Weekly Update: Off to a good start

New York posts shutout win in MLS opener

Joel Lindpere

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

RED BULLS PUT OUT FIRE IN RBA MLS OPENER: In the first MLS
regular season match at Red Bull Arena, a first-half strike from
midfielder Joel Lindpere gave the Red Bulls a 1-0 win over the Chicago
Fire in front of a near sellout crowd of 24,572 fans. Red Bulls
goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul earned the shutout, making eight saves.

Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards had two shots early that did not
trouble goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Later, Juan Pablo Angel tried a
short-angle shot that went wide. Chicago nearly went ahead on an
acrobatic attempt by Brian McBride. Off a deflected clearance, McBride
tried a bicycle kick that bounced past Coundoul, who was off his line,
and off the left post in the 23rd minute. Fifteen minutes later,
Macoumba Kandji darted into the box and took a shot that Dykstra
smothered.

The Red Bulls took the lead in the 40th minute. Danleigh Borman chipped
the ball into the box and it was headed into the path of Lindpere, who
volleyed a right-footed shot underneath the crossbar to give the Red
Bulls the lead. It was the Estonian's second goal in as many matches, as
he scored the first-ever goal at Red Bull Arena in New York's 3-1 Grand
Opening win over Santos FC on March 20.

Angel tried to make it 2-0 six minutes into the second half when he
chested down a Lindpere pass, turned and knocked it past the right post.
Soon after, Angel had time to take a shot on goal, but Wilman Conde
slid in to block it away.

The Fire forced Coundoul to make a diving save in the 62nd minute. After
substitute Baggio Husidic earned a foul 22 yards out, Mike Banner's
ensuing free kick on goal was punched away by Coundoul, before the
goalkeeper caught Husidic's rebound attempt.

Lindpere hit a long-range attempt 20 minutes from full time that Dykstra
bobbled before covering. Four minutes later, Sinisa Ubiparipovic slid a
through ball into the box to an on-rushing Richards, who tried to go
top corner but it went high. The Fire almost tied the game in the 84th
minute, as Collins John beat Coundoul to the ball and it was deflected
to Patrick Nyarko. Nyarko, however, could not get his shot on target.

RED BULLS TRAVEL TO SEATTLE: After opening Red Bull Arena to MLS
regular season play last Saturday, the Red Bulls kick off a two-game
road trip, first taking on Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday at Qwest
Field at 10:30 PM ET (TV: FSC, FSE - pre-game show starts at 10:00 PM).

Both teams head into Saturday's showdown coming off opening week wins.
Sounders FC rode goals from Brad Evans and Fredy Montero to defeat MLS
expansion side, the Philadelphia Union, 2-0 at Qwest Field on Thursday,
March 25. Former U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller made
four saves to earn the shutout.

Montero returns to Seattle after scoring a team-high 12 goals in 27
starts. Against the Union, he partnered up top with Swedish Designated
Player Freddie Ljungberg, who recorded a team-high nine assists in 2009.
Keller, in his return to MLS last year, posted a 0.92 goals against
average and 10 shutouts - both marks which were good for second place in
the League.

New York earned a 0-1-1 record against Seattle last season. In the
opening match for both teams on March 19 at Qwest Field, Sounders FC
earned a 3-0 win with a Montero brace and an Evans first half goal. The
Red Bulls were able to tally a point at home in the teams' second match -
a 1-1 tie on June 20 at Giants Stadium. New York's Juan Pablo Angel and
Montero were the goalscorers.

The Red Bulls will play Sounders FC before heading to Los Angeles the
following week to face CD Chivas USA on April 10 at 4:00 PM at The Home
Depot Center.

LAST WEEK:
Red Bulls 1, Chicago Fire 0 on March 27 at Red Bull Arena

THIS WEEK:
Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders FC on April 3 at Qwest Field at 10:30 PM
(TV: FSC, FSE - pre-game show starts at 10:00 PM)

NEXT WEEK:
Red Bulls at CD Chivas USA on April 10 at The Home Depot Center at 4:00
PM (TV: MSG, TeleFutura)

NO ORDINARY JOE: New Red Bulls midfielder Joel Lindpere has
quickly made a positive impact since signing with team on March 5. After
tallying the first-ever goal at Red Bull Arena in a 3-1 win over Santos
FC on March 20 off a left-footed volley from the top of the box in the
11th minute, the Estonian midfielder duplicated his effort with a 40th
minute right-footed volley to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 win over the
Chicago Fire on Saturday, March 27. The 28-year-old, who signed with the
Red Bulls after playing for Norway's Tromso IF, has 74 caps for the
Estonian National Team.

