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Red Bulls 2, Earthquakes 0 (The Post-Game Look)


                                                                                Photo by ISI Photos

Jozy Altidore could have let frustration overtake him, and it almost did. Battered and bruised throughout the first half of the Red Bulls match against San Jose, Altidore struggled to make an impact despite the Red Bulls controlling play in the first half.

After being told by head coach Juan Carlos Osorio at halftime to keep focused, Altidore kept on playing and eventually found away to repay the Earthquakes for his early frustrations. He drew a 78th-minute penalty to set up a Mike Magee penalty kick goal, then finished off the Red Bulls’ most complete performance of the season with a last-second goal of his own to help the Red Bulls post a 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Giants Stadium.

The result was a fair one for a Red Bulls team that controlled the action throughout, out-shooting the Earthquakes 19-5, with an 8-2 edge in shots on goal. Red Bulls captain Claudio Reyna delivered his best performance of the season while Mike Magee converted a penalty kick for his first goal in 21 months.

Here are some other observations from the match:

John Wolyniec struggled with his touch, his passing and his shooting for more than 70 minutes, but he never stopped working and wound up helping create both Red Bulls goals. His perfect pass to spring Altidore set up the penalty, and his dish to Altidore on the second goal was well-placed as well. He is not Juan Pablo Angel, or Jozy Altidore, but Wolyniec is a useful third forward and has proven it yet again.

Claudio Reyna delivered a top-notch performance on Sunday. He was all over the midfield, winning balls, sending passes away from pressure and into positions where teammates could operate. He was as lively, active, quick and effective today as I have seen him in a long time. No, he didn’t score, and no, he didn’t have an assist, but his impact on the match was impressive.

Chris Leitch redeemed himself with a steady effort at right back today. He has played two games at his natural right back position this year and has delivered two good performances. Is it a coincidence that both came in wins?

Mike Magee can still play. He moves well in the attack, slips into good positions and can pass well. His ability to stay healthy has been the question mark, but he will be given every chance to succeed as he regains full fitness and could be poised to push out Sinisa Ubiparipovic as a starting central midfielder.

Dave Van Den Bergh had a relatively quiet game but he did well to limit Ronnie O’Brien’s chances. O’Brien was considered San Jose’s most dangerous player coming into the match but he barely registered anything on Sunday.

Luke Sassano shows some signs of being a useful player but he also shows his lack of experience and isn’t long for the right wing role, not with Dane Richards and Hunter Freeman close to returning.

Kevin Goldthwaite delivered another strong effort and stated after the match that he should be fine for Thursday. Of course he said this as he struggled to put his pants on because the pain in his back was so great.

Jeff Parke did well on San Jose forward Kei Kamara, but came close to losing his cool on a few occasions as the two got tangled up a few times. Kamara delivered a handful of sly cheap shots on Parke, who was none too pleased. Much like Altidore, Parke needs to learn to control his emotions.

So what will the lineup look like vs. Toronto FC on Thursday? Here’s an early guess:






I wouldn’t be surprised to see Magee in for Ubiparipovic, or Sassano in for Freeman (who still may not be ready), but I think this lineup is the one I see Osorio using, assuming these players are healthy.

What did you think of tonight’s match? Share your thoughts on that, as well as Thursday’s match with Toronto, in the comments section below.


  1. With Reyna & JPA both at the end of their DP deals this year, I see RBNY moving into the new stadium with two BIG name DPs, a playmaker and a forward.

  2. There are more entertainment choices in New York than Toronto. There is a lot of competition for the money that fans pony up for tickets. So if the weather is even remotely questionable, people don’t come out unless it’s an “event” a la Beckham or Freddy Adu a few years ago.

    Low attendance will remain a fact of life for now until the weather warms up and the team starts putting together some wins. Or if Becks is in town…

    The big test will come when the new stadium opens, as Red Bull will certainly reach into their pockets then to properly market the team. Transportation will no longer be an issue, the stadium should be state of the art with great concessions and atmosphere that will improve the gameday experience for those at the stadium and those at home watching on tv. Simply put, there will be no excuses if they can’t get people to come out at the new stadium unless the product on the field is terrible which hopefully will be addressed between now and then so we have a team that challenges for trophies.

  3. The poor chemistry between players was evident on the pitch. Although the bulls controlled most of the match it was difficult to find any plays that strung together 4 or more successful passes .Give professor Osorio credit for playing a second string squad and getting the win. I’m not quite sure what the marketing department is doing because the billboards posted on all the bus stops in North Jersey are not working. The irony there is the transportation to the stadium is very poor –you might catch one going to the stadium but coming back..good luck. I tried it last season needless to say I was stuck in the swamp and my only way back to NYC was a 45 dollar cab ride. The facts are that all successful teams in the NYC area are complimented by a good transportation system. What about the Jets and Giants you say? Well the bus lines are quadrupled for American football games.

    Why doesn’t RBNY invest in a shrink wrap bus that takes New Yorkers to and from the match? RBNY are loosing out on many supporters that actually live in NYC. I hate that I have to sit with frustrated soccer moms and uninterested tweenys screaming they want ice scream .I hate the fact that my favorite team is poorly supported when there are so many soccer fans in the NYC area. What is Toronto doing that we are not? What needs to be done from the front office to improve fan attendance?

  4. glad to see the redbulls win and Altidore score but word on the street is that the New Jersey Redbulls only drew an audience of 9,000 fans which is a tragedy. If they put that team in Brooklyn or Queens they would draw 15,000 on a regular basis. Redbulls can go to hell for putting another new york team in new jersey.

  5. RBNY deserved the win. They played very good team defense, though admittedly SJ has few teeth offensively, though Pegeuro looked good in limited action. This is a game they have to win at home, and they pulled it out. The soccer wasn’t beautiful, but it was effective.

    I think Stammler and Parke were both very good for most of the match, but each have those moments when they make a bad play which keeps them for jumping up to the next level. Hopefully they’ll continue to progress into allstar calibre players.

    Leitch deserves criticism at times, but he’s a very useful player for the money he’s making. I thought Reyna had a very good game, but because he is so expensive he deserves the criticism he gets far more than a guy like Leitch or Woly since their cap figure is so much lower with comparable production.

  6. I agree with Athan. The game was rather painful at times.

    I don’t see the heaps of praise on Little Nothings. I saw a bunch of corner kicks that went nowhere, or they went straight to Joe Cannon. I saw a bunch of passes that went to the opposing team. Sure, he hustled, but so does Wolyneic.

    The game got a bit better when Little Nothings went more defensive and Mike Magee played CAM. Still, this game shows how far RBNY has to go. We can beat up on Columbus and an Expansion team. Beat up the elite teams, and then I’ll be impressed.

  7. Woly’s constant effort is why I always liked him. And he can finish, and (usually) pass. His perfect pass sprung Jozy on the play that resulted in the penalty, and we all know how great that touch was on his assist of Jozy’s goal. At this point (and I know it is probably too early to say this) even if Etcheverry was healthy I’d prefer Woly as the third option.

  8. You guys kill me with the Leitch stinks deal. He’s a solid right back. Give him more credit, he gives more 100% every game in and game out. His overall performence is way better than what you guys give him credit for. Plus, he’s the best option we got right now with the limited options we have available.

  9. “I definitely agree that there needs to be better marketing. Heck they were advertising the Brooklyn Cyclones on the radio today! Does MLS headquarters have any say in this? Its unfortunate that the city were MLS is in (the media capitol of the US) there was no mention of yesterday’s game.”

    it’s a GREAT thing they’re DIDN’T advertise yesterday’s game. That was probably one of the worst and most boring soccer matches I’ve seen in my day. It felt like a loss, but we actually won.

    Soccer wasn’t pretty yesterday folks. It resembled a pre-K soccer match with balls up in the air barely two passes in a row… the midfield munching up together. No entertainment whatsoever in the first half. BORING.

    Stammler, wth!!!? please work on your passing.

  10. I definitely agree that there needs to be better marketing. Heck they were advertising the Brooklyn Cyclones on the radio today! Does MLS headquarters have any say in this? Its unfortunate that the city were MLS is in (the media capitol of the US) there was no mention of yesterday’s game.

    Getting back to RBNY, we definitely need a creative midfielder who can get the ball to Jozy and JPA. I’m not sold on Woly and personally, I’d rather see them give a younger guy a chance because if they don’t work out, it gives us time to look for someone in the future.

  11. I’m a Rochester, NY fan and am truly ticked off with MSG and RBNY organization. I was watching the game live on MSG until right after the PK was awarded.

    Then MSG switched off the game to show some dang hockey thing. WTH!!!!! If this is the sort of respect that RBNY gets on MSG, then no wonder that they have so few fans!

