Red Bulls Weekly Update: August 23

New York finds stride in Toronto; returns home to face Earthquakes

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RED BULLS HOST EARTHQUAKES SATURDAY: Following their best offensive output of the season, the Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena when they host the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night (7:30 PM ET; TV: MSG; Radio: WQBU 92.7 FM).  

The Red Bulls enter the match in second place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-7-4 and 34 points, eight points clear of third place Toronto and six points behind Eastern leading Columbus. New York earned that eight point advantage over Toronto by defeating the Reds, 4-1, last Saturday at BMO Field, snapping Toronto’s home wining streak that dated back to June of 2009 and spanned over 17 matches. Newly signed Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez notched his first MLS goal for the club, and also had a hand in New York’s second goal, providing a dangerous ball from a set piece that Toronto’s Joseph Nane mistakenly redirected into his own net. Juan Pablo Angel and Carl Robinson also netted for New York.

San Jose enters the match off an impressive 1-0 home victory over the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday. Chris Wondolowski added his team-high eighth goal of the campaign on a fourth minute strike, and the Earthquakes were able to hold on for all three points. With the win, San Jose improved to 8-6-5 with 29 points, good for fourth in the Western Conference. The Earthquakes were boosted by the debut of their newest Designated Player signing, Geovanni, who entered the match against Los Angeles in the 72nd minute. San Jose features two former New York players, defender Chris Leitch and forward Cornell Glen. In two stints with New York from 2003-05 and 2007-08, Leitch appeared in 101 matches, notching five assists. Glen played for New York during the 2004 season, playing in 18 matches, starting 10, and scoring six goals and two assists.

All-time, the Red Bulls are 8-15-6 against San Jose. Since the current version of the ‘Quakes rejoined the league in 2008, the Red Bulls are 2-2-1 against San Jose, including 2-0-0 at home. This will be the second meeting of the teams this season. On May 8 at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Earthquakes defeated the Red Bulls 4-0.

LAST WEEK:
Red Bulls 4, Toronto FC 1 at BMO Field on August 21.

THIS WEEK:
Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, August 28 at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 PM ET (TV: MSG; Radio: WQBU 92.7 FM)

NEXT WEEK:
Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, September 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium at 9:00 PM ET (TV: MSG; Radio: WADO 1280 AM)

2010 MLS STANDINGS: INCLUDES GAMES OF SUNDAY, August 22, 2010

MARQUEZ BLAST HELPS ELEVATE RED BULLS TO 4-1 WIN: New York Designated Player Rafa Marquez had a hand in two goals, including recording his first MLS tally off a spectacular 25-yard shot to open the scoring, as the Red Bulls snapped Toronto FC’s 17-game MLS home unbeaten streak with a resounding 4-1 win Saturday afternoon in front of 22,108 at BMO Field. The victory extended the second place Red Bulls’ lead over third place Toronto FC to eight points. New York, which also got goals from Juan Pablo Angel and Carl Robinson, earned its 10th win of the season and now has 34 points off a 10-7-4 record.

Angel looked to open the scoring in the 11th minute when he nodded a Tony Tchani delivery just past the goalmouth. A minute later, Toronto FC striker Mista created space at the top of the penalty box and curled an attempt towards the back post that goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul pushed away.

In the 15th minute, Nick LaBrocca had the best chance up to that point, as he volleyed a New York clearance past Coundoul and off the left post. Soon after, Tchani slid it to an open Dane Richards and he had enough space to fire a shot inches wide. Mista again nearly drew first blood for the hosts, knocking a deflected attempt that looped over Coundoul’s head and nearly went in. LaBrocca tried his luck from 20 yards out later in the interval and Coundoul had to dive to punch it away.

Those missed chances would come back to haunt Toronto FC, as New York took the lead off a stunning Marquez strike in the 35th minute. The ball bounced out to Tchani, who found Marquez outside of the 18-yard box. The Mexican Designated Player one-timed a swerving rocket that beat Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei and nestled into the back of the net.

New York doubled its lead six minutes later and Marquez was again involved, swinging in a free kick from the right wing that bounced in the box and was inadvertently knocked in by Reds midfielder Joseph Nane.

Toronto FC would reduce its deficit to one four minutes into the second half. O’Brian White found Dwayne De Rosario deep in New York’s end and the Canadian international created enough space to blast it into the back of the net at the near post.

However, the visitors would extend their lead to 3-1 in the 61st minute. Richards curled in a cross from the right wing that Toronto FC defender Nana Attakora handled in the 18-yard box. New York earned a penalty kick, which was converted by Angel for his Eastern Conference-leading 12th goal of the season, while Attakora was ejected when he was shown a red card.

Three minutes after coming on as a substitute in his return to Toronto, Robinson, who spent three seasons with the Reds before joining New York, made it 4-1, heading the ball into an empty net after Frei could not haul in a cross that was put into the box.

START TIME FOR OCTOBER 9 MATCH VS REAL SALT LAKE CHANGED: The start time for the Red Bulls’ October 9 match against Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena has been changed from 4:30 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET. The match will be broadcast on Telefutura and MSG.

