The New York Red Bulls put their good early-season form on the line when they meet the Chicago Fire for a second time this season, Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are undefeated in their last four matches, coming off a 1-0 win at FC Dallas last weekend. The Fire are still looking for their first win of 2014, Real Salt Lake storming back for a 3-2 win last weekend at Toyota Park.
ALL-TIME (46 meetings): Red Bulls 13 wins, 55 goals … Fire 23 wins, 74 goals … Ties 10
AT NEW YORK (23 meetings): Red Bulls 10 wins, 34 goals … Fire 10 wins, 33 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 8/10: Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Chicago’s Jeff Larentowicz and New York’s Dax McCarty traded goals in the first half to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, March 23 at Toyota Park.
- When the Fire won 2-0 at Red Bull Arena in the final meeting between the teams in 2012, it was their first away win in the series since the 2009 season.
- The Red Bulls have never won at Toyota Park. Their last away win against Chicago came May 14, 2005, a 3-0 win at Soldier Field.
- Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. CHI: P3 W1 L1 T1 … Frank Yallop vs. NY: P21 W6 L7 T8
3/23: CHI 1, NY 1 (Larentowicz 6 – McCarty 21)
- The Fire got off to a dream start, taking the lead after just six minutes. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz rose highest to meet Harry Shipps corner from the right wing, thundering home a header into the top right corner of the net.
- The Red Bulls struck for an equalizer in the 21st minute. Again it came from a penalty kick, Dax McCarty reacting quickest to slot home a loose ball from a crowded penalty area.
- CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Matt Watson, Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane - Harry Shipp (Juan Luis Anangono 66), Jeff Larentowicz, Alex, Benji Joya (Victor Pineda 71) - Quincy Amarikwa, Mike Magee.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Richard Eckersley, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, Roy Miller - Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander (Bobby Convey 83), Jonny Steele (Peguy Luyindula 72) - Tim Cahill, Thierry Henry.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls stretched their undefeated streak to four games, getting the only goal of the match for a victory against FC Dallas on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Stadium. The Red Bulls sit in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 10 matches on the season.
- FC Dallas were a man down after just 10 minutes when Je-Vaughn Watson went flying hard into a tackle on New York's Tim Cahill, seeing straight red from referee Edvin Jurisevic.
- But FCD had a terrific chance to take the lead after Cahill took down Danny Garcia in the area and was whistled for a penalty. But Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles turned away the Blas Perez spot kick almost on the stroke of the hour.
- The Red Bulls finally broke in the 71st minute. Thierry Henry was freed with a long ball up the right wing, and from inside the area hit a square pass to a charging Bradley Wright-Phillips, who calmly collected and tapped in for the game-winner.
- Red Bulls boss Mike Petke made one change to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Tim Cahill returned to the side, in place of Peguy Luyindula.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Armando, Roy Miller (Ibrahim Sekagya 84) - Lloyd Sam (Jonny Steele 70), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill (Peguy Luyindula 61), Eric Alexander - Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry.
- The Red Bulls recorded their third victory in their last four matches, and have now lost just once over their last nine games, since a season-opening loss at Vancouver.
- Thierry Henry recorded his third assist over the last three matches, and now has three goals and three assists on the season.
- “If you can get it to [Henry] in that position, behind the defense, he's always going to make a play, and he made a great pass to Bradley (Wright-Phillips)," midfielder Dax McCarty said. "And Bradley did what he's been doing the past couple weeks, just being deadly in the box and obviously it was an important goal because it was the game winner.”
- Wright-Phillips continued his rich vein of form, scoring his fifth goal over the past three matches to lead the Red Bulls to the victory. Wright-Phillips has scored in consecutive games for the first time in his MLS career.
- Penalty kicks or free kicks, Thierry playing more of an assist role, whether that be in a play or handing off a certain set play to somebody else that he thinks is hot right now or has a better feeling about it,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. “To go back to that play that he didn’t shoot, my initial thought when he passed the ball ñ it was a great pass but it wasn’t a clean pass, it kind of bounced – I jumped out, and I was initially angry that he didn’t shoot.”
- Luis Robles saved a penalty kick for the third time in his MLS career. For his career, Robles has seen the opposition convert 12 of 16 spot kicks in league play.
- “I think he’s carrying that confidence from middle-to-end of last year and carrying it right into the preseason this year and right into the beginning [of the regular season],” said Petke. “A confident goalkeeper is key for us, and for any team, and right now we have a confident goalkeeper.”
