Red Bulls Weekly Update: September 27

The Red Bulls earned a quality road win Friday night at Los Angeles

Salou Ibrahim

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

RED BULLS LOOK TO PUNCH PLAYOFF TICKET VS. KC: The Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena for the first of two straight home matches, have a chance to clinch a postseason berth and can take over first place in the Eastern Conference when they host the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 PM ET (TV: MSG Plus; Radio; WQBU 92.7 FM).

A Red Bulls win over Kansas City would secure a playoff spot and at least second place in the Eastern Conference.

New York improved to 44 points off a 13-8-5 record in their last match, a 2-0 victory over the MLS-leading Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. Jamaican International Dane Richards had a fantastic game, netting his third goal of the season in the 36th minute to open the scoring. Richards’ speedy play then set up New York’s second goal, when Richards was taken down in the area by Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall. Juan Pablo Angel converted for his team-high 13th goal of the season. The Red Bulls’ victory was their fifth on the road this season, the club’s best road win total in one season since they were victorious six times away from home in the 2005 season. New York enters this week just one point behind the first-place Columbus Crew.

Kansas City enters the match coming off a 3-1 loss at home to red-hot FC Dallas on Saturday. The Wizards were down early, conceding two goals in the game’s first 12 minutes. Forward Ryan Smith was able to pull one back for the hosts in the 57th minute, but that was all Kansas City could muster up. Jeff Cunningham scored a late insurance goal for Dallas to put the game out of Kansas City’s reach. Despite the loss, the Wizards are one of the hotter teams in the league, posting a 5-2-3 record over their past 10 matches. Overall, Kansas City sits third in the Eastern Conference on 33 points, with a record of 9-10-6.

Back on June 26, the Red Bulls defeated Kansas City, 3-0, at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. After a scoreless first half, New York struck three times after the break. Salou Ibrahim headed home the eventual winning goal, and Angel scored twice late, a performance that earned the Colombian MLS Player of the Week honors. All-time, New York is 15-16-9 against Kansas City. At home, New York is an impressive 8-3-7 versus the Wizards. Last season, the Red Bulls dropped two 1-0 decisions to Kansas City, on April 23 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, and on Sept. 12 at Giants Stadium.

LAST WEEK:
Red Bulls 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 0 at Home Depot Center on September 24. 

THIS WEEK:
Red Bulls vs. Kansas City Wizards at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, October 2 at 7:30 PM ET (TV: MSG Plus; Radio; WQBU 92.7 FM)

NEXT WEEK: 
Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, October 9 at 4:00 PM ET (TV: MSG, Telefutura; Radio: WADO 1280 AM) 

2010 MLS STANDINGS - INCLUDES GAMES OF SATURDAY, September 25, 2010

RED BULLS TOPPLE MLS LEADING LOS ANGELES GALAXY, 2-0: A stout defensive effort and goals from Dane Richards and Juan Pablo Angel gave the New York Red Bulls a 2-0 shutout road win over the MLS-best Los Angeles Galaxy Friday night at The Home Depot Center.

New York midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy had the first chance for either side 14 minutes in when he had space from 25 yards out and fired a shot that a diving goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts pushed away. Five minutes later, Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, making his first start in the 2010 MLS season, curled a pass to Edson Buddle, whose deflected shot skipped just past the right post. The Red Bulls continued pressuring and Joel Lindpere knocked on the door in the 28th minute, making a run into the box after gathering a Roy Miller feed and rolling it inches wide.

Lindpere would play a large role in the game’s opening goal nine minutes from halftime. Off a throw-in, the ball was headed up into the air by Yohance Marshall and run onto by Lindpere, who had time and space to blast a shot off the left post. The rebound was knocked home from close range by Richards, who tallied his third goal of the season.

The Red Bulls extended their lead in the 60th minute and the pesky Richards this time created the scoring opportunity. Carlos Mendes slid the ball clear to Richards, who had space to run at the Galaxy defense. Marshall took down the midfielder in the box and referee Ricardo Salazar pointed to the penalty spot. Angel stepped up and put home his team-leading 13th goal of the season, tucking the ball in the left corner.

Los Angeles tried to get back into the match and in the 66th minute, Beckham’s free kick attempt curled over the wall and was parried away by Coundoul. With five minutes remaining, substitute Tristan Bowen tested Coundoul from the right side and the goalkeeper went down to save it.

