MLS Regular Season
It's another one of "those" weeks this time around in Week 30 Power Rankings. One of "those" weeks, where writers have absolutely no idea where to place the Red Bulls in the 19-team table.
It helps to know that the win should, in all likelihood, push the Red Bulls up the rankings. Thankfully that is the case this week, although over the past 30 we've definitely seen an instance or two where that didn't happen.
By the way, are you as amazed as I am that we're talking about week 30? With regards to the power rankings, it's been a bit of an up-and-down ride for the Red Bulls all season long. But we certainly have some big matches coming up, starting with this Saturday's tilt against the Chicago Fire in what is bound to carry huge playoff implications. Need I also remind you that this one is not only a big one for the postseason, but also for league-wide exposure, as the two teams will kick off on NBC at 3:30pm ET. If you don't have your tickets yet, this is definitely one you don't want to miss. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central for tickets, or call 877.RB.SOCCER.
With that said, let's get this show on the road...
OK, so MLSsoccer.com had the Red Bulls at fifth overall last week. With Saturday's win over Toronto, they now make the jump to third. This is the highest the Red Bulls rank based on the sites we include in these rankings.
Sports Illustrated ups the Red Bulls from fifth to fourth, highlighting Henry's performance as the main factor moving forward:
"After a virtuoso performance, and perhaps one of the best individual showings in MLS history, Thierry Henry left a stark reminder about how good he still is and how much he can impact a match."
The Moment: Henry's Magic
New York lands fifth overall, according to ESPN Soccernet:
"Thierry Henry put on a show in New York's 4-1 win over Toronto, tallying a goal and three assists. The penchant for conceding early goals continues, however, a worrying habit with the postseason fast approaching."
And finally it's Soccer By Ives placing the Red Bulls at seventh overall, a one-spot promotion from last week's rankings:
"If there was ever a team that needed a confidence-building win against a punching bag, it was the Red Bulls, and they took full advantage against Toronto FC. Lloyd Sam's contributions on the right wing were the most encouraging sign from the match, followed closely by a two-goal effort from the streaky Kenny Cooper, who just might be ready for another hot streak."
So to recap:
Sports Illustrated: 4th
ESPN Soccernet: 5th
Soccer By Ives: 7th
So there you have it. Week 30 Power Rankings are ranging from 3rd all the way down to 7th. Hard to make something of it, but three strong wins to close out the season can only lead to more convincing decisions on behalf of these four sites.
What's your take on the rankings this time around?
Another Thierry Henry goal, another MLS Goal of the Week nominee.
The Red Bulls' captain has already claimed Player of the Week honors. What better way to round out a great outing than to also claim the title for MLS Goal of the Week?
Vote now for Thierry to claim Goal of the Week honors. You have until 11:59 pm (PT) on Thursday to do so, so spread the word and get those votes in!
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.
Already with three assists on the night, Thierry Henry sent home this beauty to close out the 4-1 win at Red Bull Arena:
Already up 2-1 heading into the 88th minute, the Red Bulls weren't about ready to leave anything to chance as they eyed an insurance goal to put this one away. The team hit pay dirt in the 89th minute when Thierry Henry worked his magic inside the box and fed a great ball to a waiting Kenny Cooper, who buried his second of the match and 16th of the season to give the Red Bulls a 3-1 lead.
Lloyd Sam was flying down the wing early and often throughout the first half of play, suggesting something just might be in the works for the Red Bulls' offense. Sure enough, it was Sam who connected with Thierry Henry, who then led a sprinting Kenny Cooper in on a wide-open goal in the 27th minute that helped the Red Bulls take a 2-1 lead:
Even though the Red Bulls allowed an early goal in the sixth minute, the wide-open play at both ends of the pitch suggested more scoring was on the way. And on the way soon.
Markus Holgersson leveled the score in the 13th minute when he headed home Thierry Henry's corner kick: