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Red Bulls Weekly Update: April 4

RED BULLS TAKE ON RIVAL UNION SATURDAY: It’s an early season battle for the top spot in the East when the Red Bulls take a trip down to Philadelphia and square off against the Union on Saturday night in a nationally televised match at 7:00 PM ET (TV: ESPN2, Radio: WADO 1280 AM).

New York comes into the match even with the New England Revolution for second place in the Eastern Conference, unbeaten in three games this season with a record of 1-0-2 and five points. After winning their season opening game 1-0 on March 19 against Seattle Sounders FC, the Red Bulls have followed with two consecutive draws, most recently earning a 1-1 tie with the Houston Dynamo last Saturday night. The game marked the Red Bulls debut of Dwayne De Rosario, who the Red Bulls acquired last Friday in a trade that sent Danleigh Borman, Tony Tchani and a 2012 first round MLS SuperDraft pick to Toronto FC. De Rosario made it a memorable debut, assisting on Dane Richards’ 47th minute goal after coming on as a substitute at halftime.

The Union is coming off of their first loss of 2011, but sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 2-1-0 and six points. Philadelphia dropped a close 1-0 decision to the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center last Saturday. Despite being up a man for the majority of the second half, the Union couldn’t find the back of the net, failing to equalize after Leonardo’s 33rd minute goal. Philadelphia’s defense has been tough to crack, having conceded just one goal in its first three games after starting the season with successive 1-0 victories. Forward Carlos Ruiz joined the club this season, partnering with last year’s club leader in goals Sebastien Le Toux and second-year forward Danny Mwanga.

This will be the third ever regular season meeting between the rivals. Last season, the teams split the two contests, with each holding serve on home field. New York took down the Union at Red Bull Arena 2-1 on April 24, while the Union returned the favor with a 2-1 score line of their own on Oct. 16 at PPL Park. The clubs also met in last year’s U.S. Open Cup at Red Bull Arena on April 27, a match New York won by a 2-1 score. This season’s return fixture at Red Bull Arena will be on Oct. 20, the last regular season game of the season for New York.

RED BULLS TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS AT ADIDAS SPORT PERFORMANCE STORE TUESDAY: Soccer fans are invited to meet the entire New York Red Bulls squad on Tuesday, April 5 at the adidas Sport Performance Store on Broadway and Houston.  The MLS squad will meet and greet fans and sign autographs from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

The first 100 fans to purchase official New York Red Bulls gear on April 5 will receive a free t-shirt. From March 29 – April 4, fans who spend $50 or more on New York Red Bulls gear at the adidas Sport Performance Store will receive a wristband to the team autograph signing.  This wristband will allow them access to the front of the line on April 5.

In addition, general admittance wristbands will be available at the adidas Sport Performance Store on the day of the signing starting at 10am and wristband holders must be in line by 5:30 pm to gain entrance. 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: adidas Sport Performance Store
610 Broadway
New York, NY
(212) 529-0081

LAST WEEK: Red Bulls 1, Houston Dynamo 1 at Red Bull Arena on April 2
THIS WEEK: Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on April 9 at 7:00 PM (TV: ESPN2, Radio: WADO 1280 AM)
NEXT WEEK: Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena on April 16 at 7:30 PM

RED BULLS PLAY TO 1-1 TIE WITH DYNAMO: The Red Bulls continued their unbeaten start to the 2011 season Saturday night, earning a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena. Newly acquired midfielder Dwayne De Rosario marked his debut by assisting on Dane Richards’ opening goal, while the Dynamo got the equalizer from Cam Weaver. The Red Bulls, which dominated spells of the game and outshot Houston, 24-9, improved to five points on a 1-0-2 record, while Houston went to 0-1-2 with two points.

The visitors provided the first good scoring chance on the night, but Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, making his first appearance of the season, kept the game scoreless. Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron played a give and go with rookie Will Bruin, taking a first-time effort at goal from eight yards out. Coundoul reacted well and made a sprawling save with his outstretched hand, parrying the ball away from goal.

The Dynamo again almost opened the scoring, this time being denied by the woodwork in the 24th minute. Houston earned a free kick on the left side of midfield, and Brad Davis swung a cross towards the box. Cameron was the first to the ball, heading it across the box to an open Brian Ching, who one-timed it with his left foot off the crossbar from just outside the six yard box.

De Rosario made his Red Bulls debut a day after New York acquired him from Toronto FC. It didn’t take long for the five-time MLS Best XI midfielder to make an impact, as he set up Richards for the opening tally just two minutes after the restart. Roy Miller played the ball to De Rosario, who turned and sent a long ball along the ground in space behind the Dynamo defense. Richards collected the ball, dribbled into the box, cut back and fired his shot inside the far post for his first goal of the season. It was De Rosario’s first assist as a Red Bull and second of the year.

New York’s lead would not last long, as the Dynamo equalized the match three minutes after Richards’ goal. Bruin flicked a Tally Hall goal kick into open area behind New York’s defense. Substitute Cam Weaver raced onto the ball and beat the oncoming Coundoul, flicking it over the reaching goalkeeper and into the vacant net.

Thierry Henry nearly opened his account for the year in the 70th minute. Richards floated a ball over the top to De Rosario who, from the right side of the box, played it across goal. The ball met Henry at the far post, but the Frenchman’s shot was stopped from point blank range by Hall. The rebound came out to Joel Lindpere, but his shot was blocked by a Houston defender.

De Rosario came close to picking up the winning goal in his debut in the 87th minute of the game. Lindpere lofted a left-footed cross into the middle of the penalty area, finding De Rosario. The five-time All-Star redirected the ball with his head, but couldn’t keep his effort on frame.

The Red Bulls frantically tried to find the winner, pressuring in the final minutes of the game. Hall made a key save on Henry in the 90th minute, pushing a headed effort over the bar off a feed from Juan Agudelo. In stoppage time, Henry tried to play provider, setting up substitute Luke Rodgers, who was denied by Hall on the doorstep. The pressure continued until the last play of the game, as Agudelo crossed to find Miller, who nodded the ball just over the bar from the center of the penalty area.

RED BULLS ACQUIRE FIVE-TIME MLS BEST XI MIDFIELDER DWAYNE DE ROSARIO: Red Bull New York announced Friday that it acquired five-time MLS Best XI midfielder and four-time MLS Cup winner Dwayne De Rosario from Toronto FC. In exchange, Toronto FC received midfielder Tony Tchani, midfielder/defender Danleigh Borman and New York's natural first round 2012 MLS SuperDraft selection.

“Dwayne has been one of the league’s best players over the past several years and we are thrilled that he is a Red Bull,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He is one of the most dangerous players MLS has seen in the attacking third and he is a true leader both on and off the field. We had to trade Tony and Danleigh – two very talented, young players who both need more playing time with a first team in MLS to develop their potential. At the end, we think this is a massive step in our quest towards the MLS Cup title.”

De Rosario, who has one goal and one assist in two games this year, has enjoyed a successful career on the club and international level. Last season in his second year with Toronto FC, the Scarborough, Ontario native recorded a career-high in goals scored with 15 to go along with three assists in 27 games played, being named to the MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star Team for the fifth time. Over his time in Toronto, the 32-year-old amassed 27 goals and 10 assists over 57 appearances.

Prior to joining Toronto through a trade on Dec. 12, 2008, De Rosario was with the Houston Dynamo from 2006-08 and was an instrumental cog in the team’s back-to-back MLS Cup victories in 2006 and 2007. In Houston, the attacking midfielder compiled 24 goals and 11 assists over 78 games and three seasons. De Rosario scored the game-winning goal for Houston in their 2007 MLS Cup Final win over the New England Revolution, being named the match’s Most Valuable Player. In 2006, after an 11-goal, five-assist season, De Rosario was a finalist for the MLS MVP award for the second year running.

The 5-11, 178-pound midfielder started his MLS career with the San Jose Earthquakes after signing in 2001. With San Jose, De Rosario won two MLS Cups, being named the MLS Cup Final MVP in his first season for his championship-winning goal against Los Angeles in overtime. With the Earthquakes, which qualified for the playoffs in every year until moving to Houston in 2006, De Rosario notched 108 appearances, 27 goals and 31 assists in five years. In 2005, De Rosario, who was named to the MLS Best XI squad for the first time in his career, was a runner up for the MLS MVP award after leading the League with 13 assists.

