Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

MLS- New England Revolution

Red Bulls 1, Revolution 1: A Supporter's View

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Considering how long it has been since the Red Bulls beat New England, you would think some Red Bulls fans would be happy with a tie.

Not so, not when the Red Bulls were up a goal and a man early in the second half. Not after the Red Bulls controlled the first half and looked like they just might cruise to a second straight home win. Not when they hold the Revs to a single shot on goal, and that shot gives New England the equalizer.

New England won’t complain, not after a loss seemed assured following Mauricio Castro’s red card. The Revs needed some sort of result after last week’s disappointing loss to Colorado and while three points would have been better, squeezing a draw out of Saturday night’s game is something the Revs can build on.

SBI Correspondents Andrew Keh and Andrew Karl have the same first name but share little else in common. Here are their opposing takes on Saturday’s match:

Another winless encounter, another reason to hate New England

By Andrew Keh

This weekend, Ives slightly altered the format of SBI’s A Supporter’s Views columns, positioning pieces from opposing teams alongside each other to promote interaction within the site’s readership and initiate what he hoped would be “some good banter between fan groups.”   

Well how’s this for some banter?: I genuinely despise New England and everything associated with it. It’s irrational, I know, and I’ll openly admit that my hatred has recently been tinged with jealously following all of the region’s recent sporting successes.

But I can’t help it. I’m from New York, and I think it’s in my blood.

I am repulsed by the phrase, “Manny being Manny,” and I cannot think of anything worse than Jonathan Papelbon. I abhor Bill Belichick—who, by the way, cheats—and Tom Brady and Gisele, too. I don’t like Ben Affleck as an actor or a person. Boston, the city as well as the rock band, sucks!

And these sentiments obviously extend to the soccer team that has eliminated the Red Bulls from the playoffs three times since 2003 and dominated the teams’ regular season match-ups for years. You can imagine my delight, then, when Mauricio Castro was red carded for trying to scramble Kevin Goldthwaite’s eggs, giving the Red Bulls the man advantage with a 1-0 lead in the second half.

The good vibes had started about a half hour earlier when Jozy Altidore, tore through the New England defense and unleashed a shot that exploded off his right foot and into the top corner of the goal. Minutes later, after Shalrie Joseph (whose overall play I do happen to admire) took a cheap swipe at Seth Stammler, it was the 18-year-old who got in the Revolution captain’s face to air his objections. The crowd of 12,047 literally beamed with pride.

By the time Castro trotted off the field, the crowd at Giants Stadium was riding high, with calls of “Ole!” greeting each pass in the suddenly spacious field. But we in the stands should’ve known better, and when Jeff Larentowicz slipped a shot past a poorly executed eight-man wall and a slow to react Jon Conway—I scored a similar goal a few weeks ago through a wall of middle-aged men in a Manhattan gym—I began to expect the worst.

The Red Bulls had one scoring opportunity after another, but sure enough, each passing move seemed to end with a shot off target or directly into the body of Matt Reis. John Wolyniec wasted Danleigh Borman’s first good cross of the season, blasting it over the net from six yards out, and elected to shoot with his left foot from 20-yards out instead of passing to a streaking, and wide open, Altidore in the game’s dying minutes.

Objectively, a 1-1 draw against New England is not a bad result. And this early in the season, patience is a definitely a virtue. But considering the circumstances—a home game against a Revolution team that is playing without their two best attackers and one that was reduced to 10 men at the start of the second half—I left knowing that the Red Bulls should have done better.

So, sadly for New Yorkers, all signs seem to suggest that Manny will keep being Manny, the Celtics will cruise to the finals as the Knicks lay in shambles, and the Revolution, for now, still have the Red Bulls number.

And it is all very, very painful for me.

A man down on the road, tie will do in this rivalry

By ANDREW KARL

First things first, let me say that I think the Red Bulls are New England’s biggest rival.  Over the past two or three years there have been some very tight, competitive, hard fought games between these two teams.  More than that though, New York is undoubtedly the team that I want to see defeated by the Revolution more than any other in the league.  You can chalk part of that up to my genetic predisposition to hate the Yankees.  Regardless, I was licking my chops hoping to taste victory going into Saturday night’s matchup. 

My chief concern, other than Adam Cristman’s inclusion in the starting eleven, was the inexperience against the Red Bulls of several starters.  How would Mauricio Castro Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally, and Amaechi Igwe respond to their first taste of this Northeast rivalry?  My fears were for naught as the whole squad showed up with determination, willing to dig in and work hard for a result.  The youngsters were solid along side the veterans and it appeared that they knew what was up, responding well to the chippy play that always seems to come out at Giant’s Stadium. 

The same can’t be said for Castro, who was unable to keep his cool.  His dismissal was definitely warranted, I can’t argue that at all.  I mean, they don’t even let you kick someone in the crotch from your back in the UFC.  I’m sure he’s played in more than his fair share of heated derby matches in Honduras.  We’ve all seen the videos and heard the reports of Central and South American rivalries gone bad: pitches surrounded by fences and riot police, opposing supporters stabbing each other, players and coaches getting in fistfights.  Maybe physical retaliation doesn’t get you ejected in those games, but this is the Meadowlands, where opposing fans yell and spit at each other and Juan Carlos Osorio definitely doesn’t want to get his spiffy suit ruffled.   

What I will argue is Goldthwaite’s yellow card.  While not as cruel, purposely stepping on a downed opponent’s ankle is just as unacceptable as a kick to the bulls (no spelling error there).  It would have been a different game if both teams had gone a man down, possibly a more wide-open and entertaining game even.  But complain about the end result I will not. 

As soon as the red card came out I started to manage my expectations.  Three points were farthest from my mind, I was praying for solid defending and an equalizer.  I should have guessed that it would be Jeff Larentowicz who, like a redheaded angel, would answer my prayers.  His strike from 18 yards, powerfully curving toward the bottom corner, was a beauty.  I’m honest when I say that I saw it coming.  Larentowicz doesn’t finesse his free kicks, it’s brute force every time and the corner he hit may have been the only place he could have gone with it. 

There was no time to think about stealing three points, as the Red Bulls really penned the Revs in for the rest of the game.  Jozy Altidore and John Wolyniec gave me a couple serious scares but Matt Reis lead his backline through 34 minutes of all out defending.  I am not bitter about the draw; in fact I’m quite satisfied.  Earning a point from a game in which the team was down a man for nearly a whole half is quite alright with me.  I’m proud of the way that most of the team handled this game, with the obvious exception of Castro. 

He’s shown us flashes, but Castro’s productivity has been sub-par when compared to what Steve Ralston gives the club.  On Saturday night he did more than be unproductive, he put points in serious jeopardy with one swift kick and left the team with more roster questions for the next game.  Not only does he need to know better, but from here on out he needs to simply do better.  There are now two cut and dry ways for Castro to make up for his blunder and further cement his place in both the starting lineup and the fan’s hearts:  goals and assists.  He’ll have the perfect opportunity to do so after sitting out next weekend in Dallas by coming home to Foxboro and putting on a show in front of The Fort. 

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