RED BULLS TO HONOR WOLYNIEC BEFORE SATURDAY’S MATCH: The Red Bulls will honor former New York forward John Wolyniec during a special ceremony prior to this Saturday’s match versus Kansas City. Wolyniec, who announced his retirement from professional soccer on September 9, spent seven seasons in New York during a 12 year career. He ranks fifth on the club’s all-time goals list in all competitions with 36, and is second all-time in games played in all competitions with 167.

TALLEY MAKES NY DEBUT: Defender Carey Talley made his Red Bulls’ debut in the club’s 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy last Friday. Talley started and played 40 minutes before being replaced by Mike Petke, departing due to injury. The Red Bulls acquired Talley from D.C. United on September 16 in exchange for a conditional 2011 second round MLS SuperDraft choice.

The Cordova, TN native has also played for Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, and the Kansas City Wizards over the course of his 12-year MLS career.  In 2009, he appeared and started in 27 matches for Chivas USA, recording one assist.

Talley was a regular starter during D.C. United’s 1999 MLS Cup-winning run after being drafted 14 th  overall in the 1998 MLS College Draft.  He helped United to the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup and Interamerican Cup Championships during his rookie campaign, starting 16 of D.C.’s final 18 matches.

For his career, the University of North Carolina product has appeared in 315 regular season matches, making 262 starts.  His 315 appearances ranks seventh all-time in Major League Soccer history.  He has scored 20 goals and 28 assists.

BOUNA TIES SHUTOUT RECORD: With his shutout performance against Los Angeles last Friday, goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul tied a New York franchise record with his ninth shutout of the season. Tony Meola also kept nine clean sheets in 29 games in 1996, while Coundoul has nine shutouts in just 24 matches played so far in 2010.

REAM LEADING THE WAY: New York Rookie of the Year candidate Tim Ream continues to lead Major League Soccer in minutes played by outfield players. The St. Louis, Missouri native has played all 2340 available minutes of the Red Bulls’ 26 matches in 2010.

ROAD SUCCESS: The Red Bulls picked up their fifth road victory of 2010 when they defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 at the Home Depot Center last Friday. Overall, New York’s road record this season is 5-5-4, picking up 19 points, which is best in the Eastern Conference, and third best in all of MLS. The Red Bulls’ five road victories is the best in one season for the club since the 2005 squad, which won six road matches.

MLS CUP PLAYOFF RACE:  A singular combination of results this past weekend put 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake in a position to defend their title in the playoffs, which begin Thursday, Oct. 28.
 
The only team below the top eight that can catch RSL is Kansas City, but the Wizards can only match RSL’s current point total (48) and would lose the first tiebreaker, head-to-head (0-1-1), against Real this season.
 
In the final four weeks of the season, 11 teams will contend for the six remaining playoff berths. When the regular season ends Oct. 24, half the League’s clubs will be done for the year, while the other half will play on for the championship.
 
Also this past weekend, the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo saw their slim qualification hopes slip away with four games left; neither team can catch the eighth-place Colorado Rapids’ point total of 38.
 
Currently in ninth place overall, Wizards have five games left to try and catch one of the teams ahead of them in the standings. Kansas City currently trails the Rapids by five points.
 
Follow the chase by going to the Playoff Standings page of MLSsoccer.com. This week’s games feature several teams clinging on to postseason dreams and a couple others looking to lock up their spots:  
 
Columbus Crew will clinch a playoff spot this week IF:
·    CLB defeats SJ Saturday AND
·    KC fails to win Saturday in NY OR IF:
o    CLB ties SJ AND
o    KC loses to NY.

New York Red Bulls will clinch a playoff spot this week IF:
·    NY defeats KC on Saturday (clinches at least 2nd in East)
 
FC Dallas will clinch a playoff spot this week IF:
·    FCD defeats CHI Saturday OR IF:
·    FCD ties CHI Saturday AND
·    KC fails to win in NY.
 
Chivas USA will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
·    CHV fails to win against LA on Sunday OR IF:
·    SEA, SJ and COL all win (prior to Sunday’s CHV-LA game).
 
Toronto FC will be eliminated from playoff contention IF:
·    TOR loses in Seattle on Saturday AND
·    SJ and COL both win.
 
The Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union both play road games Wednesday night that are essentially must-wins. Neither club can be eliminated on Wednesday, but they both need to win and get help from the teams facing Seattle and San Jose on the weekend to keep realistic chances alive.
 
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.

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.