Red Bulls Weekly Update: June 6

New York hosts Revolution Friday night at Red Bull Arena

Crew Home Gallery 8

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RED BULLS HOST RIVAL REVS FRIDAY: Looking to get three points before a four-game road trip, the Red Bulls host the New England Revolution on Friday night at Red Bull Arena at 8:30 PM ET in an Eastern Conference showdown (TV: Fox Soccer Channel).

New York suffered a last-gasp goal at the hands of the Columbus Crew in their last match, finishing with a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. The Red Bulls led most of the way, as they opened the scoring just nine minutes into the match on Mehdi Ballouchy’s second goal of the season. New York couldn’t find a put-away goal, and the Crew got the game-tying goal in second half stoppage time from rookie midfielder Rich Balchan. The draw saw the Red Bulls’ record move to 4-2-7 with 19 points, two behind the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union.

New England comes into the match in tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-6-4 record and 13 points. Steve Nicol’s side has lost their last three games, most recently coming off a 1-0 loss at FC Dallas on Saturday. Midfielder and captain Shalrie Joseph leads the team this season with four goals.

This will be the 54th match all-time between the teams; the Red Bulls trail the series with a record of 17-25-11. Last season, the teams split their two meetings, with both clubs holding serve at home. In the first match on May 29, 2010, the Revolution defeated the Red Bulls by a 3-2 score at Gillette Stadium on a late strike by Zack Schilawski. In that match, New York was reduced to nine men after Roy Miller and Carlos Mendes were sent off. The return leg was the Red Bulls’ final match of the 2010 season, and their 2-0 victory over the Revolution on Oct. 21 clinched the Eastern Conference regular season title. Dane Richards’ early goal was enough, but Joel Lindpere added an insurance strike in second half stoppage time, solidifying the three points.

CLUB TO HONOR STAMMLER PRIOR TO REVS MATCH: The Red Bulls will honor former midfielder Seth Stammler prior to this Friday’s match against the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena (Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET; TV: Fox Soccer Channel). Stammler, who retired at the conclusion of the 2010 season, played all seven of his years in MLS with New York. His versatility and grittiness allowed him to excel in several positions during his career as he endeared himself to New York fans.

The Gahanna, OH native featured in 142 matches for New York after being drafted 18th overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.  Stammler suffered an injury in his first professional preseason which limited him in his first year, but by 2006, he had nailed a spot in the lineup, registering three goals and five assists and becoming a mainstay in the Red Bulls’ squad. During his time in New York, Stammler had played in every midfield and defensive position, amassing six goals and 13 assists over his MLS career. In regular season play, Stammler was tied for second in games played (142) and games started (126), third in minutes played (11,157) and tied for third in game-winning assists (7) in club history.

Prior to his MLS career, Stammler played at the University of Maryland for four years, captaining the squad in his final three seasons and appearing in 87 matches, in which he scored eight goals. 

LAST WEEK: Red Bulls 1, Columbus Crew 1 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, June 4

THIS WEEK: Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Friday, June 10 at 8:30 PM ET (TV: Fox Soccer Channel; Radio: WADO 1280 AM).

NEXT WEEK: Red Bulls at Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday, June 19 at 10:00 PM ET (TV: MSG Plus, Galavision; Radio: WQBU 92.7 FM)

RED BULLS AND CREW TIE, 1-1:  The New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew played to a 1-1 tie at Red Bull Arena on Saturday in front of 20,393 spectators. New York led most of the way after Mehdi Ballouchy’s ninth minute goal, but the Crew equalized in second half stoppage time on a Rich Balchan strike. The draw brought the Red Bulls’ record to 4-2-7 (19 points) in 2011.

The Red Bulls jumped on top early in the match on Ballouchy’s second goal of the season. Jan Gunnar Solli found Luke Rodgers with a long pass down the right side. Rodgers held the ball up and touched it to the right side of the box to Ballouchy, who chipped it past a diving William Hesmer to give the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead.

Greg Sutton kept New York on top with an aggressive play in the 32nd minute. Red Bulls defender Stephen Keel tried to head the ball back to Sutton, but Columbus’ Tommy Heinemann intercepted the pass and was in alone on goal. Sutton charged off his line and made a sliding save at the 18-yard line, and the Red Bulls were able to clear the danger.

In the 58th minute, former New York midfielder Eddie Gaven nearly caught Sutton off his line, firing a long-range shot that just sailed over the bar. Moments later, the Crew again had an opportunity to level the game when Gaven set up Andres Mendoza near the penalty spot, but the forward misfired and his shot sailed wide.

