MLS- New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls draw last place Fire


Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com


Another game, another draw for the New York Red Bulls. 

After not winning a game since July 6th, the Red Bulls desperately needed three points to stay in the increasingly crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture. A match against the last place Chicago Fire seemingly was that game, but New York let an opportunity and an early lead slip away once again. 

The Red Bulls were actually down in the second half, but a Joel Lindpere goal saved at least a point for the star-studded Red Bulls. Juan Agudelo headed down a long ball to Lindpere. The Estonian played Richards out wide and the Jamiacan sent a low, driving cross to Lindpere who volleyed the ball past Johnson in the 65th minute. 

"It's pretty frustrating just to have so many chances and to play such good football and not come out with three points that we've been looking for the past month," said Red Bulls sub Juan Agudelo.

"I personally feel like it's not a good tie," added defender Tim Ream. "You're at home, you should be winning games at home and we're not. It's definitely frustrating."

Chicago took the lead midway through the first half thanks to a Sebastian Grazzini rebound goal. Dominic Oduro's hard shot was saved by MLS pool goal keeper Chris Konopka, but the New York keeper couldn't hold on. Grazzini was wide open to finish in the 25th minute. 

Konopka's start tonight was symbolic of this year's Red Bull squad. New designated player Frank Rost is out four to six weeks with a quad tear and Bouna Coundoul got back too late Saturday morning from his International duty. New York's other depth at the position, Greg Sutton, was loaned out to Montreal. The Red Bulls made a habit of trading useful depth players out of the squad this year to fit the big salary stars under the salary cap.This forced New York to rely on a pool player to take the start in net in one of the most important matches of the season. 

"It does really help when you have guys that come off the bench and change the game," said MVP candidate Thierry Henry. 

Henry continued: "Auvray came on. It was his first game for us. Juan [Agudelo] came on and I think he did well when he came on. And Stephane [Aurvray] also in terms of pressure. Hopefully that can carry on. Some of the teams are dealing with not having Morales or Ferreira and they're dealing with it well. It's true that we have a lot of youngsters in our team, maybe not enough experience in this league. But, hopefully they're gonna get this experience and maybe those are going to be the guys that make us go to the playoffs."

Henry opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a beautiful curling 22 yard shot to beat Sean Johnson far post. Richards had the ball with his back to goal and laid it off to a wide open Henry who finished for his league leading 12th goal of the season. 

Chicago answered back just seven minutes later when Patrick Nyarko recieved a ball over the top, burning past New York right back Chris Albright. Nyarko took it to the touchline and played a ball to Dominic Oduro who touched it past Konopka. 

"I thought we were not very dangerous," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "But we still created two or three chances late in the game to put it away. But, I am very happy with the performance of the group in a very difficult place to get a point on the road here. It's good, now we just have to go back home and get three points."

The tie keeps Chicago in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, but puts them in a tie with Toronto FC, one point shy of the New England Revolution.

Despite the lack of depth, number of draws and consistent mental lapses in the back, Hans Backe remains optimistic that this team is playoff bound.

"Absolutely this is a playoff team," said Backe. "And if we reach the playoffs, I am absolutely sure we will be very dangerous."

New York remains in third place, just a point ahead of DC United and Sporting KC, but both teams have games in hand over the Red Bulls.The Houston Dynamo can push into a tie with the Red Bulls with a win against Portland tomorrow. The draw is New York's 12th tie, the second most in MLS. The Red Bulls only have nine games remaining, including matches against Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy, Philadelphia Union and the red-hot Sporting KC.

  • Juan

    Wow, if you can’t win this game…not good enough vs worst team in division at home.  Players – especially Henry, Lindpere and Richards (and Agudelo, when Backe finally put him on the field) gave everything, but when Soler/Backe have gutted the midfield, destroyed all chemistry, and wasted a DP on a retiree goalkeeper…there is only so much you can put on the players’ shoulders.


