The New York Red Bulls Academy teams posted a combined 4-0-1 record this past weekend, let by a series of high-scoring and shutout affairs courtesy of the U14, U15 and U16 sides.
The U14s showed they can pull off the ‘W’ in comeback fashion after McLean jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. The Red Bulls responded quickly with two goals, but unfortunately also found the netting in their own goal to send both teams into the half locked in a 2-2 draw. In the second half the squad hit the accelerator, scoring an unprecedented eight goals including two each from Sean Teixera, Mason Toye and Kyle Casey.
Nothing like a 7-0 win to open up your season, which is exactly what the U15 squad did against McLean Soccer Club. Ethan Lochnoer scored four goals in the win, while Bren Lustosa’s two and Oresti Sousonis rounded out the scoring.
A scoreless first half left things wide open in the U16 match against Empire Soccer Club, but Kevin Kappock’s 20-yard blast and Derrick Etienne’s free kick goal in the 80th minute helped the Red Bulls secure the 2-0 win.
Admittedly it's a bit hard to get everyone to agree on power rankings week in and week out, but for the most part the Red Bulls normally land within the same general location from one site to the other. In this week's Power Rankings, you'll notice that really isn't the case.
Maybe it's the impending postseason that causes the rankings to carry more weight, or perhaps it's the manner in which New York handled Columbus, but I suspected the Red Bulls wouldn't place any lower than third overall across the board.
MLSsoccer.com has the right idea, promoting the Red Bulls two spots up to No. 2 overall in this week's installment.
Soccer By Ives believes the Red Bulls need to mix it up on offense and find a way of getting guys like Le Toux and Cooper on the board against Sporting KC if they want to move beyond fourth overall:
"The current back four has settled into a good groove for the Red Bulls, but the attack has become a bit too reliant on Thierry Henry. New York will need either Kenny Cooper or Sebastien LeToux to get going if the Red Bulls are going to extend their five-match home winning streak against Sporting KC on Wednesday."
Very little movement at all in the Sports Illustrated rankings, where the Red Bulls maintain their hold on third place:
"Thierry Henry has the look of a player ready to put his team on his back and charge into the playoffs on a mission. The Red Bulls remain one of two teams to be unbeaten at home this season (Houston is the other), and four of the club's final six games are at Red Bull Arena, including a pair against Sporting KC and one against Chicago."
"Thierry Henry turned on the style in New York's 3-1 win over Columbus, which saw Rafa Marquez return to the lineup and actually contribute something positive. Dax McCarty continued his outstanding season with a header for the game-winner."
So, there you have it. In case you lost track while reading (I know I did), here's the breakdown:
This Week's Rankings
MLSsoccer - 2nd
Soccer By Ives - 4th
Sports Illustrated - 3rd
ESPNSoccernet - 5th
Wednesday's match against Sporting Kansas City is undoubtedly a big one, as the Red Bulls will look to gain three points at home and claim sole possession of first place in the East. However, Wednesday's match is also a big night for Red Bull Arena as a whole, as the venue hosts Goals for St. Jude Night, in conjunction with MLS W.O.R.K.S. "Soccer Kicks Cancer" program.
All throughout MLS, teams remain focused on raising awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment, while also providing strength and hope to those affected by this terrible disease.
Earlier this season, Kenny Cooper and Rafa Marquez visited the St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee to spend a day with families and those affected by cancer. As per the usual with events in the community, it's always hard to say who had the better time - the players, or the participants (we'll go with both in this case).
During halftime of Wednesday's match, the Red Bulls will honor Ashley, a five-year-old New York native who is currently being treated at St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis for a brain tumor. For those in attendance, please join us in giving Ashley and her a family a round of applause as we all unite in the fight against cancer.
You can join Rafa, Kenny and the rest of the Red Bulls in support of Goals Week by visiting stjude.org/goals to learn how soccer remains a pivotal part in giving hope to the children and families fighting cancer.
It was a no-brainer.
We're not talking about Thierry Henry's decision to go straight for goal off a corner kick on Saturday night against the Columbus Crew; only a select few players on the planet possess the wherewithal to even try that, let alone pull it off. But for Henry's stunning goal to be nominated for MLS' Goal of the Week? That was a foregone conclusion.
You can help Henry win the honor for Week 28 by voting here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/09/17/vote-now-att-goal-week-....
If you live under a rock and haven't seen Henry's beauty yet, check it out with the rest of this week's nominees:
That's the first word that comes to mind when watching Thierry Henry's stoppage-time goal.
Wow may also be the second word that comes to mind...
Watch a replay of Thierry Henry's goal off a corner kick that gave the Red Bulls a 3-1 lead and, ultimately, a three-point finish at home.
Dax McCarty tapped into his inner ninja for the third time this season when he headed home the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute of Saturday's match. Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was injured on the play, but walked off under his own power minutes later. Crew goalkeeper Matt Lampson came on in his place, as New York took a 2-1 lead.
Rafa Marquez was right on the mark in his first start since returning from injury, placing a perfect ball on the foot of Thierry Henry in the 9th minute that led to the game-tying goal.
We all know the Viking Army helps the Red Bulls get wins, now it's time to help the Viking Army get wiiings.
The loud and crazy supporters from Red Bull Arena's South Ward are ready to prove that human powered flight is possible with their craft at Red Bull FlugTag, set to take place in Philadelphia this Saturday. As you can see by the picture to the right (and the ones below), they're more than ready to dress the part and send their Flintstone craft soaring through the air.
While there is sure to be a number of groups looking to take to the air, there's only one vehicle that should be getting your vote.
So be sure to vote for their Flintstones vehicle for the People's Choice Award. Cast your vote for the Viking Army's Flugtag Vehicle by texting "Team3" to 72855.
You can vote up to 15 times per mobile device, so get to it and help the Viking Army bring home some hardware!
Here are some other great pics of the building process, courtesy of Viking Army: