It’s been an incredible rise for Red Bulls rookie Connor Lade this season. The New Jersey native joined the team in the offseason after coming through the Red Bulls Academy and playing collegiately at St. John’s, but coming to an MLS team rich with talent and where playing time was at a premium was a different animal. Yet in a short time Lade has done more than just show that he belongs on an MLS roster, he’s proved to be an impact player and one of the league’s bright young stars.
MLSsoccer.com is in the midst of its annual “24 Under 24”, a series that ranks the league’s top 24 players under the age of 24. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Lade came in at No. 17 on the list, which is determined by both fan voting and an expert panel of national soccer media members. The full post on Lade's selection can be found here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/24under24/news/article/2012/09/11/17-connor-lad...
Lade has become a near-automatic selection for the starting 11 by head coach Hans Backe after making his professional debut on April 14 against San Jose. Lade’s work ethic and versatility has made it almost impossible for Backe to not choose him; the 22-year-old has featured at both defense and in the midfield this year and has picked up three assists in 20 total games.
One of the top highlights of Lade’s rookie season came against the rival Philadelphia Union on July 21, when Lade assisted on both of Kenny Cooper’s goals in a 2-0 Red Bulls win. It was performances like the one vs. Philly that caught the attention of the league; recently, teammate and Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry referred to Lade as the team’s “player of the season”.
In just his first season as a Red Bull, Lade has become one of the fan favorites at Red Bull Arena. If he’s already one of the club’s top players in a so-far successful season, who knows what lies ahead for him.
To view the full list so far and to follow along as the rest of the list is unveiled, visit http://www.mlssoccer.com/24under24/2012/complete-ranking.
Major League Soccer released its player jersey sales for the 2012 season, and two of the Red Bulls’ players are among the league’s seven most popular shirts so far this year.
The jersey of Red Bulls captain and forward Thierry Henry is the second most sold in the league, trailing only that of Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham’s. Henry, one of the world’s most recognizable athletes who has won countless team and individual global awards, has 11 goals and leads the team in assists with eight so far this season.
Despite having joined the team and the league just a little more than a month ago, midfielder Tim Cahill cracked the top-10, as the Australian’s Red Bulls jersey checked in at seventh most popular. After a distinguished career in England with Millwall and most recently with Everton, Cahill joined the Red Bulls as their third Designated Player when he officially signed on July 26. Since then, Cahill has been a spark for New York, registering a goal and two assists throughout his first five matches. He recently scored his 25th all-time goal for the Australian National Team, ranking him second all-time on the country’s goal scoring list.
Here is the full Top-10 selling adidas MLS player jerseys on MLSgear.com / MLSgearCanada.ca / MLS club websites (March 10 – September 10, 2012):
1. David Beckham LA Galaxy
2. Thierry Henry New York Red Bulls
3. Landon Donovan LA Galaxy
4. Fredy Montero Seattle Sounders FC
5. Dwayne De Rosario D.C. United
6. Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes
7. Tim Cahill New York Red Bulls
8. Robbie Keane LA Galaxy
9. Mauro Rosales Seattle Sounders FC
10. Brian Ching Houston Dynamo
If you feel a bit left out, you can always grab some Red Bulls gear at the Bullshop here at Red Bull Arena or by visiting the official team store at http://www.mlsgear.com/shop-by-mls-team-new-york-red-bulls.html
Despite an early of exchange of goals in the first six minutes of Saturday's match, the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC finished locked in a 1-1 draw.
Jan Gunnar Solli picked up his second of the season in the fourth minute when he was on the receiving end of a beautifully placed cross from Brandon Barklage that allowed the Red Bulls to take an early 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, it was Toronto's Danny Koevermans who found the back of the net with a header that beat Red Bulls 'keeper Ryan Meara to level the score.
The score wouldn't change for the remainder of the match, but the Red Bulls did come close on a number of opportunities, including a Joel Lindpere shot that dinged off the post in the 44th minute, an Henry free kick that was just off the mark in the 49th minute and a Lindpere run into the box that was broken up just before he could get his foot on the ball in the 76th minute.
The Red Bulls are back in action Sunday, July 8, when they pay a visit to Gillette Stadium for a 7pm kickoff against the New England Revolution.
On July 15, the Red Bulls return home for the first match of a three-game home stand at Red Bull Arena. Get your tickets now for the July 15 match against Seattle, July 18 match against Chicago or the Rivalry Day match against Philadelphia on July 21. The first 5,000 fans 16 and under through the gates for the July 21 match will receive a free Red Bulls flat-brimmed cap.
Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Here are a few photos from Saturday's match:
Mike Petke knows a thing or two about the New York - DC United rivalry. After all, he spent a number of seasons on the pitch for both sides, before retiring after the 2010 season and assuming the role of assistant coach with New York.
Petke caught up with NewYorkRedBulls.com following Wednesday's training session to discuss the long-standing rivalry, his role as both a player and a coach and New York's valiant win over DC Sunday night at Red Bull Arena.
Having been on both sides of the New York-DC rivalry, what went through your mind Sunday night?
First and foremost it’s great to come out with the win. But that game right there, I believe, does a huge thing for MLS soccer in general. Especially for this year. Anybody who saw that game, whether you know everything or nothing about soccer, you walk away with a smile on your face. It was end-to-end, it was a great possession game and there was five goals scored. A phenomenal full house, and that’s the beauty of the game right there.
As a former player for both teams, what would normally go into your pre-game psyche as you prepped for a game like that, no matter what side you were on?
Take my rookie year. You know, just being thrown into it and not knowing the history – well, there wasn’t much history there, but not knowing the bitterness between the two, I was happy to be out there. From the second year and on I was amped up for that game. I got a couple of red cards throughout the years in those games, scored a couple of goals, for both teams actually in the rivalry, and it’s just one of those things that for a young league like us to have a rivalry and – not a true derby since it’s not the same city – but, you know, the American version of the Derby, it’s very important. It really gets fans and the team really pumped up. I made sure to walk around the locker room leading up to this game to the young guys and the new guys saying, ‘Listen, you know, if you don’t know anything about this rivalry, get on your computer, research it, or ask me. I don’t want you showing up that day and thinking it’s just like any old game.' And they got the picture.
What about extracting yourself from the game as a player and seeing it from the eyes of a coach now?
Oh it’s horrible. I hate it. I hated sitting on the bench with that crowd, with the fight that was going on on the field. You want to be involved in that more than just sitting on the sidelines watching. But it’s good to see some guys, most guys, get into it and realize what it is and almost live a little bit through them.
Having been a part of the rivalry at such an early stage, and seeing how it’s progressed over the years – not necessarily just on the field – but when you looked around at Red Bull Arena, the place was packed. You’ve seen Giants Stadium, RFK, and now this place…how has it grown?
There’s been many games throughout the last 13 years, 14 years, where I’ve scratched my head and said, ‘Uh, this is really a rivalry?’ It just hasn’t panned out. But many games have. That was, I think, the greatest environment I’ve been a part of for a rivalry like that. And there’s been many classic games between us, but I think that’s going to go down as possible the best rivalry game we’ve had with them.
Bigger picture now. Seeing how DC is playing this year as opposed to last year, where they are with the Red Bulls right now in the standings, do you see this thing possibly brewing into a postseason battle as well?
Well, if it does I hope that we have home-field advantage, to be honest with you. DC’s a very good team. Ben Olsen’s a very good friend of mine. I played with him for many years and I couldn’t be happier for him. He got thrown into a situation that he really didn’t have that much experience, but he had the respect of the organization and the players, so they threw him in there and he’s done great with them. But you know, I could definitely see us meeting them down the road in some sort of important game. Yeah, definitely some time this year.
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.
The Red Bulls rallied back from a 2-1 deficit with two-straight unanswered goals in the second half of play to defeat the Philadelphia Union 3-2 Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. The win marks New York's fourth-straight victory and moves them into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. (Recap)
Goals were spread across the board for the Red Bulls, as Joel Lindpere picked up his second of the season and the first of the match after ripping a bullet past Philly goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Later, with the Red Bulls down 2-1, Markus Holgersson sent home the first goal of his MLS career to level the score at two apiece. Ten minutes later, it was Kenny Cooper, who surpassed his 2011 goal total in the 78th minute with his game-winning, ninth goal of the season.
New York returns to action Saturday when they pay a visit to the Montreal Impact for a 7:30 ET kick on MSG. May 23 is the last Red Bulls home game before the league breaks for Euros, so be sure to get your tickets today by visiting Red Bulls Ticket Central or calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Here are the full highlights from Sunday's win over the Union:
The Red Bulls cruised to their third-straight victory and third-straight shutout Wednesday night when they defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at Red Bull Arena (Recap).
Kenny Cooper notched the lone Red Bulls goal in the seventh minute as he charged in to disrupt a seemingly safe back pass toward goal. As Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was forced to make a sprawling attempt to cover up, Cooper just got enough of his foot on it to send the ball on goal and into the mesh for his eighth of the season (Watch: Cooper's Goal).
Rookie 'keeper Ryan Meara was once again spectacular in goal, stopping all three of Houston's attempts, complete with some circus-like theatrics in the final minutes of the match (Watch: Meara's Save).
The Red Bulls return to action Sunday when they head to PPL Park in Philly for a 12:30pm ET kickoff against the Union (watch live on ESPN2).
New York's next home game is three weeks off, as they're set to face off against Chivas USA for a 7pm ET kick on May 23. Tickets are available on Red Bulls Ticket Central or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.
Check out the full highlights from Wednesday's win: