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Red Bulls Weekly Update: April 11

RED BULLS HOST EARTHQUAKES IN PLAYOFFS RE-MATCH: The Red Bulls will try to bounce back from their first loss of the 2011 season on Saturday when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 PM ET (TV: MSG; Radio: WADO 1280 AM). In last season’s MLS Cup Playoffs, the Earthquakes eliminated the Red Bulls out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Despite controlling possession and play for most of the match, the Red Bulls lost to the Philadelphia Union last Saturday by a 1-0 score at PPL Park. New York’s record fell to 1-1-2 on the season, and it currently sits in a four-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference on five points, joined by the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, and the Columbus Crew. New York’s defense continues to be one of the league’s best, as the club has conceded just two goals in its first four matches.

The Earthquakes enter the match with a 1-1-2 record as well, and are coming off a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC over the weekend. Despite falling behind Toronto, the ‘Quakes were able to rescue a point from the match thanks to Simon Dawkins’ 38th minute goal, his second strike in as many matches. After dropping their first game of the 2011 season, the Earthquakes ride a three-game unbeaten streak into Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

All-time in the regular season against the Earthquakes, the Red Bulls have posted a record of 9-15-6. At home, New York has had good success against San Jose, with a 7-4-4 record. The most recent meeting between the teams came in last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs, with the Earthquakes edging the Red Bulls 3-2 on aggregate in the two-legged Eastern Conference Semifinal series. New York took the first leg, on the road, 1-0 behind Joel Lindpere’s goal, but the Earthquakes responded with a 3-1 victory at Red Bull Arena to move on in the postseason.

LAST WEEK: Red Bulls 0, Philadelphia Union 1 at PPL Park on April 9
Red Bulls Reserves 1, Philadelphia Union Reserves 2 at Chester Park on April 10.
THIS WEEK: Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 PM (TV: MSG, Radio: WADO 1280 AM)
NEXT WEEK: Red Bulls at D.C. United at RFK Stadium on April 21 at 8:00 PM (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; Radio: WADO 1280 AM)

RED BULLS DROP 1-0 DECISION TO PHILADELPHIA UNION IN TIGHT ENCOUNTER: Despite generating a number of scoring chances and twice hitting the goal frame, the New York Red Bulls fell to the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, at PPL Park Saturday night in front of 19,027. It was New York’s first loss of the season, as it dropped to 1-1-2 (5 points) in 2011.

Philadelphia looked to put its name on the board in the 17th minute, when Justin Mapp’s free kick from the wing fell to Danny Califf on the back post, but the defender put his left-footed attempt wide of the target.

Four minutes later, the Red Bulls, which controlled much of the play in the opening stanza, earned the best chance of the match up to that point. A streaking Dwayne De Rosario, making his first start as a Red Bull, found space on the right side of the field and slid it to Juan Agudelo, who turned and rolled a 12-yard shot that knocked off the left post.

Agudelo again nearly put the visitors in the lead in the 31st minute. Joel Lindpere found the U.S. National Team member streaking into the box and Agudelo held off Califf and blasted a laser past Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and off the crossbar.

New York continued to see much of the ball after the break and Lindpere was close to giving the Red Bulls a 1-0 advantage two minutes into the second half with a one-timed 20-yard shot that zipped inches by the left post.

Despite the Red Bulls’ opportunities, the Union took the lead for good in the 68th minute. A New York pass out of the back was intercepted by Danny Mwanga, who took it towards the box and slid it to Roger Torres. Torres was in alone on goal and fired it into the net for the game’s only goal.

DE ROSARIO GETS FIRST RBNY START, 200th OF MLS CAREER: Dwayne De Rosario earned his first start for the club in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union. The Canadian midfielder made his club debut a week earlier against the Houston Dynamo, registering an assist after coming on as a substitute at halftime. The start was also a milestone for De Rosario, as it was the 200th of his MLS career.

De Rosario, who was acquired on April 1 in exchange for Tony Tchani, Danleigh Borman and a 2012 first round MLS SuperDraft pick, 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.

RED BULLS-EARTHQUAKES CONNECTIONS: The San Jose Earthquakes boast four former New York players. Chris Leitch enjoyed two stints with the club from 2003-05 and 2007-08, and ranks 13th on the club’s all-time games played list with 101 regular season appearances. He registered five assists in his time with the club. Defender Jason Hernandez, a native of New York City, was drafted by New York in the 2005 Supplemental Draft and played three games for the club that season.

Midfielder/defender Ramiro Corrales joined New York during the 1998 season and remained with the team for the 1999 and 2000 seasons, appearing in 57 games. He registered five assists during his New York career. ‘Quakes defender Tim Ward was selected 12th overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by New York. He played 13 games in his rookie season and registered three assists in his only season with the club.

Red Bulls midfielder Dwayne De Rosario had a decorated career with the Earthquakes before the club moved and became the Houston Dynamo. While in San Jose, the club in which he began his MLS career, De Rosario won two MLS Cups netting the game-winner in the 2001 final, and capturing a second crown in 2003. De Rosario appeared in 108 regular season games for San Jose, scoring 27 goals and adding 31 assists.

ROONEY SCORES IN RESERVES’ 2-1 LOSS TO UNION: After a heated battle at PPL Park Saturday night, the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls met again Sunday morning to kick off play in the re-launched MLS Reserve League. Philadelphia came away victorious, edging New York 2-1 at Chester Park.

John Rooney accounted for the Red Bulls tally, while Jack McInerney and Chris Agorsor were the goal scorers for the Union.

The Union held an early edge in possession and generated the first scoring opportunities of the match. Sixteen-year-old Zach Pfeffer narrowly missed a goal from 20 yards out, sending a curling strike just wide and high of the near post. Juan Diego Gonzalez had an opportunity to finish a loose ball in the area following a half-bicycle from Agorsor, but the defender’s header was just off the mark.

Rooney had two near misses in the latter stage of the first half, curling a ball wide of the far post from the top of the area and having another attempt blocked by McInerney at the edge of the six-yard box.

New York’s best chance of the first half came after 2011 first round pick Corey Hertzog beat his man along the right touchline. Goalkeeper Thorne Holder was able to parry away the rookie’s close-range, angled attempt to keep the match scoreless.

The Union closed out the first half with a golden opportunity. Roger Torres sent a through ball to McInerney that was deflected by defender Tyler Lassiter. Agorsor ran onto the loose ball and was all alone on goal, but his first touch was too strong, enabling goalkeeper Alex Horwath to charge off his line and break up the play.

The Union broke open the scoring after the break. In the 50th minute, Torres sent a cross in from the right corner to McInerney, who headed near post from six yards out past a diving Horwath for a 1-0 lead.

New York didn’t wait long to equalize. Two minutes later, Mehdi Ballouchy sent a free kick low to Marcos Paullo, who found a wide-open Rooney at the top of the area. Rooney fired low and hard to the far post, beating a frozen Holder to level the match at one goal apiece.

It appeared as though New York took the lead midway through the second half. Paullo finished a cross from Rooney, but the referee came charging in to waive off the goal due to an offside call.

In the 81st minute, the Union would regain the lead. Substitute Cristian Hernandez sent McInerney through into space all alone within New York’s area. The 18-year-old’s initial attempt was blocked on the goal line, but Agorsor was there to tap home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.

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.