Carlos Mendes
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Red Bulls Weekly Update: October 18

RED BULLS LOOK TO COMPLETE WORST TO FIRST TURNAROUND THURSDAY NIGHT: After finishing 2009 at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, a win will clinch first place in the Eastern Conference for the Red Bulls heading into the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs when they host the New England Revolution in the regular season finale on Thursday night in front of a national audience at Red Bull Arena (7:30 PM ET; TV: ESPN2/ESPN Deportes; Radio: WADO 1280 AM). The Eastern Conference regular season crown would be the franchise’s second such honor, which they accomplished during the 2000 season (in 2000, the league was broken into three Conferences: Eastern, Central, and Western).

A win against New England would tie the biggest turnaround in MLS history. Already, the team has made a nine-victory turnaround from last season’s five win campaign. The 1999-2000 MetroStars had a turnaround of 10 wins, and with one match remaining, the 2010 Red Bulls could tie 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

New York enters the match after having its five match unbeaten streak snapped at the hands of the Philadelphia Union this past Saturday. In their first visit to Philadelphia’s PPL Park, two first half goals eventually doomed the Red Bulls, whose second half comeback fell just short. After surrendering early goals to Union midfielder Fred and defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, New York looked intent on making amends in the second half. Just minutes after the restart, Danleigh Borman notched his first goal of the season to lessen the gap. The Red Bulls had multiple chances to even the match, none better than in second half stoppage time, when Red Bulls Academy product Juan Agudelo’s header off a corner kick looked destined for goal but was cleared off the line by Fred. With the loss, the Red Bulls fell to 14-9-6, 48 points, and with Columbus’ 2-2 draw at Toronto over the weekend, the Red Bulls lead the Crew by one point heading into the final weekend of the season.

The Revolution looks to end their season on a high note, as they come into the contest on a two match winning streak. In their last match, a stout defensive effort and the first career shutout by goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth earned the Revs a 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in their final home fixture, knocking the visitors out of playoff contention. Captain Shalrie Joseph netted the match’s only goal, the fourth goal in five matches for the All-Star midfielder. The victory improved New England to 9-15-5, 32 points on the season, which is good for a tie with Toronto FC for fifth place in the East.

New York is 16-25-11 all-time against the Revolution in the all-time series that dates back to 1996. In 27 all-time regular season home matches against New England, New York has posted a 12-8-7 record and has outscored the Revs 55-42. This will be the third overall meeting between the clubs this season, and the second regular season match. On May 12, the Red Bulls knocked the Revolution out of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win at Red Bull Arena. The teams met in Foxborough on May 29, with the Revolution taking a 3-2 decision. Zach Schilawski’s late winner defeated the shorthanded Red Bulls, who had defenders Roy Miller and Carlos Mendes sent off in the second half.

RED BULLS TO HOST SEMIFINAL PLAYOFF LEG AT RED BULL ARENA NOV. 4: The Red Bulls 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. Currently, the Red Bulls would face off against the San Jose Earthquakes. However, an opponent will not be confirmed until the end of the final weekend of the regular season.

Also, all fans that purchase a 2011 Full Season Ticket Plan starting Monday, Oct. 18, will automatically gain access to discounted 2010 Playoff Tickets at Red Bull Arena For more information on this offer, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICK 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.

Red Bulls 1, Philadelphia Union 2 at PPL Park on October 16.

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)

Red Bulls at TBA – MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 1. Time, television/radio information TBA.
Red Bulls vs. TBA – MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 2 on Thursday, Nov. 4 at Red Bull Arena at 8:00 PM ET (TV: ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/ESPN3)



2011 SEASON TICKET INFORMATION RELEASED: Red Bull New York announced details regarding renewal dates for 2011 Season Ticket Plans. Current Red Bulls Season Ticket Holders may start renewing their plans today 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.

All fans that purchase a 2011 Full Season Ticket Plan starting Monday, Oct. 18, will automatically gain access to discounted 2010 Playoff Tickets at Red Bull Arena. For more information on this offer, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or CLICK 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.

