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.
Thierry Henry broke the scoreless tie at Red Bull Arena Wednesday afternoon with this goal in the 71st minute. The tally marks his 10th of the season and first goal since Apr. 28 when he scored the lone goal in New York's 1-0 win over New England. He later left that match with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly six weeks. At the time of the goal, Henry moved into a three-way tie with Houston's Will Bruin and Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio for fourth place on the MLS leading scorers list.
Here's a replay of Henry's scorcher:
For the most part, a lot of the sites we regularly hit for Power Rankings - MLSsoccer.com, Soccer by Ives, Sports Illustrated and ESPN - have been rather consistent from week to week. Looks like that's the case yet again for the Week 19 Power Rankings.
Let's start with MLSsoccer.com. They ranked the Red Bulls fifth overall last week and didn't feel the need to move them in either direction this time after the squad played to a 2-2 draw against Seattle Sunday evening. Although admittedly they seem to be a little dramatic in their assessment:
"At what point do we become concerned that Thierry Henry is healthy but they're not winning? Yeah, it was just one game against a pretty good Sounders team, but the Red Bulls had ample opportunity to put it away early. If their DP is struggling, they'll be hard pressed to finish in the top half of the East."
ESPN had the Red Bulls ranked third last week, but drops them to fifth this time around:
"Sebastien Le Toux scored in his Red Bull debut, but it wasn't enough to get maximum points against Seattle. New York's patchwork defense continued to leak goals in a 2-2 draw, marking the ninth consecutive game without a clean sheet."
Keeping with the trend, Soccer By Ives places the Red Bulls fifth overall as well:
"The shock acquisition of Sebastien Le Toux immediately paid dividends for New York, but the club's iffy back line couldn't hold onto a second-half lead as Seattle battled back for a point on the road. next up, this week's unusual slate brings a pair of matinees at Red Bull Arena."
And finally it's Sports Illustrated that rounds out the rankings, placing the Red Bulls sixth overall:
"Sebastien Le Toux marked his club debut with a goal, but with Hans Backe not using two of his available substitutions in hot and humid conditions Sunday, the Red Bulls will have some weary legs for their Wednesday afternoon matinee against the Fire, a game that has major table implications."
What's your take on this week's power rankings?