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Player ratings after draw away to Los Angeles

It was a clash between the top teams in the East and the West and a well-deserved 1-1 draw between New York and Los Angeles on Saturday. The match produced plenty of drama but little in the way of brilliance from the Red Bulls who sustained heavy first pressure after their early goal to play a more balanced second half. A look at the player ratings as New York maintained its lead atop the Eastern Conference with the draw against the Galaxy:

GK – Bouna Coundoul: Overall a solid night even as he had his struggles. Did flail badly on the Landon Donovan header for the Galaxy’s only goal, then minutes later charged out recklessly on Donovan to leave an open goal that Tim Ream managed to desperately clear off the line. Still proved his worth in the first half with a number of reaction saves. Rating: 7

D – Jan Gunnar Solli: Struggled in flashes with the Los Angeles overlap of Mike Magee and Todd Dunivant from the left side but won his individual battles in the final third. Moved into the attack well but crossing from the flank was limited. Rating: 6

D – Rafa Marquez: For a former midfielder, distribution was spotty and sporadic at best as he frequently seemed off in his passing and switching fields. Defensively, his positioning was superb and he man-marked quite well as the Galaxy threw bodies into the attack in waves. Rating: 6.5

D – Tim Ream:
His goal line clearance of Donovan will get the kudos but Ream was gritty and feisty all night long defensively. His distribution was crisp and even his clearances under pressure often started the counterattack. A very underrated display from Ream. Rating: 7

D – Roy Miller: Was lost a bit defensively  on Donovan’s goal and got caught up field several times when his forays were ill-timed and he would have been better served staying home along the backline. Not a bad night from Miller, just not a good one. Rating: 6

M – Dane Richards: An active and pesky night from Richards who found plenty of space down the right flank with Dunivant pushing forward from his deep position. Had a few opportunities to score, including a shot off the post, but there always seemed to be a Galaxy defender present to block any one of his shots. Still a good night for Richards. Rating: 6.5

M – Mehdi Ballouchy: Filling in for Teemu Tainio, it was Ballouchy’s role to stay right above the backline and play as a holding midfielder. The Red Bulls No. 10 seemed slow in the challenge and his distribution suspect at times, in particular in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Hard to expect much from an attacking midfielder given the circumstances. Rating: 5.5

M – Dwayne De Rosario: A quiet first half gave way to a far more active role for De Rosario in the second half, including nearly scoring with 20 minutes left in the match. Good in his distribution, his calming presence would have been welcomed in the first half as Los Angeles pressed but he rarely got the ball in space. Rating: 6.5

M – Joel Lindpere: An all-around gutsy performance from the Estonian down the left flank. Consistently linked well with the forwards and defensively put in lots of work in controlling David Beckham and Sean Franklin down the flank. His offensive work was marked with few mistakes and solid decisions. Rating: 7

F – Thierry Henry: A wonderfully composed goal in the fourth minute set the mark for the Red Bulls. More impressive was Henry’s distribution and deft passing which consistently made New York dangerous in the final third. A splendid all around display, including some good defensive effort. Rating: 7.5

F – Luke Rodgers: A frustrating night as Rodgers rarely had the ball in the final third with space to move forward, but his hard-charging work rate did pressure the Galaxy backline. A quiet night on the scoreboard as he rarely got into the flow of the match. Rating: 5.5

F: Juan Agudelo:
His header on a corner kick just minutes after coming on nearly gave the Red Bulls all three points. A productive and effort-filled 20 minutes for the teenage striker. Rating: 6

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at