New York Red Bulls vs. FC Barcelona: Matchnight Commentary

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Barcelona: Matchnight Commentary

European Soccer

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Barcelona: Matchnight Commentary

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Good evening folks. We’re less than an hour away from the Red Bulls-FC Barcelona friendly and we have a pretty good crowd.

I will be providing running commentary throughout the match so feel free to follow along here. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action:

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FINAL– Barcelona 6, Red Bulls 2. And yes, it was that ugly, although there were a few positive moments for the Red Bulls. On the bright side, nobody got hurt.

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89th minute– Boyens on for Goldthwaite.

And if you’re wondering why on earth Angel and Rojas are still in the game, so am I. Although to be fair, Angel has really only been out for a nice jog since he’s barely touched the ball tonight. Rojas I’d be more worried about.

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84th minute- GOAL BARCELONA. And it’s Pedro with the finish off a Suarez cross. Too easy. Barcelona 6, Red Bulls 2.

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82nd minute– You can really appreciate the quality of Barcelona when you see Puyol, regarded in most European circles as a brutish and uncompromising central defender, moving into a wide midfield role and showing off enough skill to create that goal.

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80th minute- GOAL BARCELONA. Carles Puyol plays the playmaker role, setting up Jeffren Suarez for a classy finish that left Patterson-Sewell hopeless. Barcelona 5, Red Bulls 2.

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76th minute– A Red Bulls fan just won a raffle, not sure if it was a drawing to be the new starting forward for the Red Bulls.

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75th minute– I know Red Bulls fans love killing Chris leitch but he hasn’t been bad tonight.

Ubiparipovic with a wide-open look that he sends wide.

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72nd minute– Ubiparipovic in for Van Den Bergh.

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70th minute– Yes, these are a lot of Barca subs but the Red Bulls are playing well against a good set of Barca players. Considering Barcelona has scored at least five goals in three previous friendlies, I don’t think they’re going to be happy with four.

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68th minute– Tonight’s attendance is 38,152. Embarrassingly slightly less than expected.

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66th minute– And yes, Barcelona just brought a $25 million signing off the bench. That’s what Caceres cost ‘Les Cules’. Slightly more than the Red Bulls are paying for Gabriel Cichero.

Luke Sassano is on for Mendes.

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63rd minute– I’ve been saying that Rojas reminds me of 2000/2001 Clint Mathis and that run was definitely reminiscent of that Mathis.

Martin Caceres and Jeffren Suarez come in for Marquez and Henry.

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60th minute- GOAL RED BULLS. JORGE ROJAS with a beautiful run and finds Jeff Parke (yes, Jeff Parke) who slides it back. Rojas blasts the loose ball into the net) Barcelona 4, Red Bulls 2.

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56th minute– Patterson-Sewell with a couple of pretty good saves. Making a good impression in his first-team debut.

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51st minute– Leitch just back-heeled it to nobody, then ran back and mauled Henry to get the ball back. Surprised not to see a call there, but I think referee Kevin Stott is being nice (for once) to the Red Bulls.

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49th minute– Not a bad test for Cichero’s Red Bulls debut, having to deal with Bojan.

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47th minute– Six new players for Barcelona:

IN– Gerard Pique, Yaya Toure, Sergio Bus, Eider, Bojan Krkic, Pedro

OUT– Alves, Iniesta, Hleb, Xavi, Keyta and Eto’o

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46th minute– Wholesale subs for Barcelona. Bojan Krkic is in the match.

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HALFTIME– Caleb Patterson-Sewell is in for Jon Conway. Look for Cichero to play in central defense and Goldthwaite moving to the left back, with Van Den Bergh moving into midfield.

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HALFTIME– Cichero is coming in for Borman it looks like.

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HALFTIME– We’re about to start the second half and the Red Bulls look to be keeping most of the same squad. I don’t see Borman out there.

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HALFTIME– And then there was that Chivas de Guadalajara match, which finished 5-2 in favor of Barcelona on Sunday. So that’s a total of four exhibitions before tonight and Barcelona outscored its opponents 19-3. Not bad.

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HALFTIME– Barcelona 4, New York Red Bulls 1. An absolute clinic from Barcelona. The Red Bulls just have no answer for Barca’s sharp passing and deadly finishing. To be fair, Barcelona also smashed Scottish clubs Hibernian (6-0) and Dundee United (5-0). Fiorentina faired slightly better in their meeting (3-1) but Barcelona still won handily.