New York continued to push for their second goal and nearly got it in the 70th minute. Red Bulls midfielder Austin da Luz, making his first career MLS start, played the ball to Thierry Henry, who redirected it to Rodgers on the right side of the box. Rodgers then laid the ball to substitute Matt Kassel, and Kassel squared it into the path of a streaking Henry, but the Frenchman was unable to get a touch on the pass from close range.

Columbus tied the game in second half stoppage time on a combination from Justin Meram and Balchan. On a counterattack, Meram raced down the left flank all the way into the box. Meram centered the ball into the path of Balchan, who one-timed it into the back of the net.

Solli left the game in the 28th minute with a right hamstring injury and was replaced by Kassel.

DA LUZ MAKES FIRST CAREER MLS START: Red Bulls midfielder Austin da Luz made his first career MLS start in the team’s 1-1 draw with Columbus on Saturday. After enjoying his MLS debut the previous week in Vancouver, coming on as a substitute, da Luz played all 90 minutes on Saturday. Da Luz, who missed most of last season due to injury, was drafted by the Red Bulls in the first round (14th overall) in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of Wake Forest University.

BALLOUCHY NETS SECOND OF THE SEASON: Mehdi Ballouchy netted his second goal of 2011, scoring the lone New York goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew. Ballouchy’s other goal of the season came on May 21 in the final moments of a 2-2 draw at Houston. This season, Ballouchy has appeared in 12 matches, including six starts and has one assist in addition to his two goals.

WATCH: Ballouchy chips Hesmer

BACKE RECORD STILL INTACT: Under Hans Backe, the Red Bulls have yet to lose a game in which they scored the first goal. In 2010 and 2011 combined, New York has posted a record of 18-0-5 in games where they opened the scoring.

HENRY AND RODGERS BEST SCORING DUO: The forward tandem of Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers is tied for the top scoring duo on Major League Soccer. Henry is tied for second in MLS with six goals this season, while Rodgers’ five ranks tied for fifth. Their 11 combined goals are only matched by Los Angeles Galaxy teammates Landon Donovan (8) and Chad Barrett (3).

BACKE TO COACH MLS ALL STARS: New York Red Bulls Coach Hans Backe will lead the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 27 at Red Bull Arena (Live on ESPN2, Galavision, and TSN at 8:30 p.m. ET).

Major League Soccer selected Backe for competitive considerations -- he does not have to travel to and from this summer’s showcase event, he is familiar with the facilities, and his team plays at home on July 23 against FC Dallas. These factors provide advantages to the MLS All-Stars as they prepare to face the English Premier League champions and prevent other MLS coaches from missing any training sessions with their clubs.

Backe was a finalist for the 2010 MLS Coach of the Year award after the Red Bulls matched the best season-to-season improvement in MLS history, going from last place in 2009 to first in the Eastern Conference in 2010. Backe, 59, has almost 30 years of professional coaching experience; for his bio, click here.

In addition, MLS today unveiled the selection process for the 2011 MLS All-Star team. Fans will be able to vote three ways – online, via text message, or on Twitter – for the players they believe should face Manchester United. Fans will select 11 All-Stars – known as the “First XI” – but the coach will choose the starting lineup.

A total of 32 All-Stars are named each year, per the collective bargaining agreement. The process in 2011 is similar to previous years, as media, fans, players, the All-Star coach and MLS Commissioner Don Garber all contribute to the final roster. The fan ballot and details about how to vote on all three platforms will be unveiled June 8.

TICKETS FOR SECOND HALF OF RED BULLS SEASON ON SALE: Individual game tickets to the final portion of the New York Red Bulls’ 2011 MLS regular season at Red Bull Arena are on sale now.

These home games will mark the return of the Red Bulls to Harrison after the team’s historic participation in the prestigious Emirates Cup tournament in London at the end of July. Some of the action includes exciting matchups such as the Los Angeles Galaxy, CONCACAF Champions League Finalists Real Salt Lake and Eastern Conference foes Philadelphia Union.

The matches that will go on sale are:

Date Opponent Time
Saturday, Aug. 13, Chicago Fire, 7:30 PM
Sunday, Aug. 28, Los Angeles Galaxy, 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sep. 10, Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:30 PM
Wednesday, Sep. 21, Real Salt Lake, 8:00 PM
Saturday, Sep. 24, Portland Timbers, 7:30 PM
Thursday, Oct. 20, Philadelphia Union, 8:00 PM

Each game also gives the Red Bulls and their fans an opportunity to give back to the community. Examples of the home game community activation are the Red Bulls 9/11 Tribute Night on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Thursday, Oct. 20th when the team hosts the Philadelphia Union. For a full list of charitable opportunities at every Red Bulls home match, visit http://www.newyorkredbulls.com/charitable-schedule.

