MLS- New York Red Bulls

Defense Key to Victory for Red Bulls

PetkeJohn (Getty Images)


A team that finishes dead last in Major League Soccer obviously has some glaring holes on both sides of the ball. The Red Bulls gave up 47 goals in just 30 games in 2009. But, in the first game of the 2010 Red Bull campaign, the team showed there is some improvement on the defensive line. 

"Ream, Petke, Hall, Miller the way they defended was definitely our key to winning the game," said head coach Hans Backe.

The back four played confidently on the ball with minimal mistakes, those same mistakes that have plagued Red Bull teams of the past few seasons. Petke and Ream held Brian McBride, Patrick Nyarko, and Collins John in check throughout the match.

The Fire did look dangerous on a couple of occasions early on in the first half after some poor clearances by Bouna Coundoul, including a McBride bike that glanced off the post.

Coundoul settled in nicely after the first twenty minutes making eight saves. His highlight reel save on a Mike Banner free kick in the 62nd minute saved the win for the Red Bulls.

"He made two or three key saves, he's so so quick going right to left,' said Backe. 

"Bouna had to come up with a couple of saves to keep us in the game," added Jeremy Hall. "But, as a whole, I thought we shut them down pretty good tonight."

Despite some pressure on long balls from the Fire in the second half, the Red Bulls were able to keep the shut out and the three points. The shut down defense stemmed from the back line, but it was a nine man effort to keep the Fire off the scoresheet. 

"It was a block of eight for sure," said Mike Petke. "Tonight the midfielders did a great job helping us out."

Joel Lindpere and Sinisa Ubiparapovic were all over the center of the pitch, stifling any attempt to create out of the middle for Chicago. Lindpere was a bull constantly finding himself around the ball. Lindpere, the lone goal scorer for New York, was the ball winner the team has sorely needed in midfield. 

"His work rate is phenomenal and he kept going for 90 minutes," said Backe.

While there were some obvious positives from the 1-0 win, it was an ugly victory. The team was hesitant in front of net rather than testing a young keeper in Andrew Dykstra. The most effective attacks came from the back when Hall or Roy Miller made overlapping runs, finding Kandji or Angel at the top of the 18. The creative style Hans hopes to play with the Red Bulls was not as present as he would have liked.

"I'm no so happy with our attacking game today and the passing game," he said. "We couldn't really hurt Chicago's back four."

Overall, it was a positive sign from the Red Bulls. They recorded a victory in their opener and the first MLS game in Red Bull Arena against a rival who caused them a lot of trouble the past few years. An exciting new era has begun for the Red Bulls, but the team still has some improvement to make itself a serious playoff contender.

  • Chapin

    i was there and the atmosphere was magical!!!! glad to be a season ticket holder! great win for our bulls


  • Hutskizzle

    i thought the first sentence said “glory holes”. i LOL’d for about 2 minutes then re-read the article and became disappointed 😦


  • Queens_NYRB_Fan

    The night was great! I only wish we could have some generic chants that the whole stadium could have participated in, the 200 sections made great noise with those fan things they gave out, but maybe a comon redbulls chant which take the other team out of thier game, or a who are ya chant when the fire tried to get back from a goal down, or a que sera, sera when we where the last minutes of the match to really bring our bulls home. Overall our back line and our goalkeeper were phenominal, we could have done better in the offensive third.


  • DDay

    Ives, another story about the game would be the GSS/ESC “bringing back” the song Take Em All (17th minute, NYRD vs. Chicago)

    They attempted that one apparently in 1996, and again in 2008, with no luck whatsoever (this FAIL is archived on their boards)

    Seattle’s Emerald City Supporters have consistently used Take Em All since 2007 , on overheads, scarves, and in the stands, and if you google feed “Take Em All”, the ECS comes up predominantly.

    Obviously the GSS/ESC heard that song over the last year during Sounders matches, and decided instead of coming up with their own successful chants, they’d simple steal it to use themselves.

    Perhaps an article on the Red Bulls supporters groups continued struggle with identity and individualistic culture would be appropriate after the lifting of such an integral song from another supporters group.


  • m3tRo b0y

    It was a great game, still upset with Angel and his performance but perhaps maybe he needs to get the feel of things again before he starts going back to his old scoring ways.

    On another note, the defence played great, Coundol did extremly well saving shots but his clearing needs some work.

    The fans made great noise, I was hoping the whole stadiumg will chant “we can’t hear you” when Chicago supporters began to chant…Maybe next time…

    Also, the whole stadium should sing ‘NA NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE’ (When it’s a blow-out of course lol)..

    Had a great time, and great good after game,…VAMOS METROOOOO


  • kgb

    The ESC has been singing that song before you were born! Since 1996 BTW…Stop whining and who is stealing from whom!!!!!!!!!!