RED BULLS IN LINE FOR POSTSEASON AWARDS: Several New York Red Bulls are in line for MLS postseason awards this year:

Most Valuable Player: Juan Pablo Angel: The Colombian striker is enjoying one of his most consistent and productive seasons since joining the Red Bulls back in 2007. In 2010, Angel has amassed career highs in both games played (29 so far) and minutes (2,503 so far). He ranks third in the league with 13 goals, and has also registered three assists, while firing a career high 98 shots. Three of Angel’s goals have been game winners, and two of them have come in second half stoppage time, including his dramatic free kick winner against Houston on June 2.

Coach of the Year: Hans Backe: Under Backe’s tenure, the Red Bulls have come from being at the bottom of the MLS table to engineering one of the biggest turnarounds in league history and at the brink of winning the Eastern Conference. The most significant improvement perhaps has been New York’s defense, as it has given up 20 less goals this season than it did last season. The Swede, in his first season in MLS, has helped New York win nine more games than last year. The Red Bulls locked up a spot in the playoffs with three games remaining after a 1-0 win over Kansas City on Oct. 2.

Newcomer of the Year: Joel Lindpere: Not much was known about the Estonian International when he signed with the team back in preseason, but it didn’t take long for the league to see his exploits. Lindpere has been the Red Bulls’ most consistent midfielder throughout the season, and is a huge reason the team is at the top of the Eastern Conference table. Lindpere got the team off to a dream start in its new stadium, rocking the house with the first ever league goal at Red Bull Arena on opening night, his first of two goals so far this season. The Estonian has showed a penchant for setting up his teammates, as he leads the club with six assists. His workrate and versatility has allowed the coaching staff to employ him at virtually all midfield position, as he has started in 28 games this year.

Rookie of the Year/Defender of the Year: Tim Ream: Ream may have been the third player the Red Bulls selected in this year’s MLS SuperDraft, but when all is said and done, he may end up as the top rookie in the entire league for 2010. The former Saint Louis University product has shown a calmness and poise in his positoin and he has been a standout defender all season on a first place team. Ream not only leads his club, but the entire league in minutes played this season. Ream has been largely responsible for revamping a Red Bulls defense that struggled mightily last season. Without Ream in 2009, New York conceded 47 times; this season, the club has been the stingiest defense in the East, giving up just 29 goals.

Comeback Player of the Year: Chris Albright: When New York acquired Albright on Draft Day 2010, his status for the season was uncertain. Albright was in the middle of rehabbing a knee injury with multiple setbacks, an injury that limited him to just one appearance in 2009 with the New England Revolution. Albright completed his long journey back to the field on April 27 in the U.S. Open Cup, and made his return to league play on May 20th versus Columbus. Since then, Albright has locked down the Red Bulls’ starting right back spot, starting in 18 matches and registering two assists. The veteran has provided the Red Bulls defense with some leadership and experience, and has cemented himself as one of the most important cogs in New York’s push for a title.

Comeback Player of the Year: Carlos Mendes: After being limited to just 12 appearances in 2009 and undergoing season-ending hip surgery, sixth year defender Carlos Mendes underwent intensive rehabilitation in the offseason and is in the midst of perhaps his best season of his professional career in 2010. Since being reinserted into the Starting XI on May 29 at New England, Mendes has become a fixture in central defense, starting in 19 matches. Together with central defense partner Tim Ream, Mendes has helped lead a Red Bulls defense that has allowed the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference.

For more on these award contenders, check our awards page

BORMAN FINDS NET: Stepping in for the suspended Roy Miller, defender/midfielder Danleigh Borman netted his first goal of the 2010 season in a losing effort on Saturday at Philadelphia. It was the South African’s first goal since he found the back of the net on May 30, 2009 in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Giants Stadium. Since joining the team in 2008, Borman has appeared in 57 matches, starting 34, while registering four goals and two assists.

HOME COOKING: The Red Bulls are enjoying one of their best seasons at home in club history, posting a record of 9-3-2 thus far. A victory in their last home match this Thursday against the Revolution would give the Red Bulls 32 points at home this season, which would be a franchise high. Also, ten home wins would match the club’s previous high for one season, which occurred during the 1998 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 2610 available minutes of the Red Bulls’ 29 matches in 2010. Drew Moor of the Colorado Rapids has also played 2610 minutes this season.

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.