Red Bulls Weekly Update: September 13

New York enters challenging time in schedule with win over Colorado

Team Weekly

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RED BULLS FIGHT FC DALLAS THURSDAY: The Red Bulls have a sturdy challenge ahead of them when they take on FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Thursday night at 9:00 PM ET (TV: MSG; Radio: WQBU 92.7 FM).

The Red Bulls solidified their playoff position and crept closer to first place in the Eastern Conference with a resounding 3-1 victory over the weekend against the Colorado Rapids. Goals from Thierry Henry, Tim Ream, and Dane Richards at Red Bull Arena helped New York improve to 12-8-4, 40 pts. in 2010, and with first-place Columbus’ loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, the Red Bulls now trail the Crew by just four points for first place in the East. 

New York will try to break FC Dallas’ 14-game unbeaten streak, the second-longest such streak over one season in the history of Major League Soccer (only the Columbus Crew’s unbeaten streak of 18 matches in 2004 is better). The Hoops are also in the midst of an impressive six game winning-streak at Pizza Hut Park. FC Dallas’ last loss, both at home and overall in league play, came back on May 20, a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Overall, FC Dallas has a record of 10-2-11 and has 41 pts. on the season, which is good for third in the Western Conference.

This will be the second meeting between the teams this season. The Red Bulls earned all three points over FC Dallas in dramatic fashion back on April 17 at Red Bull Arena, handing their Western Conference rival one of its two losses on the season. Dax McCarty gave the Hoops an early lead, but Juan Pablo Angel scored two second half goals to rescue the game for New York. The winner came in the 90th minute, when Sinisa Ubiparipovic earned a penalty kick, which Angel converted for the victory. All-time, New York is 17-16-2 against FC Dallas.

LAST WEEK:
Red Bulls 3, Colorado Rapids 1 at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 11.

THIS WEEK:
Red Bulls at FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park on Thursday, September 16 at 9:00 PM ET (TV: MSG; Radio; WQBU 92.7 FM)

NEXT WEEK:
Red Bulls at Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, September 24 at Home Depot Center at 11:00 PM ET (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; Radio: WADO 1280 AM)

2010 MLS STANDINGS - INCLUDES GAMES OF SATURDAY, September 11, 2010

RED BULLS RUSH PAST RAPIDS, 3-1: Goals from Thierry Henry, Tim Ream and Dane Richards propelled the New York Red Bulls to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. With the win, New York improved to a 12-8-4 record and 40 points on the season, maintaining their second place standing in the Eastern Conference.

Juan Pablo Angel looked to add to his team-leading goal tally in the 13th minute, redirecting a Roy Miller cross with his head on frame, but Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens made a diving save to keep the match scoreless. Two minutes later, Henry nearly opened the scoring, when he ran onto a Rafa Márquez long ball, and one-timed an effort that just whispered past the far post.

Henry did find the back of the net thanks to an impressive interchange between the Frenchman and Joel Lindpere in the 17th minute. Henry fed Lindpere at the top of the box and made a run at goal, and Lindpere returned the ball to Henry with a back heel pass. Henry took his chance first time, beating Pickens low to the far side netting. It was Henry’s second goal of the season, and Lindpere’s team-leading fifth assist of the campaign.

Rookie of the Year candidate Ream scored his first career goal to widen New York’s advantage in the 32nd minute. Colorado’s Pablo Mastroeni was whistled for a handball, setting up a Red Bulls free kick from the left side of midfield. Márquez sent the free kick to the back post, where Tony Tchani volleyed the ball across an empty goal mouth. Ream rushed towards the goal line and knocked it in from close range. On the goal, Márquez was credited with his first assist as a Red Bull.

While the Red Bulls dominated the scoreline in the first half, the Rapids pulled one back in the 52nd minute. With the ball at his feet, Omar Cummings made a darting run through the midfield. From about 25 yards out, Cummings fired with his left foot, beating Coundoul for his ninth goal of the year.

It didn’t take New York long to reclaim its two goal advantage, however, as Richards netted his second of the season in the 58th minute. Angel dispossessed a Rapids defender at the Colorado at the top of the 18 yard box, and the ball came to Richards. The Jamaican International faked a shot and rounded Jamie Smith before placing a right footed attempt inside the far post.

FORWARD JOHN WOLYNIEC ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: Former New York forward and fan favorite John Wolyniec announced his retirement from professional soccer on September 9. In a career that spanned 12 years, including seven-plus seasons with the New York franchise, Wolyniec, the only player in the Red Bulls’ history to have scored a goal in the MLS Cup Final, finishes his career fifth in club history in goals scored in all competitions with 36. The Red Bulls plan to honor Wolyniec, who has accepted a position with the Red Bull Academy, at their match at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 2 against the Kansas City Wizards at 7:30 PM ET.

“Over the last 12 years, I have been able to live my dream of being a professional soccer player and I am so grateful to the individuals who have helped me along the way,” Wolyniec said. “I would not have been able to have such a successful career without the support of family, friends, coaches, teammates and fans. Though I will miss the game, I am looking forward to the new challenges ahead.”

“John has been a wonderful player and ambassador for the club and the league for so many years,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “We hold him in the highest regard and his work ethic and professionalism both on and off the pitch was second to none. We want John to continue to be a part of this club for years to come and we’re excited to give him to opportunity to pass along the values he has to the next generation of players.”

A Staten Island, NY native, Wolyniec is second all-time in regular season games played with 142 and tallied 26 goals during these appearances. Wolyniec scored 36 goals for New York in all competitions, including his strike against the Columbus Crew on Nov. 23, 2008 in the club’s first-ever MLS Cup Final and a thunderous left-footed volley against the Crew in a 1-0 overtime win on Sept. 20, 2003 at Giants Stadium that is arguably the best goal scored in club history.