- Tim Cahill returned to the starting lineup for the first time since March 30, when he lasted less than a half-hour in a match vs. Chivas USA. Cahill had made one substitute appearance in the five games in between.
- After six consecutive starting appearances, Peguy Luyindula went to the substitutes’ bench, coming on in place of Cahill for the final half-hour.
- “Yes, we find ourselves tied for first place right now, but two games ago, three games ago, we were battling with a lot of other teams, who are struggling to get points, to get to that top, and there’s been situations where I don’t feel comfortable yet. I need to, at some point coming up … not only rest players, but start getting them off a little earlier. That’s going to be big for us, because before we know it, it’s going to be [U.S.] Open Cup time, it’s going to be [CONCACAF] Champions League time.”
The Chicago Fire saw their streak of draws come to an end but their winless run continue, Real Salt Lake scoring two late goals for a 3-2 victory on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire sit in a tie for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with six points from eight games.
- The Fire raced into a two-goal lead before the game was a half-hour old. They first took the lead in the 22nd minute when Mike Magee was in the right place at the right time as he reacted to side-foot home after Harry Shipp’s well-struck shot was parried by RSL 'keeper Nick Rimando.
- The Fire doubled their advantage in the 30th minute when Greg Cochrane found space high on the left to receive Benji Joya’s pass and his pinpoint center picked out an unmarked Juan Luis Anangono to powerfully head home from six yards.
- Joao Plata pulled a goal back for Salt Lake in the 72nd minute when he latched onto an incisive through-ball from Javier Morales to slot the ball low to goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s right from 16 yards.
- Real struck for the equalizer on the stroke of 90 minutes when Olmes Garcia’s cross from the left was not cleared and Alvaro Saborio touched home from almost on the goal line.
- Saborio then turned provider three minutes into stoppage time when his left-wing cross found Plata at the back post, and the striker swept the ball home right-footed to give RSL all three points.
- Fire head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution at Toyota Park. Benji Joya came into the midfield in place of Alex, and Juan Luis Anangono started up top for the suspended Quincy Amarikwa.
- CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane - Patrick Nyarko (Matt Watson 62), Jeff Larentowicz, Benji Joya, Harry Shipp - Juan Luis Anangono, Mike Magee (Victor Pineda 85).
- The Fire saw their streak of draws end at an MLS record-tying six, but still had their winless run extended to nine matches dating back to the end of last season. It’s the longest for the Fire since going 10 games without a win in 2011; that season they also set the club record with a 11-game winless run.
- “Obviously it’s piss poor defending,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said. “I don’t think we really wanted to win that game because it didn’t show. If we wanted to we would have tried, put our head through the ball and cleared things and be good at that stuff but we didn’t. So it’s back to the drawing board for us. I thought we were going somewhere but now we’ve had a total collapse in a game we should have won.”
- The Fire are also three games shy of the MLS-record longest winless streak to start a season, when Real Salt Lake opened the 2007 campaign with an 0-5-6 mark.
- “We’ve not had a collapse like that happen to us, that was a collapse in the second half,” Yallop said. “Take nothing away from them, but we should see that game out, even at 2-1. How about 2-2? Not a 3-2 loss, you just can’t do that. I’ve got to figure out who’s going to be punching and fighting the whole season and the whole 90 minutes. We’ve got to see that game through. No matter what they do, we’ve got to be man enough to make sure we don’t concede any goals, and we didn’t.”
- Said goalkeeper Sean Johnson: “We keep digging a hole for ourselves, there’s no reason at this point in the season we should be where we are and we should be close to the top of the table. We’ve had games in hand; off the top of my head we’ve had four games now that I feel like we should have gotten a win. Scratch the ties, we’ve taken a step back now with the loss.”
- Juan Luis Anangono returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the season-opening loss at Chivas USA on March 9, and collected his second goal of the season, his first since April 5.
- Mike Magee scored his second goal in the last four matches, netting his second of the season to open the scoring.
- Benji Joya made his first appearance and start since March 29, when he was forced off injured vs. D.C. United after 56 minutes.
- “We have to look at the mistakes we made and move on. … It’s a mental challenge; we can’t go in the negative direction,” said Jeff Larentowicz. “The guys have to keep a positive attitude, guys have to honestly assess what they are doing personally to a man, go home and figure out how they are going to work harder and push themselves to have a positive attitude and push on.”