REAM LEADING THE WAY: New York rookie defender Tim Ream leads MLS in minutes played by outfield players, playing all 1890 available minutes of the Red Bulls 21 matches thus far this season. 

MARQUEZ, ROBINSON NET FIRST GOALS: Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez scored his first goal for the club in the team’s 4-1 victory over Toronto FC last Saturday. Marquez was signed by the club on August 2 as a Designated Player. Carl Robinson also scored his first goal as a Red Bull last Saturday, against his former team. Robinson spent three seasons in Toronto from 2007-2009, appearing 74 times and scoring three goals. The Red Bulls acquired Robinson on March 11 for a 2011 fourth round draft selection.

ANGEL ADDS ANOTHER: Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel tallied his Eastern Conference leading 12th goal of the year, converting a penalty kick in the second half of the Red Bulls’ 4-1 victory over Toronto FC last Saturday. Angel is second in Major League Soccer in goals in 2010, trailing Los Angeles’ Edson Buddle, who has 13 goals.

RED BULLS TO HOST SECOND MAYOR’S CUP: Red Bull New York will host the second annual Mayor’s Cup, a match between the soccer teams of the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York, immediately following the Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes match on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls vs. Earthquakes match kicks off at 7:30 PM ET. The Mayor’s Cup will benefit the New York City PBA Widows’ and Children’s Fund and the Firefighter Sergio Villanueva Soccer Foundation.

The New York City PBA Widows’ and Children’s fund provides assistance to the widows and dependents of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Firefighter Sergio Villanueva Fund promotes domestic and international goodwill through the sport of soccer and commemorates the life of Sergio Villanueva, a New York City firefighter and former New York Police Department officer who gave his life on September 11, 2001. 

“It is great to get the support from the premier football club in New York,” said Jonathan Kanovsky, Executive Director of the Firefighter Sergio Villanueva Soccer Foundation.  “It is a great feeling to partner with the Red Bulls and have a local event that our supporters in the area can attend.  It will be great to play on the best pitch in the United States and to be able to play our rivals in what we believe is the premier soccer facility in the country.  What better place to promote international and domestic goodwill than the cultural melting pot that we live in here in the New York-Metro area.”

Fifty percent of Mayor’s Cup tickets sold will be donated to the aforementioned foundations. Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.newyorkredbulls.com/mayorscup or by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER.

“We are very excited about the upcoming match,” said Lt. Ronald Mejia, coach of the NYPD Soccer Team. “It’s an honor to play at the Red Bulls’ new stadium, and at the same time play for bragging rights and of course two great causes. The Fire Department has a solid soccer team and although we are rivals on game day, they are our best friends off the field. We support each other's causes and really look forward to August 28th when we face off. The Red Bulls have given our teams such a big opportunity that we cannot thank them enough.”

Last year’s Mayor’s Cup was won by the FDNY, who defeated the NYPD by a 3-0 score.

RED BULL ARENA, BIG EAST RELEASE TICKET DETAILS FOR MEN’S BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Red Bull Arena and the BIG EAST Conference announced the ticket purchasing information for the 2010 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship, presented by Travelodge, to be held at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. The conference championship will take place Nov. 12 & 14, in which the semifinal and championship games will be held.

The BIG EAST Semifinal games will be played on Friday, Nov. 12 with the Championship game taking place on Sunday, Nov. 14. Fans can purchase two-day pass tickets for as little as $16 apiece while single day tickets start at $10. Groups of 10 or more also qualify for discounted tickets to one or both days. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or log onto www.redbullarena.us.

There are 16 teams in the BIG EAST, which are divided into a Red and Blue division. The top 12 teams will earn a berth into the championship. Championship tournament games will be held on the campus of the higher seeded teams prior to the semifinal and championship game at Red Bull Arena. The tournament champion receives the league’s automatic berth into the 48-team NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
 
The semifinals will start at 5 PM ET and approximately 7:30 PM ET, while the title game is slated for 12:00 PM ET. The final three matches of the championship will be televised live on the CBS College Sports Network (CBS C). The semifinals also will be carried exclusively on CBS C, while the title game will be shown on numerous regional sports networks, including SportsNet NY (SNY). The title game also will be broadcast live nationally on CBS C beginning at Noon, ET.

BOUNA TIME: Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, with four more saves against Toronto FC on Saturday, leads MLS this season in saves. Coundoul, who was signed by the team on June 29, 2009, boasts a 1.15 goals against average in 20 starts this season.

2010 MLS SAVES LEADERS
Player, Saves
1. Bouna Coundoul (NY), 76

2. Stefan Frei (TOR), 72
3. William Hesmer (CLB), 61
4. Jimmy Nielsen (KC), 60
5. Nick Rimando (RSL), 58

MATCH TICKETS FOR SECOND HALF ON SALE: Match tickets for the second half of the Red Bulls’ season are on sale now. Fans can purchase Groups, Family Packs and individual match tickets for all Red Bulls’ matches in August and beyond by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or by CLICKING HERE. The full schedule of matches that are on sale is as follows:

Saturday, August 28: Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 11: Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids – 4:00 PM
Saturday, October 2: Red Bulls vs. Kansas City Wizards – 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 9: Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake – 4:00 PM
Thursday, October 21: Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution – 7:30 PM.

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.