DEBUTANTS: Several Red Bulls made debuts in the team's 1-0 win
over the Chicago Fire on March 27. Midfielder Joel Lindpere and defender
Roy MIller started and played their first MLS games, while rookie Tony
Tchani made his professional debut, coming on in the 90th minute for
Macoumba Kandji. Fellow rookie Tim Ream also earned the start in his
first match, playing the full 90 minutes in central defense and helping
the team earn a shutout.

In addition, Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe and Fire head coach Carlos
de los Cobos met in a battle of two first-time MLS coaches. The last
time two first-timers occurred was on April 3, 2004 when D.C. United's
Peter Nowak faced San Jose Earthquakes' Dominic Kinnear. United won that
match, 2-1.

KILLER D: Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and the team's
defense started the season well, earning a shutout in New York's 1-0 win
over the Chicago Fire on March 27. Coundoul made eight saves on the
night while the back four of Jeremy Hall, Mike Petke, Tim Ream and Roy
Miller kept the Fire at bay.

"They were excellent - absolutely all of them, including Bouna
(Coundoul), who made a couple of key saves. But (Tim) Ream, (Mike)
Petke, (Jeremy) Hall and (Roy) Miller.... it was definitely our key to
win the game," said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe after the match.

The Red Bulls, who went 7-0-3 in preseason, conceded just four goals in
those 10 matches.

RED BULLS PEN ACADEMY STANDOUT AGUDELO: Red Bull New York
announced on March 26 that it signed Red Bull Academy forward Juan
Agudelo, as he became the second Home Grown player produced by the club
to join the first team. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed,
per MLS and club policy.

"Juan is certainly a player to watch out for in the future," said Red
Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. "His
physical and technical ability for someone of his age is impressive and
he had a very strong preseason. We are thrilled to sign him for the
first team and hope that he is one of the many players who will be
developed thorough our academy."

Agudelo, 17, has been with the Academy program since 2007, when he
joined the Under-15 squad. On Sept. 3, 2008, the Barnegat, NJ native was
accepted into the United States U-17 Men's National Team Residency
Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, and scored his first goal for
the U.S. U-17s just over two weeks later. He helped the U.S. U-17s
qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup after the team posted a 3-0-0 record
out of Group A at the CONCACAF U-17 Championships in Tijuana, Mexico.

"I'm thrilled to join the Red Bulls," Agudelo said. "The players in the
locker room have welcomed me since I joined the squad in preseason and
I'm excited to continue to play for this organization as a member of the
First Team. I want to thank the Red Bull Academy for their help in
developing me as a player."

At the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria, Agudelo and the U-17s advanced
out of group play to the knockout round before being eliminated. The
Manizales, Colombia native also represented the U.S. at the U-20 level
at Copa Chivas in Guadalajara, Mexico, scoring against the Brazilian
U-20 side in a 1-1 draw.

In July 2009, the MLS Board of Governors approved an amendment to the
rules governing the signing of youth academy players. MLS clubs receive
two additional roster slots that may be used to sign academy players, in
accordance with current Home Grown Player rules, to Generation adidas
or developmental contracts during the 2009 season. These players will
not count toward the 24-player roster limit.

FOR STARTERS: The Red Bulls have gone unbeaten in their last
seven home openers (4-0-3). Their last loss in a home opener was against
the Columbus Crew on April 12, 2003 - a 1-0 defeat. New York is 9-3-3
overall in home openers and 6-6-3 in regular season openers.

RED BULLS SIGN ROOKIE TRIO: Red Bull New York announced on March
25 that it signed defender Tim Ream, forward Conor Chinn and midfielder
Irving Garcia. All three players were selected by New York in the 2010
MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 14 in Philadelphia, PA.

"We think that they have bright futures ahead of them," said Red Bull
New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. "They have
all worked very hard to secure their spots on the squad and we are
looking forward to track their progress this season."

Ream was a second round (18th overall) selection from Saint Louis
University. The former All-American was the Atlantic 10 Conference
Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 after scoring a career-high six
goals and five assists. Ream played the full 90 minutes in central
defense and tallied an assist against Santos FC last Saturday in the Red
Bulls' 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena's Grand Opening.

