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.
The Red Bulls Academy went 5-3-1 this past weekend, highlighted by a pair of sweeps by the Under-18 and Under-14 teams over Met Oval and the New York Cosmos.
On Saturday, the Under-18 team got standout performances from some new faces in shutting out Met Oval 4-0. Under-16 player Amando Moreno, playing up with the Under-18 squad, opened the scoring eight minutes in off a feed from Ethan Decker. In the 23rd minute, the Red Bulls doubled their lead on Kerlins Georges’ first of the season. The Red Bulls weren’t done yet, as a minute later Moreno set up Oscar Gonzalez’s first tally of the year as the Red Bulls entered the break up by three. For good measure early in the second half, Moreno notched his second assist of the game as Georges once more found the back of the net. On Sunday, the Under-18’s knocked off local rival New York Cosmos by a 3-1 score. Georges continued his hot play, heading in a fifth minute corner kick from Scotty Thomsen, who assisted on all three Red Bulls goals to raise his season total to 10. Seven minutes later, Brandon Allen converted another set piece off the foot of Thomsen for his 15th goal of the year as the Red Bulls doubled their lead. While the Cosmos were able to pull one back before halftime, Erik Sa put the match away with his fourth goal of the season in the 87th minute.
The Red Bulls Under-14 team also was perfect in its two matches this weekend. A defensive battle ensued on Saturday when the team traveled to Long Island to take on Albertson. Gideon Metrikin found the twine in the first half with the only goal of the match, as the defense held on in a shutout win. The following day, Rafael Terci shined as the Under-14 team defeated NJSA by a 5-0 final. Terci scored all five Red Bulls goals in the one-sided win.
The Under-15 Red Bulls nearly won both games this weekend, settling for a 1-0-1 mark. On Saturday at Albertson, the Red Bulls led twice but couldn’t hold on as Albertson scored just three minutes from full time to share the spoils, 2-2. Dante Perez and Harrison Steadman were the Red Bulls’ goal scorers. However, on Sunday the Red Bulls notched an early lead and continued to build on it, defeating NJSA 5-0. Jake Areman gave the Red Bulls a 2-0 lead going into halftime with a pair of strikes, while Steadman shined in the second half in notching a hat trick.
With some key players missing while at the United States Under-14 National Team camp, the Under-13 Red Bulls dropped a 1-0 decision at PDA on Sunday. The Under-16 Red Bulls fell on Saturday to Met Oval, 1-0, and lost 3-1 to the Cosmos on Sunday. Alex Muyl scored the lone goal for the Under-16s on the weekend, his 11th of the year.
FoxSoccer.com awarded double honors to the Red Bulls this week following Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo and Sunday's 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Union.
Kenny Cooper, who scored his ninth goal of the season with the game-winner against the Union, was dubbed FoxSoccer.com's Player of the Week. Ives Galarcep writes:
The Red Bulls striker has picked up the slack in the absence of injured star Thierry Henry, scoring the game-winning goal in both of New York’s wins this week. The game-winner vs. Houston was a bit of a gift from the Dynamo defense, and Philly goalkeeper Zac MacMath could have done better on Cooper’s winner vs. the Union, but Cooper still gets the credit for capitalizing on defensive mistakes and scoring the goals that pushed New York into first place in the East.
Additionally, goalkeeper Ryan Meara received praise for his continued domination in goal for the Red Bulls. Althoug the Fordham product recently saw his three-game shutout streak come to an end he has, nevertheless, backstopped the club to four-straight wins. Galarcep writes:
A very strong argument can be made for Meara deserving Player of the Week, not just Rookie of the Week, honors for his outstanding play in wins vs. Houston and Philadelphia. Both times, he stepped up big with key late saves to preserve victories.
Do you agree with FoxSoccer.com's picks? If you have your own suggestions for Player of the Week, share them below!
The New York Red Bulls reserves played the Philadelphia Union reserves to a 2-2 draw in a Sunday matinee match following the completion of the first team's clash at PPL Park.
New York found itself in an early hole heading into the half after Philly's Antoine Hoppenot found the back of the net in the 11th minute on an assist from Josue Martinez. Less than one minute into the second half, Philly struck again, this time on a penalty kick from Jack McInerney. From there the Red Bulls' defense went into lockdown mode, limiting the Union's chances while also maintaining a steady flow back up the pitch to create opportunities of their own.
That first turnaround goal came in the 68th minute when guest player Walter Hines slipped one past Union 'keeper Chase Harrison to cut the deficit to one. Twenty minute later it was Corey Hertzog who sent home the equalizer to complete the Red Bulls' surge from a 2-0 hole to level the final score at a draw.
PHI - Antoine Hoppenot (Josue Martinez)11’
PHI - Jack McInerney (Penalty Kick) 46’
NY - Walter Hines (Unassisted) 68’
NY - Corey Hertzog (Unassisted) 88’
NY - Ryan Maduro (Yellow card caution) 33’
NY - Giorgi Chirgadze (Yellow card caution) 51’
PHI - Colton Storm (Yellow card caution) 63’
NY - Christian Ibidgha (Yellow card caution) 81’
Philadelphia Union Reserves: Chase Harrison; Porfirio Lopez; *Matt Baker; Christhian Hernandez (*Shane Campbell 71); Jimmy McLaughlin; Amobi Okugo (C); Zack Pfeffer; *Andy Adland (*Darius Madison 68); Josue Martinez (*Colton Storm 57); Antoine Hoppenot (Chandler Hoffman 81); Jack McInerney
Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 7; Corners: 0; Saves: 9; Fouls: 4; Offsides: 3
New York Red Bull Reserves: Jeremy Vuolo; Jonathan Borrojo; Ousmane Sanogo; Christian Ibidgha; Connor Lade (C); Corey Hertzog; Ryan Maduro; Julian Stahler; **Giorgi Chirgadze; Jhonny Arteaga; Juan Agudelo (Walter Hines 56)
Shots: 17; Shots on Goal: 11; Corners: 5; Saves: 5; Fouls: 8; Offsides: 3
*Philadelphia Union Academy Players
**New York Guest Players
The Red Bulls earned their fourth-straight victory Sunday afternoon and another three big points on the road with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union. (Full Recap)
Here is a collection of photos from the win; a win that puts New York in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference:
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: