San Jose Earthquakes 1, New York Red Bulls 0

The New York Red Bulls lost a tight, 1-0 decision, to the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of  10,525 at Buck Shaw Stadium. A Ryan Johnson first half penalty kick goal was enough to drop the Red Bulls to 4-18-6 (18 pts.) in 2009 despite New York’s strong defensive performance. The Red Bulls have conceded just four goals in their last five matches.

In the fifth minute, San Jose was the first side to test the opposing team’s goalkeeper. An Andre Luiz corner kick found Johnson, who headed it down. Ramiro Corrales tried to redirect it into the net, but New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul was there to tip it away. Five minutes later, Earthquakes midfielder Bobby Convey found space from 22-yards-out and forced Coundoul to make a diving save off his left-footed attempt.

Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards created New York’s opening scoring opportunity 16 minutes in, as he raced by his defender by the right sideline before cutting it back to Juan Pablo Angel, whose shot from inside the penalty box was deflected away. Earthquakes forward Arturo Alvarez then created the game’s best chance up to that point, firing a long-range blast that Coundoul could only punch away.

Alvarez played an instrumental role in the first goal of the game in the 24th minute. He had the ball on the right wing, before striding towards goal between two Red Bulls defenders. The forward looked to be knocked down near the edge of the penalty box and referee Steven DePiero awarded a penalty kick, which was subsequently converted by Johnson to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

The Red Bulls thought they had a penalty kick of their own right before the half when they argued that a San Jose player committed a foul after a foray in the box, but DePiero waved their appeals off.

After the halftime break, New York threatened to tie the game four minutes into the second half, as Sinisa Ubiparipovic slid a through ball into the penalty box to Angel, who couldn’t get his left-footed attempt on frame. Moments later, Angel rifled a 20-yard shot towards the goal’s bottom left corner that a fully extended Joe Cannon poked away.

Alvarez nearly doubled San Jose’s advantage later when he headed a Chris Wondolowski tap on into Coundoul’s hands from close range. The Earthquakes forward continued to be a threat to New York’s defense and got free into the Red Bulls’ box in the 55th minute, but his low shot was smothered by Coundoul.

With less than 25 minutes left in the match, Red Bulls forward Macoumba Kandji brushed off his defender on the right side of San Jose’s 18-yard box and dished it off to Ubiparipovic. Ubiparipovic found Angel 12 yards away from goal and his shot was blocked. Richards and Kandji later had long-range attempts that skied high over the crossbar.

The Red Bulls were missing midfielders Albert Celades (ankle sprain), Ernst Oebster (illness) Jorge Rojas (left knee) and Nick Zimmerman (right ankle contusion) and forward John Wolyniec (left ankle sprain) due to injury.

New York Red Bulls 0, San Jose Earthquakes 1
October 3, 2009 – Buck Shaw Stadium; San Jose, CA

Scoring Summary:
Ryan Johnson 10 (penalty kick) 24’

Disciplinary Summary:
Dane Richards (caution) 46’+

New York Red Bulls (4-18-6, 18 pts.): Bouna Coundoul, Jeremy Hall (Danleigh Borman 57’), Mike Petke, Andrew Boyens, Carlos Johnson, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Luke Sassano (Matthew Mbuta 82’), Seth Stammler, Dane Richards, Macoumba Kandji, Juan Pablo Angel

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Leo Krupnik, Kevin Goldthwaite

San Jose Earthquakes (7-12-7, 28 pts.): Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales, Andre Luiz (Bobby Burling 23’), Brandon McDonald (Aaron Pitchkolan 49’), Chris Leitch, Bobby Convey, Simon Elliott, Ramon Sanchez, Arturo Alvarez, Chris Wondolowski, Ryan Johnson

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Weber, Quincy Amarikwa, Antonio Ribeiro, Mike Zaher, Shea Salinas

Referee: Steven DePiero
Referee’s Assistants: Hector Vergara, David Bragg
4th Referee: Jasen Anno
Attendance: 10,525