  • Smith

    Colin John looks like he’s fat & wears eyeliner. He looks just like any woman in Chicago.


  • japan

    I was there and I thought the atmosphere was fantastic as well. There was no way there were 25,000 people there though. Stadium looked 1/3 empty. Good win.


  • Happy Camper

    Ok, then maybe there weren’t 25,000…..perhaps 24K or 23K….who cares?

    Regardless of whatever the number was, it was a great, cold, night.



  • miker

    400 empty seats what a disgrace.If the first game cant sell out what will? Im sure Philly will pack their place.

    The Red Metros couldn’t penetrate a defense that comprised of a Midfielder playing Left Back for the 4th time in his career, A 36yr whose slower than molasses, and a Rb who was so bad he was cut by the sucky metros and Conde. A team that kept Collin John, Mapp, Husidic, Thorrington on the benchto start all of who would start for NJ.

    The Fire spotted NJ a goal and it didnt work. Nyarko made the NJ bak four look stupid.

    Lindpere looks like hes a 50 year old zombie.


  • john.q

    at the santos game, i was wondering when the “Red Bull” chant (when one half of the stadium would chant RED and the other half reply BULL) would start up again, but never did. didnt here it on tv either. it was done while the team played at Giants Stadium.
    that definately needs to come back.


  • Rocco

    I was at the game.


    Lindpere is an animal all over the field and very smart.. Oh and he scored the lone goal….

    Rheam is very good. Very composed and smart as well. He broke up so many tackles.. Watching on TV doesn’t give justice to how well these two guys did.

    Outside backs made some great runs. Red Bulls need to use them a lot more. They are starting to use them a little, but I think the coach is definitely going to drill it in their heads…


    Kanji, was piss poor. Holding the ball too much in his own and and in the midfield. Then passing or not shooting when he had the chance in the Fire final 3rd.

    I would have pulled him at half or near the 60 minute…

    Sinisa in my opinion should be on the bench.. They need a creator to partner with Lindpere. This guy is far from it.

    Angel looked rusty and slow. I hope its the injury.


  • sammysounder

    I thought Lindpere looked great and Dane Richards looked threatening. Ream definitely looks like he’s a talent.

    That said, a bit of luck goes the other way and Fire walk away the winner. That goal does was savable and McBride almost wrapped up goal of the season in the first week.

    I’m convinced that NY will be better than last year, but that’s not saying much. It’ll take more than a 1-0 squeaker to prove that they’ve turned the corner.


  • The Reamer

    It was so much fun watching Ream shutdown The Fires forwards. Fist half they were trying get Nyarko the ball repeatedly. Ream had his #. Then in the second half they Nyarko switched sides. You would think The Fire would have realized that Petke has been a solid Defender for twelve seasons now.


  • athan

    I know I am getting way ahead of myself but if Tim Ream isn’t on the National Team within a year or so, I will be very surprised. He is a supreme defensive talent with absolute pinpoint passing out of the back. THere was one pass in particular that was about a 65 yard laser across the field to a streaking Dane Richards in the 1st half. It was extremely impressive. He is just so composed back there and the most amazing part is I don’t remember him going to the turf once all night. His tackles/breakup of plays were simply due to his ability to hold up defenders and play perfect positional soccer.


  • Matt

    What a jerk. I heard a few chants at the Sounders match that had clearly been ripped off from ESC.


  • DDay

    No, you haven’t sung that song since 1996. you failed at attempting that song until yesterday (and your own boards state the same as well)


  • DDay

    Go ahead buddy, shout em out. This isn’t about regular chants most supporters groups the world over do.
    What this is about is a song (Take Em All) that has been popularized as a football chant by the Emerald City Supporters.
    That can’t be debated


  • Front Row

    Ives gives too much credit to RB. The Fire’s offense is pathetic. Nyarko is feckless. Rolfe and Blanco are gone. McBride is another year older. The Fire will have problems scoring goals all year. This was a poor litmus test for a RB’s defense. The late substitution of Mope was symbolic of throwing in the towel.


  • Fate

    You’re funny / pathetic. First off, contrary to your post, we did not really successfully get the Take Em All chant going in the section. I was with the ESC and it didn’t catch on despite two attempts at it. Not that great of a song anyways imo.

    Secondly, we did the chant first. 9 Years before your supporters group even tried it. Deal with it. Its obvious you heard it on TV and took personal offense because, of course, no one but the mighty ECS can sing it.(sarcasm.) Oh please, get over yourself. I swear, Seattle has the most self-righteous fans in the league.


