to start that stretch off, and never looked threatening against either Chicago or Sporting."
ESPN Soccernet also drops the Red Bulls down to eighth overall after putting them as high as fifth last week:
"The Red Bulls didn't cough up any early goals this time, but their defense looked suspect enough in conceding two second-half tallies against the Fire. Now New York is worried about having a dreaded play-in game."
Sports Illustrated's Avi Creditor followed in suit, placing the Red Bulls at No. 8.
That wraps up this installment of power rankings. Nothing much to recap other than the fact that the Red Bulls will enter their Oct. 20 match against SKC ranked 8th overall in all three of these rankings. A win would undoubtedly help improve upon that number.
For tickets to the regular season finale at Red Bull Arena, visit Red Bulls Ticket Central or call 877.RB.SOCCER.
Minutes after Thierry Henry nearly put the Red Bulls up 1-0, Dax McCarty had a chance to do the same. To Dax's dismay, his volley attempt on goal just went wide to keep Chicago and New York locked in a scoreless tie at Red Bull Arena:
Luis Robles got the start in net Saturday for the Red Bulls' 4-1 win over Toronto FC, his first since joining the team in early August. We caught up with Luis following a recent training session at Montclair State University to ask him a few questions about his Red Bulls debut.
How did it feel to get out there at Red Bull Arena for Saturday’s win over Toronto?
Fantastic, especially since we had such a good turnout. I think the entire atmosphere and the mentality within the locker room was great going into the game.
What about the game itself? Minus that one goal, of course…
Yeah, unfortunately my first touch in MLS was picking the ball out of the back of the net (laughs). But I will say this – if those are the goals I give up the rest of my career, I think I can rest easy.
Any jitters in that first start? Did you see anything or do anything that helped put you in the zone?
As a goalkeeper, I think most goalkeepers would attest, whenever the game starts we want to get an early touch. Whether it's a save or a ball played back to them - and of course my first touch was picking the ball out of the back of the net. But I don't think that necessarily threw me off. I think I even chuckled to myself, "OK, welcome to MLS." But at the end of the day my objective is to help the team win. And outside of the goal I felt like I helped organize the defense and if that was my contribution to get three points then I'm very pleased with that.
The team went into the match against Toronto knowing they were facing a team with nothing to lose, but nevertheless three points is pretty crucial at this point in the season.
I think, especially for the team, it was important that we get three points. Going down the end of the season we needed that for position and that was our objective going into the game and I think we fulfilled our objective.
Winding down now into the final weeks of the season, what’s the team’s approach in these final three matches against Chicago, Sporting KC and Philly?
The most important thing we want to do is go into every game with the right mentality. That helps us in the future for our momentum going into the playoffs, but for sure our mentality should just be on the next game. I know that we have three really big games coming up, but of course the next one that is most important is Chicago. The table’s really tight and it seems like it’s a rivalry game and we’re at home. So for our fans, we definitely want to not only have a good performance, but get three points.