MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Red Bulls drop points, fall out of playoff spot after yet another disappointing draw



The New York Red Bulls went into their Saturday night clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Instead of three points against the worst team in MLS, the Red Bulls managed only to muster another draw in a season that grows more disappointing by the week.

Juan Agudelo kept the match from being even more disappointing for the Red Bulls, coming on as a scond-half substitute with New York down a goal and a man.  The U.S. national team striker burst past John Thorrington and volleyed home a Rafa Marquez cross for a vital equalizer in an eventual 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena.

The draw was the Red Bulls' 15th of the season, tying Chicago for the MLS record for draws. The dropped points, coupled with D.C. United's win against Chivas USA, dropped the Red Bulls out of playoff position for the first time all season.

Vancouver jumped out to an early lead when midfielder Davide Chiumiento delivered a beautiful volley goal after collecting a pass from Camilo Sanvezzo, touching the ball into the air before turning and hitting a perfect side volley past Bouna Coundoul.

The Red Bulls found themselves in a heap of trouble heading into halftime as Jan Gunnar Solli was shown a red card in first half stoppage time. Solli took down Camilo Sanvezzo on a through ball from DP Eric Hassli, drawing a straight red card from referee Terry Vaughn.

Agudelo found the equalzer for New York, but the Red Bulls couldn't overcome their terrible first half and wound up settling for yet another draw.

After a memorable pre-game ceremony honoring the fallen victims of September 11th, it was the expansion Whitecaps that came out with the urgency of a team vying for a playoff spot. The Red Bulls on the otherhand had the look of the last place team. 

The Red Bulls missed a huge opportunity to gain three points before a very tough finish to the season. Six of the team's eight remaining games are with playoff teams, while another game is against Portland who is within a point of the Red Bull's tenth and final postseason spot. The final stretch continues for New York in Texas on Saturday against the dangerous FC Dallas.

  • Rabid RBNY

    Feels like Backe has lost the locker room. If can’t make Games like tonight mean something to the players. This one hurt. The first half cost them points when teams ahead of them dropped points.


  • T

    Backe should be released he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he has taken the most expesive side in MLS and ruined their potential….


  • J.M.

    Very disappointing game as a Vancouver fan. The Whitecaps had their foot on the throat of the Red Bulls and they just let up. Soehn should have used his last sub much sooner when it became clear that the momentum had shifted.


  • Lenny

    What a tragic match to watch tonight. The crappy ref didn’t help, but RBNY did themselves no favours. The highlight was seeing Luke Rodgers return to the pitch.


  • This Guy

    I wouldn’t worry about the teams ahead of RBNY. DC United is going to take that last playoff spot from them tonight, with 2 games in hand. By midnight, RBNY will be out of the final playoff spot.


  • Becks

    Luke Rodgers is overrated and Juan Agudelo is under utilized. This was not the match nor the time for Rodgers to make his return and try to regain his form. Not to mention that Auvrey is absolutely terrible, and a pathetic acquisition by this new regime. Marquez was moved up to sitting midfield to provide some service and not be such a defensive liability, neither of which he accomplished. Besides his assist, he should have been at least double yellow & red carded out of the game.

    And they still can’t even come close to filling the stands on a beautiful Saturday night after a 2 week layoff….


  • fischy

    I haven’t seen the highlight, but if Solli deliberately took the man down to stop an attack, he deserved a red card, IMHO. I think refs are far too timid about penalizing the so-called “professional foul”.

    If you’re trying to play the ball, or even in some way to legitimately play the man, then maybe a red card isn’t appropriate, unless you’re the last chance defender…and, in which case, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s in the box, near the box, or at midfield. However, if the ref thinks you’ve deliberately fouled a guy, with no real attempt to make a legal play at the ball or the body, I think a red card is totally appropriate.

    All professional fouls should be carded and ones that prevent a goal-scoring opportunity should get the red card. The game would be immeasurably improved — far more exciting — if defenders were forced to defend fairly. There are far too truly exciting attacking moments in any game. and defenders should not be able to thwart them with deliberate fouls and little consequence.


  • jose

    Fire backe & solar alreadyy please enough is enough. We need a change now. We have a goood team on paper but on the feild its different & the move to get rid of dero is really hurting us rightt now.


  • fischy

    That should read:

    “…there are far too FEW truly attacking moments in any game, . and defenders should not be able to thwart them with deliberate fouls and little consequence.”


  • Conrad

    Was at the game, and I’m one more desultory draw away from switching allegiance to the Cosmos. Not really sure what is going on with this team. We have no midfield to speak of. All we have is little dink passes around the defenders, one timid ball into Lindpere, who shuffles it back to Ream…or a pass into McCarty, who turns it over. (That guy is just AWFUL. Always liked him in other jerseys, but for RBNY, I don’t know what to say.) Ream has lost his confidence; Marquez was lousy with his endless long over-the-top balls that never quite made it to Henry. Agudelo finally comes in and makes a huge difference immediately; Vancouver suddenly respects his runs and backs up, the play starts to move forward. He scores a wonderful volley (on a ball played into Henry — but too high). Was baffled that Henry was completely uninterested in celebrating with Agudelo; he used more energy to argue with the referee over a bad goal kick/corner call. At least Rodgers scares the piß out of the opposing defense.