    I follow our Rochester Rhinos and they don’t drop game coverage 3/4 of the way through, so why in the world does the NYRB allow this sort of thing to happen! Sure, the game was on another MSG channel. . . I just don’t happen to have that channel, end of story and end of my RBNY fan support!

    Is any one in the RBNY organization listening?!?!?!?!?!?!

  12. To the TFC fan. You only sing when your winning.

    Be thankful that it’s three wins in a row. The loss will be coming in three days.

  13. I don’t think the Red Bulls “controlled the action throughout”. Despite the fact they had more shots, they looked average at best and made quite a few terrible passes. Jon Conway doesn’t manage to save Kamara’s header, the ref doesn’t make a bad call, and it’s a completely different outcome.

  14. Yeah Claudio was tremendous, hive me a break, the team was dormant in the first half with him running the attack. Lets analyze the game for what it is, Reyna is a very limited player, he played OK. THATS ALL.

  15. I agree with your assessment. Also, I thought Seth Stammler played very well … extremely well in the first half and then he started to slip a little in the second half but all in all a very good performance.

  16. hendrix, you seem to be a bunch of limey wannabes. “Shite”?

    Was that video taken before or after you got your asses handed to you at Giants Stadium?

  17. No way they play a 3-5-2 in Toronto; Osorio has already stated multiple times that he will play a 4-4-2 or close variation of it on the road.

    I think we should be happy if we can take a point on Thursday.

  18. I thought stopping the play when Jozy had already broken through and running on goal with no one around him was a much more egregious referee error.

  19. Tim, I looked at it a couple times. It was very close, but the tackle looked JUST outside the box.

    On a breakaway, the ref is always going to be trailing the play, and there was a second defender screening him from the play.

    It was a desperate, last ditch tackle from the defender, but defenders are playing with fire if they cut a foul that close. I can’t fault the ref– if the point was to stop the play without a penalty kick, the defender shouldn’t have waited until the last half foot.

  20. Athan, the new stadium will help a lot I think, but there needs to be some major investment in marketing and media relations and other grass roots efforts to go with it. I know a lot of people who are not even aware that the area has an MLS club.

    I’m a huge fan of the game and I can barely stand to watch the game played on that rubberized pitch. It’s more like pinball than soccer. It takes so much of the skill out of the game. Add to that the awful football lines, the crappy concessions and the inadequate transportation situation and you can see why so many stay away.

  21. “You guys in NY/NJ should be ashamed.”

    Most of the RBNY fans who post here were either at the game, or no longer live in the area.

    You are actually trying, and failing through your stupidity, to insult the people who actually DO go to games. Nice job, idiot.

  22. I would agree about the crowd comment. I am a season ticket holder and for those who think some new stadium is going to fix this attendance problem, they have another thing coming. I don’t know how to fix it, but it is an issue at so many levels and there is no quick fix. It is a truly sad state of affairs.

  23. I’m happy we got the win, but let’s not get too excited. The midfield seems fundamentally broken to me, with any ball that actually gets to the forwards being mostly luck.

    Reyna showed more than he has since the first few games of the 07-08 season, but he still has mountains to climb before he earns that salary.

    This team is missing Dane Richards badly.

  24. On friday, I’m hoping for:






    Reyna is really not a CAM, and Sassano needs to be replaced at right wing at all costs. If Freeman is available, he’d be a perfect replacement for him. Magee isn’t good, but as a CAM he fits a bit better than Reyna ever will; the Red Bulls didn’t really look good today until after Magee came in. Ubi really doesn’t deserve to start, he has been playing terribly this year and while Borman has been poor at times, he’s more consistently good than Ubi lately. Lastly, moving Reyna to defensive midfield allows us to get rid of Stammler from the starting rotation.

    Stammler has NOT played well, he fouls everyone instead of actually taking the ball from them and when he does get the ball, he usually just passes the ball to the defense. Having a right side consisting of Sassano, Stammler, and Leitch means that we are restricted ourselves to bringing the ball up the left side since they will only be successful at handing the ball over to the other team.

    If Freeman isn’t available, I’d suggest playing Leitch as the midfielder with Mendes behind him. Sassano is really that bad.

