Juan Agudelo
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Red Bulls Weekly Update: October 11

CONFERENCE-LEADING RED BULLS MAKE FIRST VISIT TO PPL PARK: The Eastern Conference leading and playoff bound New York Red Bulls take to the road for their final away match of the 2010 regular season, when they travel to Philadelphia for the first time ever to take on the Union on Saturday at 6:00 PM ET at the brand-new PPL Park (TV: Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Espanol, Radio: WADO 1280 AM).

The Red Bulls come into the match leading the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-8-6 and 48 points. New York extended its lead over the second place Columbus Crew by picking up a point in its last match, a 0-0 tie with defending MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake last Saturday at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls’ cushion over the Crew grew to two points with Columbus’ 2-0 loss the previous night in Chicago to the Fire. With a victory on Saturday at PPL Park, the Red Bulls could potentially clinch first place in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs, depending on the result of the Crew versus Toronto FC match earlier in the day.

In its inaugural season in Major League Soccer, the Philadelphia Union has failed to qualify for the playoffs, and currently sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-14-7, 28 points. Despite some tough results, the Union has improved over the past month, especially defensively. Peter Nowak’s side has conceded more than one goal just once in its past eight matches, with the exception coming in a 4-1 loss to Colorado back on Sept. 29. In its last match, the Union fell at home to the MLS leading Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0 on Edson Buddle’s MLS-best 16th tally of the season. The Union is led by Sebastien Le Toux, who is enjoying an MVP caliber season. The Frenchman paces the club with 13 goals and 10 assists. Also enjoying a good season is Rookie of the Year candidate Danny Mwanga, the first overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, who has seven goals and four assists in 2010.

This will be just the second meeting between the sides in Major League Soccer, and the third meeting overall. The Red Bulls defeated the Union on April 24 in the teams’ first ever meeting, 2-1 at Red Bull Arena. Salou Ibrahim scored his first goal for the club on a Jeremy Hall assist in the 50th minute, but Le Toux equalized nine minutes later. In the 67th minute, a Michael Orozco-Fiscal handball in the box led to the winning goal, a penalty from Juan Pablo Angel. Just three days later, the Red Bulls hosted the Union in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and it was another 2-1 victory for the hosts. Conor Chinn provided both goals for New York, while Le Toux was again the man for Philadelphia, scoring its lone goal on the night.

Red Bulls 0, Real Salt Lake 0 at Red Bull Arena on October 9.

Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday, October 16 at 6:00 PM ET (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Espanol; Radio; WADO 1280 AM)


Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena on Thursday, October 21 at 7:30 PM ET (TV:ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; Radio: WADO 1280 AM)


PLAYOFF BOUND RED BULLS, REAL SALT LAKE BATTLE TO 0-0 TIE: The New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 tie at Red Bull Arena Saturday afternoon in front of 20,829 spectators. With the draw, the Red Bulls improved to 48 points off a 14-8-6 record and expanded their lead to two points in the Eastern Conference over the Columbus Crew with two regular season games to go.

The Red Bulls had the first shot on goal in the fourth minute, as Mehdi Ballouchy created space inside the penalty box and curled a shot that was caught by a diving Nick Rimando. Five minutes later, the visitors nearly took the lead. Midfielder Andy Williams took a short pass from Robbie Findley, spun past a Red Bulls defender and slammed an attempt off the right post.

Ballouchy again had a goal scoring opportunity, this time in the 17th minute, when he was left open at the top of the six-yard box and nodded an attempt past the frame of the goal. Moments after, New York midfielder Rafa Marquez, making his return to the squad after missing one match due to a knee contusion, had a go from 30 yards out that skipped wide.

Real Salt Lake again clanged the woodwork in the 25th minute. Following a cleared Javier Morales free kick, the ball fell to Robbie Russell at the top of the box. Russell took a touch and hit it past a screened Greg Sutton and off the left upright.

In the second half, both teams continued to jostle for control of the match. Marquez nearly capitalized on a miscue in the Real Salt Lake back line in the 62nd minute after the defense did not play a lofted Tony Tchani ball, but the Mexican wasn’t able to get his shot off. Six minutes later, forward Juan Pablo Angel headed a Roy Miller delivery over the crossbar. For Real Salt Lake, substitute Paulo Araujo Jr. squeezed an attempt in-between two defenders and forced Sutton to gather it. Sutton was again called upon to push away a Morales free kick with eight minutes left.

Angel almost won the game for the Red Bulls in the 87th minute, turning past his defender and rolling one across the face of goal.

New York was missing the services of goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul (Senegal), midfielder Dane Richards (Jamaica) and defender Andrew Boyens (New Zealand) due to international duty. Miller picked up his fifth yellow card of the season Saturday and will be suspended for the team’s next match.

RED BULLS TO HOST SEMIFINAL PLAYOFF LEG AT RED BULL ARENA NOV. 4: Red Bull New York announced today that it will host its Eastern Conference Semifinal Series home leg at Red Bull Arena on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 8:00 PM ET against an opponent to be determined. The match will be nationally televised live on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3. Playoff tickets, starting at just $20 apiece, are already on sale now by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICKING HERE.

New York clinched at least the second seed in the Eastern Conference after defeating the Kansas City Wizards, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, Oct. 2. The Red Bulls are in the midst of one of the biggest one-season turnarounds in MLS history and are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference. In the home-and-home aggregate goal MLS Cup Semifinals format, New York’s opponent would host the Red Bulls the week of Oct. 25 before the teams play again on Nov. 4 at Red Bull Arena.