  • al17

    Another game, Another Draw = 2011 Chicago Fire
    We have 14 draws and will break the single season record.


  • PetedeLA

    Agreed. Rost is just mailing it in. No way is he worth DP money. What idiot traded DeRo for Dax McCarty? He was the link, not only on the field, but in terms of garden variety MLSers and the “Super Stars”.

    Backe belongs in AYSO if he can’t get this lineup to win games at home.


  • Cylo

    Backe gotta go after this year. Having Agudelo come off the bench is just stupid right now.


  • BB

    Red Bulls shaky defense gives them another tie. Whoopteeedooo. When is this team of star talent going to start playing like it? At home too?!!


  • Juan

    We can only hope that Erik Soler – the other Norwegian that sits on the bench (what is that about?) – is also sent packing, no way you can separate him and Backe from this debacle and the endless bad player and coaching changes this year….and to think he had $14 million to play with!!!


  • Yevgeniy

    Disappointing as a NY fan. I was very surprised that Fire was time wasting at 2:2. I mean it was not the worst kind by any means, but how can they be ok with a tie. It’s the same as a loss for them…


  • b

    Yeah the first line of this story showed the sometimes laughably blatant NY bias on this site. Another NY draw when the other team draws almost every game??


  • b

    Serious changes need to be made, either Backe or Soler should be fired.
    The players for the most part (Henry, Lindpere, Agudelo, etc.) are giving it their all, they deserve management that is competent enough to realize that a team needs more than 11 (when healthy, usually less) starting players and zero bench. Where are the teams recent draft picks? Either they are competent and under-utilized and Backe must be fired, or they are sub-par when competing teams like DC and Philly rely on plenty of youngsters in which case Soler must be fired.
    No substitutions, a bias against Americans, Balouchy being a regular, Agudelo being a sub even when Rogers is out, trading a handful of pieces for De Rosario, failing to use him properly, and then getting much less back for him, signing an aging foreign goalkeeper as a DP… what a mess.


  • LIUnited

    Another reason half of NYC is looking forward to the offical rebirth of the Cosmos!


  • Juan

    Dax McCarthy = DeRo + Tchani + Bormann + 1st round 2012 Superdraft pick

    Thank you Erik Soler for one of the stupidest player calculations in MLS history, and one we will continue to be punished for even when you and Hans are long gone


  • chris

    Usually don’t complain about the ref, but I thought he missed a clear penalty last night.


  • polishpete

    Chris he missed two … First opportunity clear foul off the ball on Dax, second half when we were down clear hand ball stoping the pass to open Henry no whissle. And that guy that score second for fire should get a red after two feet tacle from behind on Taino .few questionable offsides calls as well in second half ,one that was really funny when Dane pass the ball to himself and would be charging john sons goal bummm offside.


  • polishpete

    Actually since I am watching the game again it was segres foul on Albright in 39 that should be red


  • polishpete

    Actually since I am watching the game again it was segres foul on Albright in 39 that should be red


  • Ryan

    Yeah if your team is not New York, LA, or Seattle, you take a back seat apparently. It would be nice to see a bit more focus on the other 15 teams in the league.


  • Charles

    I disagree with Backe again.

    NY is NOT a playoff team and I think they have a VERY hard time making it. They are on the outside looking in right now. 3 of the next four games are LA, Dallas and Salt Lake. (The article has a SMALL oversite, they are playing Dallas in Dallas too)

    The other four games are easy….like playing the Chicago Fire.


  • Juan

    Agreed. And Houston win tonite jumps them to even with NYRB w/ a game in hand. NYRB now looking at 10th place with KC and DC on heels. These are teams with literally $10 million less team salary than Soler/Backe have had this year…what a bunch of clowns.


  • Steve

    I am going to cry the next time I see Mehdi Ballouchy on the field… which means I anticipate crying this coming Sat. against New England. His continual presence on the field is just one of the reason Hans must be feeling his seat heating up.


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