Tickets can be purchased by CLICKING HERE or by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER.

FIVE RED BULLS CALLED TO NATIONAL TEAMS FOR 2011 CONCACAF GOLD CUP: Defenders Rafa Marquez (Mexico) and Tim Ream (United States), midfielders Dane Richards (Jamaica) and Dwayne De Rosario (Canada) and forward Juan Agudelo (United States) have been called up to their respective national teams for 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches taking place throughout the month of June. As a result, all five players will miss select Red Bulls matches depending on how each of their respective national teams perform in the tournament that runs from June 5-25 (full match schedule below).

Marquez is looking to add to his 102 international caps he has registered for Mexico. He picked up his 100th and 101st international caps in March 2011 when Mexico beat Paraguay in Oakland, CA on March 26 and tied Venezuela in San Diego, CA on March 29. Marquez is just the eighth Mexican to earn 100 caps for the National Team. The former FC Barcelona and AS Monaco star and National Team captain joined the Red Bulls on Aug. 2, 2010 as a Designated Player and featured in 10 matches for New York last season, scoring one goal and one assist. Marquez has appeared in nine matches for the Red Bulls in 2011. Mexico is in Group A in the Gold Cup and beat El Salvador, 5-0, on June 5 in Arlington, TX with Marquez coming on as a substitute. Mexico will face Cuba (June 9 in Charlotte, NC) and Costa Rica (June 12 in Chicago, IL).

MLS Rookie of the Year finalist and 2010 Red Bulls Defender of the Year Ream was called to the U.S. side after appearing for the senior team in their March 29 1-0 loss against Paraguay at LP Field in Nashville, TN. After a stellar rookie season, the Saint Louis University product, who played in every minute of every one of New York’s 30 regular season matches, has four caps for the senior team, making starts against South Africa and Chile and Paraguay. Ream started 11 games for the Red Bulls this season and started in a 4-0 loss to Spain last Saturday.

Agudelo is also part of the U.S. squad for the Gold Cup. The 18-year-old appeared for the senior team in their March 26 game against Argentina and March 29 game against Paraguay. Agudelo came on as a halftime substitute in the U.S.’s 1-1 tie against Argentina and scored the lone U.S. goal in the 59th minute, his second goal for the senior team. Agudelo, who has been capped four times, started and played the full 90 minutes in the team’s loss against Paraguay. The Red Bulls Academy product earned his first two caps for the senior team this past offseason. Against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010 in a 1-0 win, Agudelo scored the game-winning goal for the U.S. in the 85th minute in his debut and became the youngest American player to score a goal for the senior national team at 17-years old. This season, Agudelo has appeared in 11 games, registering two goals for the Red Bulls. The United States is in Group C and takes on Canada (June 7, Detroit, MI), Panama (June 11, Tampa, FL) and Guadaloupe (June 14, Kansas City, KS). Agudelo started against Spain on Saturday.

Richards joined the Jamaican National Team for the Gold Cup after appearing in both of the team’s friendlies in March 2011. Richards, who has 28 caps for Jamaica, started and played 59 minutes in the team’s March 25 loss to Venezuela. In the team’s March 29 win against El Salvador, Richards started and scored two goals in the first half before being taken out in the game’s 81st minute. Richards also led Jamaica to the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cub championship, winning a share of the Golden Boot with three goals. This season for the Red Bulls, the former Clemson University standout has two goals and two assists in nine appearances. Richards and Jamaica are in Group B and face Grenada (June 6, Carson, CA), Guatemala (June 10, Miami, FL), and Honduras on June 13 at Red Bull Arena.

De Rosario will be looking to build on his 56 international caps when he plays for the Canadian National Team. After making his senior team debut in 1998 at the age of 20, De Rosario was part of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning side and has participated in four Gold Cups and three World Cup qualifying campaigns. De Rosario won the male Canadian Player of the Year award three consecutive times (2005-2007) and has registered 15 goals for Canada. The Red Bulls acquired De Rosario on April 1, 2011 via a trade with Toronto FC in exchange for midfielder Tony Tchani, midfielder/defender Danleigh Borman and their natural first round 2012 MLS SuperDraft selection. De Rosario has appeared in 10 games for the Red Bulls since coming over in the trade, picking up two assists and a goal. Canada, in Group C, faces the United States (June 7, Detroit, MI), Guadeloupe (June 11, Tampa, FL) and Panama (June 14, Kansas City, KS).