Tickets are still available for New York’s final home match of the 2010 regular season, Fan Appreciation Day, Thursday, Oct. 21 versus the New England Revolution, by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICKING HERE.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: With the Red Bulls 14th win of the season against Kansas City on Oct. 2, the team has made a nine-victory turnaround from last season’s five win campaign. This turnaround ranks second in the history of MLS. The 1999-2000 MetroStars had a turnaround of 10 wins, and with two matches to go, the 2010 Red Bulls could complete the best single season turnaround in league history.

Team, Seasons, Win Increase

1. NY MetroStars, 1999-2000, 10***
2. New York Red Bulls, 2009-2010, 9
T-3. Kansas City Wizards, 1999-2000, 8***
T-3. Los Angeles Galaxy, 1997-1998, 8***
T-3. Colorado Rapids, 2001-2002, 8
***Prior to the 2000 season, there were no ties in MLS matches

The 2010 Red Bulls have also made the third best point turnaround in league history. So far, the Red Bulls have improved by 26 points from last season’s 21 total.

Team, Seasons, Point Increase

1. NY MetroStars, 1999-2000, 39***
2. Kansas City Wizards, 1999-2000, 37***
3. New York Red Bulls, 2009-2010, 27
4. Chivas USA, 2005-2009, 25
5. Los Angeles Galaxy, 1997-1998, 24***
*** Prior to the 2000 season, there were no ties in MLS matches

2011 SEASON TICKET INFORMATION RELEASED: Red Bull New York announced details regarding renewal dates for 2011 Season Ticket Plans today. Current Red Bulls Season Ticket Holders may start renewing their plans starting on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 10:00 AM ET by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICKING HERE. The Red Bulls, led by captain Juan Pablo Angel and international stars Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, are currently in the midst of one of the biggest turnarounds in MLS history and have already clinched a MLS Cup Playoff spot with an opportunity to win the Eastern Conference for the first and only time since 2000.

Full Season Ticket Packages go on sale to the general public on Nov. 1 also by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICKING HERE.

With the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps joining MLS in 2011, the regular season has expanded from 15 to 17 home matches. All Season Ticket Holders will receive tickets for all regular season, home playoff matches and a bonus event. Other benefits include: Pre-sale access to Red Bull Arena events, a Season Ticket Holder gift, invitation to exclusive events such as Meet the Team Day, access to discounted fee-free add-on tickets for home regular season and playoff matches and discounts on select merchandise in the Bullshop.

2011 Season Ticket Prices are as follows:
Endline: $340
Corner Flag: $400
Sideline: $530
Midfield: $720
Premium Midfield*: $1000
*Includes complimentary Bulls’ Corner access for each seat purchased

Depending on the date, fans that renew early will be able to receive benefits such as guarantee of 2010 seat location (s), invitation to a private Red Bulls training session and a complementary Bulls’ Corner Membership.

FOUR RED BULLS CALLED UP FOR INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Red Bull New York announced that midfielders Rafa Marquez and Dane Richards , defender Andrew Boyens, and goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul were all called into their respective national teams. As a result, Richards, Boyens, and Coundoul all were out of action in this past Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Real Sale Lake

Márquez, who started and played 90 minutes Saturday versus Real Salt Lake, has been called up by Mexico for the team’s friendly on Oct. 12 versus Venezuela in Juarez, Mexico. Marquez has been capped 97 times for Mexico, and has scored 11 goals. In seven matches since signing with New York as a Designated Player on Aug. 2, the Mexico captain has notched a goal and an assist. In the eight matches Márquez has played in, New York is 4-1-3.

Richards was called up to Jamaica’s squad for its friendly on Oct. 10 versus Trinidad and Tobago in Kingston, Jamaica, and scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in a 1-0 win for the Reggae Boyz. Richards has 20 caps for the Jamaican National Team, and two international goals. For New York this season, Richards has registered four goals and three assists in 23 matches. Richards has three goals and two assists in his past five league matches.

Boyens was called up by the New Zealand National Team for their friendlies against Honduras last Saturday in Auckland, New Zealand and versus Paraguay on Oct. 12 in Wellington, New Zealand. Boyens did not feature for the All-Whites’ 1-1 draw against Honduras. Boyens, who was part of New Zealand’s 2010 World Cup squad that went unbeaten in South Africa, has earned 15 caps for his country.

Coundoul was called up by Senegal for their 7-0 victory against Mauritius in Dakar, Senegal in qualifying for the African Nations Cup, but did not feature. In his second season with New York, Coundoul has posted a record of 13-7-5 with a goals against average of 1.08. He has registered 10 shutouts this season, which is a franchise record for shutouts in a single season.

REAM LEADING THE WAY: New York Rookie of the Year candidate Tim Ream continues to lead Major League Soccer in minutes played by outfield players. The St. Louis, Missouri native has played all 2520 available minutes of the Red Bulls’ 28 matches in 2010. Drew Moor of the Colorado Rapids has also played 2520 minutes this season.

AGUDELO MAKES MLS DEBUT: Red Bulls Academy product Juan Agudelo made his Major League Soccer debut in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw versus Real Salt Lake. Agudelo came on as a substitute in the 88th minute, replacing Tony Tchani. It marked the first time a Red Bulls Academy product appeared in an MLS match.

SOLO FUTBOL AIRS SUNDAY: Red Bulls WADO 1280 AM and 92.7 FM announcers Ernesto Motta and Robert Sierra host their weekly call-in radio show, Solo Futbol, on Sunday night from 8-11 PM on WADO 1280 AM. Motta, Sierra and their panel of experts and guests analyze the Beautiful Game and the New York Red Bulls.