On the international level, De Rosario has earned 55 caps for the Canadian National Team after making his senior squad debut when he was 20 years old. De Rosario was part of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup winning side and has participated in four Gold Cups and three World Cup qualifying campaigns. The three-time male Canadian Player of the Year has registered 15 goals for Canada.

De Rosario, a two-time winner of the MLS Goal of the Year, started his professional career in 1997 when he signed with the Toronto Lynx of the A-League. He then played for FSV Zwickau of the German Second Division before featuring for the A-League’s Richmond Kickers in 2000.

Tchani was drafted by the Red Bulls in the first round (2nd overall) in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Virginia. The 21-year-old played in 27 matches in his rookie year, scoring one goal and three assists. Borman was in his fourth season with New York after being taken in the first round (7th overall) in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft out of the University of Rhode Island. During his time with the Red Bulls, the left-footed midfielder/defender featured in a total of 59 regular season matches, tallying four goals and two assists.

HITTING THE NET: The Red Bulls were credited with 14 shots on goal in their 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on April 2. That was the most for the club in a single game since August 18, 2007 against the Los Angeles Galaxy, a match the Red Bulls won 5-4 in front of 66,237 at Giants Stadium.

RICHARDS NETS FIRST OF SEASON, APPROACHES TOP-10 ON ALL-TIME CLUB LIST: Dane Richards’ first goal of the season, in the club’s 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on April 2nd, was the Jamaican’s 16th goal for the club in all competitions. He joins Eddie Gaven, Jozy Altidore, and Alex Comas in 11th place on the club’s all-time goal scoring list. Richards is just one goal shy of Anthony De Avila’s 17, which would put Richards in the club’s top 10.

RED BULLS AND MSG NETWORKS SIGN MULTI-YEAR TELECAST RIGHTS EXTENSION: The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer and MSG Networks have agreed to a new multi-year agreement ensuring that MSG Networks will continue as the local telecast home of the Red Bulls.

MSG Networks, which consists of MSG Network an MSG Plus, has held the telecast rights to the team since 1996, and will telecast 24 of New York’s 32 regular season games this season, up from 22 games in 2010. MSG Networks will also produce pre and post-game shows for select Red Bulls games. All 24 game telecasts will be produced in a high definition format.

“MSG Networks has been a valuable partner for our organization since the club’s inception and we are thrilled to continue our relationship with them,” said Red Bull New York Managing Director Erik Stover. “With this new multi-year deal, we expect our fans will be able to view a broadcast that is among the best in Major League Soccer. MSG Networks has made a strong commitment to helping us become the country’s premier soccer franchise and today’s announcement is a significant step towards that goal.”

“MSG Networks and the Red Bulls have a long history together and we are proud to have them return for their 16th season,” said Dan Ronayne, executive vice president and general manager, MSG Networks. “We look forward to once again providing New York soccer fans with exclusive local coverage of the Red Bulls.”

Veteran sports anchor and reporter Steve Cangialosi returns for his fourth season as the team’s play-by-play announcer and 10th covering the Red Bulls, while former New York Cosmos goalkeeper Shep Messing starts his 11th season as an expert analyst. MSG Networks host and experienced sideline reporter Tina Cervasio will be back for her fourth season covering the Red Bulls, while Eddie Caggianelli begins his 10th season producing matches.

For a full schedule please CLICK HERE.

RED BULLS LAUNCH TICKET EXCHANGE WEBSITE: Red Bull New York announced the launch of the Red Bulls Ticket Exchange website. Through this program, Red Bulls Full Season Members who cannot attend a given match are able to post their tickets for resale on the web at www.redbullsticketexchange.com.

The 2011 season will run as a test period for this initiative, thus there will be no fee to Full Season Members for posting their tickets during this trial. Fans that do not have tickets to a match and want to attend can use the Ticket Exchange program to connect exclusively with season ticket holders to buy their available tickets, which are some of the best seats in the house. Tickets can be purchased through the Red Bulls Ticket Exchange up to three hours prior to kickoff of a match.

Additional information about the Ticket Exchange can be found at www.redbullsticketexchange.com or by calling Fan Services at 1.877.RBSOCCER.