  25. I agree that the overall quality of play was one of the lowest I’ve seen in a while though RBNY did create a couple of good chances in the first half. Just like against NE we controlled most of the game only this time we didn’t concede a goal on the opposition’s first shot. I thought Reyna had a better than average game for him but to give MOTM to anyone but Altidore is madness. He created the first goal out of nothing with a great run and then scored the second himself. Altidore despite suffering from a severe lack of service made a couple of good runs and the SJ defense let him get going one time too many.

    The most encouraging thing about today was seeing Jozy make the most of his limited opportunities and also doing it without Angel beside him. Wolyniec had a decent game and was his usual self. Like Ives said, he’s a competent third forward. Sassano was very disappointing for me, despite his age and inexperience. Especially in the stoppage time, when his fatigue saw him get beat three times down the left side the last one resulting in a foul that set up Conway’s save. Forget about Leitch… he was so horrible last year that we are now praising him for getting back to mediocrity? Stammler deserves praise as he has finally seemed to make that DM position his own. He’s RBNY’s Matheiu Flamini in that he does alot of running, gets his foot in, shoulder challenges well, wins balls back, and generally stutters the opponents’ attack. My only question is why keep starting Ubiparipovic when he is consistently bad enough to warrant a half-time substitution?

  26. Future Music,

    I know I left VDB off, I was contemplating where to put him. I believe he could be more effective off the bench late in a game, where his crossing and good ball control can be utilized.And actually good point about Freeman and Leitch so maybe take leitch out and put freeman on the right and put VDB as a holding midfielder with stammler.But we can still do better if we get a better defender, cough cough Chris Innes cough cough.

    And Athan,

    this game wasnt one of the worst.This, considering the standard of the MLS, is one of the most complete games.Ives got it rite on the money.

  27. Ives, you know I love you but just got back from the game and as die hard Red Bull fan the midfield SUCKS excluding Reyna today. I agree with Athan Leitch stinks, I think Magee is slow and did nothing except for the penalty shot and Sassano is for the birds. We need creative midfields. Is J osrio (crazy) are you watching my man Guevara score goals! he has a green card and with him and JPA we would be unstoppable. The only reason we one today is because Peggaro came in the second half, one he was in the whole game changed and they would have scored 3 goals. I think DOe and Oscar Etch are much better than WOly he is slow and cannot score unless he is right in front of goal. Its time you write about the Red Bulls bringing in some fast, attack minded Midfielders. Watch the toronto game and after the game we will talk. I hope and pray that I am wrong but lets see. This team is worse than last year and we got no one knew to help JPA. We NEED midfielders and another forward once Jozy leaves or we will be the laughing stock of the MLS.

  28. Great post game look. Keep em coming for every bulls game.

    I love to hate VDB, but since he has been playing so well, why not have him in the lineup on Thursday?

  29. I think you are being a bit too positive Ives. For about 80 minutes, that game was easily the worst played game of professional soccer I have seen in a long time. The ball was in the air 90% of the time, and most of the time it was being played aimlessly to nobody. San Jose was mostly to blame, but the Red Bulls weren’t much better. All 7 of us sitting at the game were bored to tears. It was nice to get a win and all, but the quality of soccer is painfully bad. And people wonder why nobody goes to Red Bulls game. Offer some quality play, and perhaps more people will show up. I am saying this as a season ticket holder who keeps hoping for something better than the mediocrity of Luke Sassano, Chris Leitch, Wolyniec, Magee, etc.

  30. Could it be possible when redbulls are at full strength and healthy that the Line-up will look like this:






    We have two great outside midfielders now with Borman and Richards, and our defense is gelling well. Altidore is, in my mind, starting to figure out how to play without Angel which makes him a better player.

  31. Hi Ives! I just got back from the game and for me Claudio Reyna was MOTM for me… he distributed the ball very well and gave excellent passes 90% of the time… Woly also played very well… not as well as last week but he seems to be gelling w/ Jozy… He basically had two assists as he passed to Jozy for the penal and the give and go goal to Jozy at the end… Mike Magee was an improvement from Sinisa who had a poor game… Stammy also played well but made some dumb giveaways that could have cost us… The Bulls D has played very well the first 4 games… yes even in the loss to Dallas… I hope Goldy isn’t injured too bad… I have been converted and think he is the man at left back…he has played inspired ball. Leitch also had a decent game but he still makes me nervous.. Also let’s not forget that game saving save by Conway on our old friend Jean Phillipe Peguero (the only really challenging shot for San Jose)… and Jozy started out slow but in the second half became a factor….


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