  • Richard

    Ives didn’t write the article…

    not related to you, but i’m LOVING the hate from the seattle and chicago fans. Get over yourselves…


  • DDay

    I wrote you guys did that song before we did. Now, a few dudes singing something that never gets heard is a very liberal way of saying we did it first, but to each his own.

    and self-righteous? no, the word you’re looking for would be the most “organized” supporters in the league.

    and just so this whole conversation isn’t negative, congrats on the tiered tifo, looked great, glad to see that in NY. Lindpere was a beast, and your stadium is beautiful


  • stmetrofan

    The story of the night was the atmosphere. 100% better then anything at Giant stadium. It was never quiet. And after the game walking back through Harrison and hearing spontanious chants of “lets go Red bulls” break out at random, that was something to behold.


  • JerseyMob

    Redbulls have used that way before your fan factory spike the punchbowl…. in 2007 you could count your fans on one hand. Shut up you manufactured fan.


  • WTFStarbucks

    What IS IT with these Seattle fans? Your Franchise went out and bought it for you guys in your first season. Like most Yankee fans you think you have it all figured out and that you are all the greatest thing that has ever happened to the a professional sport.

    It has been a grueling 15 years here at RBNY and all these Sounders fans need to piss all over the huge progress of the sport here in NY.

    Yes RBNY had a piss poor season last year. But as I recall you guys still couldn’t beat us in the swamp(1-1). This was also before Osorio resigned and RBNY was at its worst. Before Williams took over and beat Columbus.

    To bad the MLS Cup wasn’t for sale last year so Drew Carry could buy it. Maybe then Seattle fans wouldn’t feel the need dump on an important evening for a franchise that has battled so long to get this far.


  • Paul Gardner

    I didn’t care for RBNY’s style of play. Too rugged & too physical. Too European. Not artful enough. Not South American enough. They need more Latin palyers who can pass the ball on the ground. Men with light brown skin stretched over suppled muslcles, sweating profusely as their shorts hang over bulging thighs. Oh, yes, YES!


  • LlyadBalgair

    Fire fan here and in my opinion the game played close to even.

    1) Loved the stadium — big congrats to NY for that one!

    2) RBNY – Lindpere looked great all over the field and had a great opportunistic finish

    3) Remaind of RBNY offense was sketchie – Angel looked a little off and Dane Richards is amusing — should be sooo dangerous except he can’t shoot and doesn’t pass/cross well . . .

    4) Fire looked most dangerous when Condoul was clearing the ball and after Collins John came in / Nayrko went wide and started school RBNY defenders

    5) Everyone patting NYRB defense on the back should perhaps review the 12 or so minutes after Collins came in before McBride subbed out for a reality check — they were solid, but not great).

    6) Reffing was horrific (as per MLS standards). I think the Fire was on the losing end slightly more often, but both sides have cause for complaint.

    7) Any team out there want Mapp? Cause I would like to see him traded . . .

    In the end, Linpere’s finish was really the only difference (McB was SOO close to the opener). I think both teams can take some positives from the match while providing the coaches plenty of video to review with the teams during the week.


  • Aguinaga

    Agree with your analysis. The game looked even for the last 70 minutes, and mostly Chicago in the first 20. Could’ve gone either way, and I feel would’ve if not for the post on McBride’s audaciousness. Chicago seemed to come out unintimidated, perhaps a function of you guys owning us for so long. On the other hand, we came out visibly nervous when compared to how we played all preseason. Borman, Kandji, and Coundoul all looked shaky and made poor decisions, Angel looked rusty and a tad slow on his reaction time, and Richards was/is just maddening with his lack of vision. Lots of room for improvement on both ends I think, but I have to believe the stadium was the 12th player for us this time, and probably going forward. So happy in our new home!!


  • Teddie Boy Eddie

    This is an excellent analysis of how the game transpired.

    I would say, however, that while Collins John got himself into good positions. I was not impressed with his gesticulating at his teammates, and at his wrist, supposedly informing the ref of time wasting. And he does look a bit fat.

    Overall, though I was happy for the win, love the new stadium, and expect RBNY to improve as the season goes on. I’ve been impressed with the coach’s comments on the team since he arrived.


  • Smith

    Collins John appeared, from where I was sitting, to be a rather full-figured gal. He also seems like he has an exhausting personality. If I was the ref, I would have carded him. His gesticulating was exhausting.


  • inkedAG

    Watch out Ives! People are gonna think you’re an RBNY fan boy with all these RB postings. 😉


  • Scott

    The Fire’s offense is pathetic?? Lets see if you are saying that after Collins John gets a few games in… By the way Nyarko ran all over New York’s defense.


  • gerald

    I like your objective analysis, well done and yes Dane Richards is going to drive me crazy because he had Angel set up with a gimme


  • Joamiq

    Worst comment in the history of this site? Quite possibly.

    And BTW, the ESC board is private and viewable only by members.


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