  • Dan in New York

    Sh*tty game against a sh*tty team and a sh*tty red card. What cr*p. At least Luke got back on the pitch and Juan had a nice goal. But the highlight was the GO BACKE HOME sign. C’mon Hans Backe, lead this team or you will be out!


  • gbs

    how in the world does agudelo not play every game. He has 6 goals in limited time. May be the highest goal scorer per minutes played in the league.


  • Hopper

    Davide Chiumiento. I’m a big fan. I love the way that guy plays, and what a great goal. I wish he played for my Sounders.


  • Aaron

    Not sure why it’s referred to as a “phantom red card” unless the writer is simply a Red Bulls homer – as fischy has commented, deliberately using your hands to pull a player down to stop a goal opportunity is deserving of a red and should be called more often. It’s also a little generous to state that Soli was not the last defender since the other player was even but yards to the side and only comes near the play after the Whitecap has been impeded. It’s interesting that there is no comment on the bizarre call-back on the Vancouver goal early on. Oh well, the Red Bulls certainly are in a sad state of affairs right now.


  • Ferris

    The Red Bulls were down 1-0 and Agudelo scored to pull level with the worst team in MLS – there is no reason to celebrate, just to grab the ball, put it back in the center circle, and go for another.

    I get that Agudelo’s extended family from Colombia was at the game and he was excited for that – but c’mon. This season has been a disaster.


  • Landredas

    Even as a Caps fan I thought that was a bit of a soft red card. However the goal that Camilo scored that was brought back looked like an equally weak call. In many ways this season’s most eye opening experience for me has been the shocking quality of the officials. It would be interesting to know what the league thinks of the level of officials, if they are actively doing anything about it.


  • TommyOC

    Sounds like a great plan.

    Except its nowhere in the rule book.

    The straight red can only be given for “serious foul play.” Thats well beyond a professional foul.

    Otherwise, the ref can only card for “unsporting behavior.” And that’s a yellow. So gotta do it twice.


  • cajun

    No worries Landredas. In typical SBI fashion, it’s ALL about the NYRB with very little credit to the effort from Vancouver.


  • ernj

    fischy — respect your opinion, but I think if you watch the replay there is no way it was “denial of a goal scoring opportunity.” Mendes was in front of the ball and it was clearly a professional foul — a yellow not a red.

    The ref was horrific all night. Vancouver’s first goal should have been allowed and Marquez should have been sent off for the awful tackle on Hasli. Solli was a makeup call which is equally unacceptable.

    Ref made numerous other mistakes as well, but the bottom line was a good effort from Vancouver and poor one from NY.


  • Disgruntled Red Bulls Fan

    I love Agudelo as much as the next NYRB fan, but when he is in there for 90 minutes with Henry, nothing happens. It seems he only scores when he comes off the bench and the other team has already played for 60 minutes. I hope that changes, but for now, they gotta stick with what works even if that means McCarty stinks it up for 60 minutes first.


  • chupacabra

    Overrated Agudelo doesn’t even have the highest goals per minute average on his own team. He’s third, behind Henry (12 goals in 1878 minutes, .58 average) and Rodgers (6 goals in 1047 minutes, .52 average – Juan has 6 goals in 1193 minutes, .45 average).

    In MLS he is also behind Donovan, Bunbury, Ruiz, Hassli, Mendoza, Saborio, Neagle, Renteria, Ching, Casey, Gordon, and Davies, so he’s not even in the top 10 for goals per minute.


  • chupacabra

    And don’t forget the “phantom no card” for Marquez’s tackle from behind on Hassli that should have earned him a second yellow and an early trip to his VIP table at Scores.


  • gigi

    Hes only 18…..idk why everyones all up in his peanut butter and jelly. Someone needs to get Chris Crocker to do a leave agudelo alone spiff.


  • Paul

    And don’t forget about the “phantom no card” when Rodgers was yanked down from behind by his shoulder in the same spot on the field as Solli’s dubiuous red card infraction. USSF should spend its next $10 million in revenue to import competent referees from Europe. It’s just one jokester after another.


  • RS

    So go read a different web site instead of adding nothing to the conversation. Of course SBI will still cater towards NJ/NY. After all this was a NJ soccer blog waaaayyyy before it morphed into a full soccer web site.


  • This Guy

    Whine and cry Red Balls supporters. Nothing’s changed in all the years I’ve been visiting this site.


  • Becks

    I forgot to mention (due to his absence and total irrelevance), terrible acquisition #2: DP Frank Rost. Throw in what is possibly the most egregious trade, DeRosario for McCarty + $30k & Tony Tchani (a huge reason for their success last year) & 1 other ultimately , and you’ve got some extremely poor management decisions by this arrogant Scandanavian regime who fired Richie Williams, Des McLeenan, Erik Stover and even head trainer Rick, among others


  • LIUnited

    Don’t wait for another poor performance. Jump on the Cosmos bandwagon now. The Metrostars / Red Bulls have been disappointing its fan base since its inception. They have had two good years out of 15. The latest disappointment is the talent and the expectations for this year were high. The performance has been low. There is no passion from the play. Instead we see a team in Columbus that was picked to finish last in first and the Red Bulls giving away needed points.


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