Chinn was selected in the third round (34th overall) in the draft out of
the University of San Francisco. The 2008 WCC Player of the Year after
recording 17 goals, Chinn scored four goals for New York in preseason
action. The 22-year-old from San Diego, CA was 2009 First Team All-WCC
selection, tallying 10 goals and three assists.

Garcia was picked by New York in the fourth round (50th overall) out of
the University of California - Irvine. He helped Irvine win two-straight
Big West Conference titles and led the league in points and assists,
earning the Big West Offensive Player of the year.

WHAT THEY SAID: Here was the post-match reaction after New York's
1-0 win over Chicago on March 27:

NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH HANS BACKE

On Joel Lindpere:
"He can be the player from central midfield who can go for the killer
passes, finer passes but he will score goals for us too. He's an
absolute hard worker. His work rate is phenomenal. He kept going for 90
minutes... I'm a little bit surprised no other teams in Europe picked
him up when he was out of contract."

On the Chicago Fire:
"Chicago surprised me. The way they started to play from behind, perhaps
because of the Mexican coach. They all the time try for the goalie just
to come short to the back four and they were a technically good side. I
was surprised I must say. The first half when we were then starting to
press them too high, it was space all over the place for them to play,
so I think, what I've seen so far is I said that this must be the best
I've seen in the MLS so far this season."

NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD JUAN PABLO ANGEL

On beating Chicago:
"Today we played well. We know we could play a little bit better than
that but from previous games, it was very important to just get a win
against these guys because we didn't have a good record against them in
the last three or four games."

On the game:
"We were a lot more organized. When you look at them they didn't really
have that many chances. It was a really even game. And that (Joel)
Lindpere goal... that was the only difference in the game. Apart from
that it was really even. We have a few chances, they have the same or
less chances that we have but it was important to get the result today.
It was important to get of with a winning game, or win today to just the
game over and start building up from there. We know that we have to
correct a lot of things but it's important to correct them while you're
winning not while you're losing."

NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER JOEL LINDPERE

On joining the Red Bulls:
"I think we have many new players. Half of the team is new. Half of the
staff is new. The stadium, everything, that was also my reason to come
here. Probably if this (didn't) happen, I should not be here. So I think
the circumstances and all about what was happening around this club, I
knew it before I signed the contract."

On playing central midfield:
"I like this position. I have played many (other places) in this
position before, only not in my last club. I try to keep on going like
this and I think we have many good central midfielders. We have a good
competition inside the team... and everybody should work harder because
of this."

On his goal:
"It's a little bit the same situation as last time (against Santos). I
took the rebound and scored. I have quite OK shot with especially my
left one and if its chance with this ball to shoot, everybody should try
it."

NEW YORK RED BULLS GOALKEEPER BOUNA COUNDOUL

On his performance:
"I feel good. I would give credit to the whole team and the fans and
everybody that pitched in. This is a positive start. This is what we
were looking for so the fact that we come away with the 'W' it looks
good, so we're looking forward for the upcoming games."

On the shutout:
"As a goalie, I always want to win with a clean sheet, with a shutout.
So today, we did and everybody pitched in and worked hard so I feel good
so I'm getting ready for the next game."

REDBULLARENA.US RELAUNCHED: Red Bull New York announced the
re-launch of RedBullArena.us,
the official website of Red Bull Arena, New York's state-of-the-art,
soccer-specific stadium being constructed in Harrison, New Jersey.

RedBullArena.us will
become an all-inclusive destination for all things related to the new
home of the New York Red Bulls, including arena news, features,
directions to the facility, an event calendar, and a live webcam that
will allow supporters of the Red Bulls to follow the final stages of the
construction process.

The look of the site was designed by Red Bull Creative, while the site
was created and built by AmericanEagle.com.

SOLO FUTBOL AIRS SUNDAY: Red Bulls WADO 1280 AM and 92.7 FM
announcers Ernesto Motta and Robert Sierra host their weekly call-in
radio show, Solo Futbol, on Sunday night from 8-11 PM on WADO 1280 AM.
Motta, Sierra and their panel of experts and guests analyze the
Beautiful Game and the New York Red Bulls, as they get ready for their
upcoming MLS season.