The New York Red Bulls' 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia on Saturday was, in the words of Jeremy Hall, “an ugly win.” But Hall quickly added that after the season they had last year when the Red Bulls won just five games, the team is happy to have earned 12 points in their first five games. MLSsoccer.com gives its player ratings for New York's win over the Union.
GK- Bouna Coundoul: Coundoul followed up his world-class performance last week by playing well and making several key saves on Saturday. It was difficult to fault him on the Philly goal, too. Rating: 7
D- Jeremy Hall: The right back is clearly playing out of position along the backline, but his speed and recovery is an asset to the team. He hit the cross on Salou Ibrahim’s goal through the crowded box perfectly. Rating: 7.5
D- Tim Ream: Every game, Ream seems better and better. His positioning has improved since his league debut against Chicago, and he controls the flow of the backline as well as any player in MLS. Rating: 7
D- Mike Petke: It has been somewhat of a downward spiral for Petke and head coach Hans Backe said after the game that he is looking within MLS for central defense help for the team. Petke looked lost at times against Philadelphia’s forwards. Rating: 5
D- Roy Miller: In his first flub of the season, the Costa Rican left back was nowhere near Alejandro Moreno when the Union forward assisted on Philadelphia's goal. Though the marking on the Union’s goal was just bad, Miller pushed forward offensively along the left side well. Rating: 5
M- Dane Richards: The right midfielder quietly had a nice game for New York, though he won’t get a whole lot of press or attention for it. He still needs to make decisions faster and hit a better cross, but he consistently got behind the Philadelphia defense. Rating: 6.5
M- Carl Robinson: It was an uneasy day for Robinson, who Backe said still might need to get match fit as he didn’t train with his old club, Toronto FC, at all during preseason. His distribution, which is what he was brought in to do, was lacking. Rating: 5
M- Joel Lindpere: Had his first half shot from 20 yards out not smashed into Ibrahim’s face, the midfielder may have had his second goal of the season. It was a quiet day for the Red Bulls’ central midfielder, but he did a lot of dirty work despite lacking in highlights. Rating: 6
M- Brian Nielsen: The Danish left winger got free once down the side in the game’s opening minutes, but then seemed to disappear and took a poor free kick in the first half. He seemed to lack work rate, perhaps due to being sick for three days last week prior to arriving on Friday. Rating: 5
F- Juan Pablo Angel: Short of the penalty kick, Angel did very little in the game. His touch seemed off and his work rate is obviously down. The penalty, however, was taken emphatically. Rating: 6
F- Salou Ibrahim: He was perhaps New York’s most dangerous player and looked more energetic than last week against Dallas. His goal was quality and he worked hard, though he seemed a bit reckless with some of his challenges. Rating: 6.5
Danleigh Borman: He had good energy and recovery, and showed good positioning and effort on the left side of defense. He proved his versatility to the team. Rating: 6
Seth Stammler: He did well as a replacement for Robinson. Showing his best performance since the win at Seattle, he showed some grit and bite. Rating: 6
Sinisa Ubiparipovic: Once again, his insertion into the game helped provide some possession and good work defensively on the flank, which is key to giving New York a deep bench. Rating: 6
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.