HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls crashed out of the playoffs on Thursday night, a disappointing finish to a year that saw the club finish the regular season atop the Eastern Conference for just the second time in its history.
A look at the player ratings for the 3-1 home loss to San Jose:
GK – Bouna Coundoul: Difficult to fault Coundoul on the first goal but he flapped badly at the second goal and was off his line too far on the third. Distribution and goal kicks were lacking, especially in crunch time. Rating: 5
D – Chris Albright: Gave up a bit too much space on the service for the Earthquakes’ second goal of the night. Moved well into the attack but his crossing was plebeian at best. Rating: 5
D- Carlos Mendes: All three San Jose goals came centrally through his side of the defense. Not a bad night as miscues in front of him led to the breakdowns, but still not the same effort as last Saturday when he was a stud in the defense. Rating: 5
D- Tim Ream: In a game where the defense conceded three times, Ream was a rock clearing up a lot of messes from the midfield. Positioning was solid and distribution excellent. Rating: 7
D – Roy Miller: It’s been a less than stellar string of games for the left back since early October, capped off by this dud. Would not be surprised if this was the Costa Rican’s last game with the team. Not a good effort defensively. Rating: 3
M – Dane Richards: Rarely got sprung down the right wing and missed several good opportunities to score. The Richards of a few weeks ago who was running through the league scoring cooled off at the wrong time. Rating: 5
M – Joel Lindpere: So much hard work, so much grit for the pit bull of the team. His play kept some sort of validity to the midfield that disappointed around him. A good night in a losing effort. Rating: 7
M – Rafa Marquez: The Designated Player was quiet in a game that screamed for his calming presence. His distribution was suspect and sporadic, and he seemed overly physical in man-marking. Plus, his nonstop carping to the ref was Blanco-esque. Rating: 5
M – Mehdi Ballouchy: His touch was off, his distribution was either overly safe or lacking in vision and defensively he was three steps behind his mark. Not sure what his role is on this team — he clearly has talent, but it wasn’t on display Thursday night. Rating: 4
F – Juan Agudelo: A star is born for New York as Agudelo showed plenty of promise. More polished than national team striker Jozy Altidore at the same age. Needs to make decisions faster, but encouraging poise from the player. Nice assist to Angel on the goal. Rating: 7.5
F – Juan Pablo Ángel: Aside from his 80th minute header to make the game 2-1, what did Ángel do? His touch was off, he failed to hold the ball and he was generally a non-factor. In his last game for the club, would have been nice to see him go out as a winner. Rating: 5
Backe inexcusably used all three of his substitutions in the 86th minute, far too late to make an impact. Holding off on Henry, who is still battling a knee injury, is understandable, but with the team needing to press, he needed fresh legs. No ratings for these players.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012