New York Red Bulls
Dane Richards, Kenny Cooper and Connor Lade recap Saturday's 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact:
Hans Backe catches up with MSG's Tina Cervasio following the Red Bulls' 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact:
New York's scoring was led by Kenny Cooper, who picked up his 10th of the season on a penalty kick in the 37th minute, and Dane Richards, who roofed his first of the season over a diving Donovan Ricketts in the 68th minute. Rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara earned his eighth win of the season thanks to a five-save performance, conceding Montreal's lone goal on a penalty kick in the 22nd minute.
The Red Bulls return to action Wednesday night when they host Chivas USA at Red Bull Arena. Get your tickets now as the Red Bulls look to stay perfect at home and improve their win streak to six straight. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central or call 877.RB.SOCCER.
Watch full highlights from Saturday's win:
There's no denying that Red Bulls 'keeper Ryan Meara has been playing some lights-out soccer these past few weeks. Just last week MLSsoccer.com placed the Fordham University product at the top of their Rookie Rankings. With another shutout against Houston and a fourth-straight win over Philly this past week, it should come as no surprise that once again Meara holds down the No. 1 spot in Week 10 rankings:
"Meara's three-game shutout streak is over, but he won't care one bit. New York won for the fourth straight game on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, rewarding Meara's handful of brilliant saves with a second-half winner. With each game that passes, it looks like MLS has found its next upwardly mobile goalkeeping prospect."
Earlier this week FoxSoccer.com named Kenny Cooper its Player of the Week, following up quickly with Ryan Meara selected as its Rookie of the Week.
Then it was ProSoccerTalk.com that named midfielders Dax McCarty and Joel Lindpere to its Team of the Week after each put in industrious efforts against both the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the accolades just keep coming.
MLSsoccer.com released its Week 10 Team of the Week, which just so happens to include the likes of Cooper and Meara (McCarty is also included as an honorable mention).
The League had this to say about Cooper, who just this past weekend surpassed his 2011 goal total:
A game-winner in each of the Red Bulls’ two games this week put New York top of the Eastern Conference. Has stepped up admirably in Thierry Henry’s absence.
Meara, who is currently nominated for this week's Save of the Week (hint: vote. vote. vote.) after showing off his game-saving stop in the final minutes of Extra Time, is included based on the following:
The rookie goalkeeper is for real. Two solid performances, including a shutout vs. the Dynamo and a number of good, timely saves to lock down New York’s 3-2 victory in Philadelphia.
Two well-deserved honors for two guys who continue to work their tails off, whether in practice or in the game.
Sometimes I like to play the guessing game: Where will media outlets rank the Red Bulls this week? Personally I couldn't see how the first place team in the Eastern Conference could rank any lower than No. 5, but was more than open to the possibility of them ranking even higher than that.
Two wins in one week, coupled with the Red Bulls' current four-game win streak, should be enough to raise a few eyebrows and, ultimately, the team a few spots in the power rankings. Right?
That is definitely the case as you look across the board at MLS, Soccer By Ives, ESPN and Sports Illustrated rankings.
Let's kick things off with MLSsoccer.com, who last week placed the Red Bulls at No. 7 but now promote them to No. 4:
Four wins in a row, mostly done without Thierry Henry. You're lying if you said you thought that was possible. Now what remains to be seen is how Hans Backe can work Rafa Márquez back into the mix. It's worth noting that when he came back, the shutout streak ended.
(Editor's Note: While I appreciate the League's assumption that the Red Bulls can maintain an endless shutout streak, the soccer fan in me accepts the reality of it all and knows that is impossible for any club. While no one would like to see a shutout streak come to an end, they failed to look at Marquez's instrumental play on what amounted to the match's game-winning goal; a pivotal one that helped improve New York's win streak to four straight.)
Soccer By Ives ranked the Red Bulls at the same spot as MLS after also positioning them at No. 7 in last week's rankings:
After grinding out a 1-0 win over Houston, the Red Bulls traveled down Interstate 95 and dropped Philadelphia in a 3-2 shootout. Two games, two distinctly different wins. The common denominator? Kenny Cooper, who just keeps scoring goals -- even without Thierry Henry in the lineup.
Keeping with the trend, Sports Illustrated (who, similar to MLS and SBI, ranked the Red Bulls at No. 7 last week) ripped a page out of the same rankings book and placed the Red Bulls at...No. 4:
Somehow, this team is looking down on the rest of the Eastern Conference. As more players become available off the extensive injured list, Hans Backe's personnel decisions become even more important considering how well the club's unheralded lineup has done.
ESPN may be a bit more critical in its commentary, but the New York makes a jump from No. 9 to No. 4 this week:
Rafa Marquez returned to the lineup against Philly, and while possession was better, the defense was worse. It still proved a winning formula, as the Red Bulls won their fourth in a row by beating 10-man Philadelphia 3-2.
So there you have it. According to each and every Power Rankings page included in this list, the same ones we've been running with since Week 1, the Red Bulls rank exactly at the No. 4 spot across all of them.
What do you think about this week's rankings? Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below.
Ryan Meara may have collected four saves in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union, but one save in particular stands out as the difference maker in whether or not New York returned home with three points and a victory on the road.
In the dying seconds of stoppage time, New York looked to hang onto the one-goal lead as the Union set up for a corner kick. The ball was whipped into the box, ping-ponged off a few bodies and slipped free to the foot of Philly's Lionard Pajoy, who already bagged two goals on the day. The shot was placed on goal and looked as if it would level the score, but a diving Meara came up with an incredible save to keep the ball out and secure the Red Bulls' victory.
You knew then what MLSsoccer.com confirmed today - there's no doubt that Meara is a Save of the Week candidate. It's not the first time he's been nominated in his young career, but let's make this the one that gets Meara his first Save of the Week honor.
Vote below and spread the word: Meara for 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.
Dax McCarty joined the cast and crew of Extra Time Radio Monday afternoon to chat about a variety of topics including the Red Bulls' current win streak, Rafa Marquez's return and his versatility in the lineup amidst the injuries that have plagued the team. If you want to cut right to the part where Dax calls in, wait for the full show to load and then skim ahead to the 40-minute mark.
Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes:
ProSoccerTalk.com released its weekly Starting XI Monday and two Red Bulls, Joel Lindpere and Dax McCarty, have locked down midfield roles.
Lindpere kicked off the scoring in Sunday's 3-2 win over the Union on the road at PPL Park. It was a textbook play, made all the better by a beautifully placed ball by Mehdi Ballouchy that helped make Lindpere's shot on goal all the easier. Still, the finish was nothing short of perfect, and definitely a must-watch if you haven't seen it yet (or want to see it again).
McCarty, by his own admission, has played a less flashy game but one that came about out of necessity. The 25-year-old has locked down and taken ownership of the defensive midfield role since Thierry Henry was forced out of the lineup with a hamstring injury in the Apr. 28 match against the New England Revolution.
Since then, McCarty has received heaps of praise for his play that helped lead the Red Bulls to three-straight shutouts and, just this past Sunday, extend their win streak to four straight. Even then, the return of Rafa Marquez required a bit of a shift for McCarty, who has undoubtedly shown his versatility while the team continues to work its way through the injury bug.
McCarty sure knows how to keep the party going, as the man’s outstanding run of form helped New York squeeze out a 1-0 win over Houston and then go take all the points over the weekend at Philly. (McCarty even played in a different position in that one, accommodating Rafa Marquez’s return to the lineup by moving forward in the starting arrangement.)
Weekly Starting XI nominations aren't a formal award by any means, but it's definitely nice to see two hard-working guys getting some acknowledgment for their continued efforts.