Wolyniec started his career in 1999 with New York, before enjoying stints with the Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution. The former Fordham University standout returned to New York in the 2003 season and had his best year statistically in 2004, playing in 30 games and scoring 10 goals and three assists.

He was traded to the Columbus Crew in 2005 and then to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2006 before he again rejoined New York for a 2007 MLS SuperDraft fourth round selection and a 2008 second round selection. In 2008, Wolyniec was instrumental in the team’s first trip to the MLS Cup Final, scoring two goals and one assist and starting in each of the team’s playoff games. Overall, Wolyniec made 192 total regular season appearances during his career, logging 10,035 minutes. In his final season, Wolyniec played in four games, starting in two and recorded four goals in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

In 2004, Wolyniec earned two caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team. At Fordham, Wolyniec was the university’s all-time leading scorer with 75 goals and 36 assists, was named the 1998 Atlantic-10 Player of the Year and twice led Division I in scoring.

REAM NOTCHES FIRST CAREER GOAL: Red Bulls rookie defender Tim Ream scored the first goal of his career, tallying the game-winner in the Red Bulls’ 3-1 victory over Colorado over the weekend. Enjoying a stellar first-year campaign that has put him in the conversation for the league Rookie of the Year award, Ream leads Major League Soccer outfield players in minutes played, featuring in the maximum 2,160 minutes in his 24 appearances in 2010.

RICHARDS ON FIRE: Returning to the starting eleven over the weekend from international duty, Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards scored his second goal in as many appearances in the club’s 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. The Jamaican International now has two goals and three assists in 2010.

INTERNATIONALS RETURN AND CONTRIBUTE: Rafa Márquez (Mexico), Bouna Coundoul (Senegal), Roy Miller (Costa Rica), and Dane Richards (Jamaica), who all missed the club’s Sept. 4 match at Real Sale Lake due to international commitments, returned to the starting eleven over the weekend versus Colorado. Márquez played 72 minutes and registered his first assist of the season. Coundoul started and made six saves, improving his record to 11-7-4. Richards scored his second goal of the season, and Miller started and played all 90 minutes.

HENRY EFFECT: In the eight matches since Thierry Henry debuted for the club on July 31 at Houston, the Red Bulls have held a plus-6 goal differential. In the team's first 16 matches prior to Henry's debut, the team played at a minus-1 goal differential. Henry has two goals and three assists in eight regular season matches in 2010.

RED BULLS PARTNER WITH TOPSOCCER: Beginning Sept. 26, 2010, the New York Red Bulls will be partnering with New Jersey Youth Soccer to offer a TOPsoccer Program to youth players in the New Jersey area. The TOPsoccer Program, which is offered under the umbrella of US Youth Soccer, is designed to allow any child the opportunity to learn and play soccer, specifically those who have a mental or physical disability. The Red Bulls will be the first Major League Soccer Team to operate this program.

“We feel it is extremely important that our youth programs cater to all players regardless of their background or playing abilities,” said David Jervis, Director of Training Programs with the New York Red Bulls. “Adding this component to our grass roots programs is an important aspect in serving the local soccer community.”

“The New York Red Bulls stand for top soccer, played at the highest level in the country. New York Red Bulls TOPSoccer stands for the New York Red Bulls reaching out to the children with special needs in the community. The Outreach Program for Soccer is a great way of touching the lives of many children who normally would not have the chance to play the beautiful game. We want to thank the New York Red Bulls for making the dream of many children come true," said Auke Wiersma, Program Director, TOPSoccer New Jersey.

The program’s inaugural season will be launched this coming fall, with sessions running every Sunday for five weeks. The program will be operated at Harrison High School and will be supported by the Red Bulls’ local partner, the Harrison Recreation Department. All costs of the program will be covered by the New York Red Bulls. For more information, please visit www.redbullsacademy.com.

ECUADOR-COLOMBIA TO PLAY OCT. 8 AT RBA: The South American national teams of Ecuador and Colombia will continue their rivalry in the New York metropolitan area by facing off on Friday, October 8, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ at 8:30 p.m. ET, Soccer United Marketing (SUM) announced today. The match, which will be played during an official FIFA window, allows the teams to call-up their internationally-based players and will be both teams’ first match up at the new Red Bull Arena.

Tickets are on sale by calling 1-877-RBSOCCER, logging onto www.redbullarena.us or visiting the Red Bull Arena Box Office, Delgado Travel stores and other usual tiendas in the metropolitan area.

Both teams will feature new head coaches. Ecuador is led by Colombian Reinaldo Rueda, who coached the Honduras national team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while Colombia will be coached by Hernán Darío “Bolillo” Gomez, who returns to the national team after leading them to the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The Ecuadorian team features international stars such as Manchester United’s (England) Antonio Valencia, Santos Laguna (Mexico) forward Christian Benítez, Rubin Kazan (Russia) midfielder Christian Noboa, and Villareal (Spain) midfielder Jefferson Montero.   

Some of the renowned Colombians playing abroad include the dangerous FC Porto (Portugal) forward Falcao Garcia, AC Milan’s (Italy) veteran defender Mario Alberto Yepes, Racing (Argentina) midfielder Giovanni Moreno, and Wigan (England) forward Hugo Rodallega. This marks the first time that Red Bull Arena will host two South American teams and the match will commemorate the Guayaquil Independence Day of Ecuador (Oct. 9).

Fans and media are encouraged to use public transportation provided by New Jersey Transit and via the PATH train to arrive at Red Bull Arena, the 25,000-seat home of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls. Please visit www.njtransit.com  and www.panynj.gov/path/   for train stations and schedules or www.redbullarena.us site for more information.

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

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, 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.