Dane Richards (left) put in a man-of-the-match performance vs. San Jose.
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RBNY player ratings: Richards lights up SJ

HARRISON, N.J. – Though there's plenty of regular season left, it may not be a bad idea for Red Bulls fans to start planning their first postseason at Red Bull Arena. Saturday night’s 2-0 win over San Jose not only is a big step toward a return to the playoffs, but also it signals the team has a legitimate shot at the MLS Cup.

WATCH: Full match highlights

The player ratings for NY's win:

GK- Bouna Coundoul: It was a lot of one-way traffic for the Red Bulls, all of it going away from Coundoul. He made a couple key saves and was himself saved by some inept Earthquakes finishing. Came off his line well to make some plays. Rating: 6

D- Chris Albright: Another good game from Albright after a solid display last weekend in Toronto. Overlapped well and pushed into the attack, but also controlled the right side defensively. Rating: 7

D- Carlos Mendes: Some scary moments for the center back, who gave San Jose’s Cornell Glen far too much room to operate and was spared only by some lackadaisical finishing by the striker. Mendes needs tighten up the man marking for the stretch run. Rating: 6

D- Tim Ream: Smooth and composed on the ball, Ream had a solid match centrally. Didn’t seem lost at all, even as San Jose pushed their midfielders into the attack to try and equalize in the first half. Rating: 6.5

D- Roy Miller: Every game Miller seems to push forward more and more, a good thing since his runs stretch the left side of the midfield. But defensively, he seemed a bit dicey and struggled in winning his individual battles. Rating: 6

M- Dane Richards: It was another great display by Richards, who had a well-taken first goal and then had an assist that won’t get enough credit. Richards put in a complete performance, including plenty of hard defensive work. Rating: 8 [inline_node:317151]

M- Joel Lindpere: A tough match for the player who is now on the left flank for New York. Lindpere physically took a beating from the Earthquakes midfield every time he got a touch on the ball. Never seemed to get in sync with the team but still added plenty with smart touches (such as the assist to Richards) and some gritty pressure on the ball. Rating: 6

M- Rafa Márquez: It won’t show up on the score sheet, but the Mexican National Team captain was pivotal in the midfield for New York. Offensively, he played smart, crisp balls that linked the defense and the attack. Defensively, he won his battles. Rating: 7.5

M- Tony Tchani: It’s clear that the rookie feeds off of Márquez’s calming presence. Tchani was complete from offense to defense, looking very impressive centrally. Rating: 7.5

F-Juan Pablo Angel: It was a good performance in doing the little things as Ángel won balls, held possession and had a high work rate. But his touch at times let him down and he struggled to make his chances count. Rating: 6

F- Thierry Henry: His first MLS goal was a well-hit effort that left Jon Busch in San Jose’s goal powerless to stop it. He constantly jump-started the New York attack with clever touches and well-placed passes out wide. Would benefit from better service. Rating: 7


Macoumba Kandji: No goals for Kandji, who hasn’t scored since dominating the Barclays New York Challenge in July. That said, he tracked back well and made smart runs, keeping San Jose on the defensive when they should have been pressing to equalize. Logged a smart 20 minutes off the bench. Rating: 6

Seth Stammler: It wasn’t a lot of minutes for Stammler, but he made some solid defensive plays and showed good distribution in the central midfield. Rating: 6

Ibrahim Salou: Late-game substitution didn’t show enough for a rating.

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012