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45th minute– I have to say that Leitch hasn’t done horribly against Eto’o on the left side. The rest of the defense? Not so much.

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44th minute- GOAL BARCELONA. Samuel Eto’o with a beautiful dribble in the area. He collects a Hleb pass, hits two perfect touches before beating Conway. BEAUTIFUL

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42nd minute– Rojas has looked very good today. He’s the most comfortable player on the ball for the Red Bulls, the only one who looks willing to take on a Barcelona defender (Angel would if he actually got the ball).

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40th minute– CONWAY STOPS ETO’O. Nice save and the rebound hits the right post.

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40th minute– Danleigh Borman has not looked good at all today. I know there are plenty of bad performances but he has looked zoned out. Might be rookie nerves.

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39th minute– I’m not sure what Leitch just did to Henry but I’m sure it’s illegal in the south.

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37th minute– Eto’o is back in the match.

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32nd minute– Eto’o is down.

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32nd minute– There are three class players on the field for the Red Bulls: Rojas, Van Den Bergh and Angel. Stammler looked class on that goal, finishing off a nice chance after Valdes spills a Van Den Bergh cross.

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30th minute- GOAL RED BULLS. STAMMLER POUNCES and the ESC is going nuts.

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29th minute– So let’s think of the positives we can draw from this performance?

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27th minute– Wow, Barca comes close again and this is painful to watch. Even Red Bulls must be laughing, although it’s to keep from crying.

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25th minute– The Red Bulls look like traffic cones out there.

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24th minute- GOAL Barcelona. Marquez flicks an Iniesta cross past Conway. 3-0 Barcelona

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22nd minute– This game has a similiar look to the Nash charity game a month ago. Henry’s team dominated then, and it’s dominating now.

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21st minute– Juan Pablo Angel looks thoroughly bored right now. It wouldn’t shock me of he left the match soon. He’s all alone and nobody can get the ball to him. We knew this would be a mismatch but this is ugly so far.

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20th minute– Wow, Barcelona unlocked the Red Bulls defense with ease on the strength of two passes. Barcelona 2, Red Bulls 0.

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18th minute -GOAL ETO’O. Great finish off a great pass from Xavi. Perfect play

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17th minute- GOAL XAVI!!!! Nice header. Dani Alves with the beautiful cross in.

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17th minute– Angel with the sharp centering pass just before he remembered he’s the lone forward.

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16th minute– Rojas with a nice run but loses the ball

Henry has a goal ruled offside. Good call.

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12th minute– Parke with a great play to stop Eto’o on an attempted sharp turn in the box. Play began with Pietravallo losing the ball.

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11th minute– Red Bulls are in a 4-2-3-1 formation right now, not that the five-man midfield is getting much possession.

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9th minute– It is thoroughly impressive to see Barcelona just hit laser after laser pass. Nice work by Mendes to deny Eto’o

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8th minute– Van Den Bergh nearly finds Borman on the back-post. Red Bulls corner.

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7th minute– The Red Bulls actually had possession in the attacking half, until Borman shot/passed it to Barcelona that is.

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6th minute– The ball did cross midfield, but no, the Red Bulls haven’t possed it there yet.

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5th minute– No, the ball hasn’t crossed midfield yet.

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4th minute– The Danleigh Borman as forward experiment is interesting to say the least, seeing it against Barcelona is shocking.

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3rd minute– Leitch does well against Henry.

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2nd minute– Yes, Mendes just won a challenge against Xavi.

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1st minute– And we’re off

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PRE-GAME– We’re about to kickoff.

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PRE-GAME– Here are the benches for the game:

BARCELONA– Jose Manuel Pinto, Martin Caceres, Gerard Pique, Yaya Toure, Marc Crosas, Sergio Busquets, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Bojan Krkic, Pedro, Jeffren Suarez.

RED BULLS– Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Andrew Boyens, Hunter Freeman, John Gilkerson, Diego Jimenez, Gabriel Cichero, David Roth, Luke Sassano, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Gordon Kljestan, Mike Magee, Chris Megaloudis.

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PRE-GAME– The game is being played on grass that was layed especially for this match. Unfortunately, the grass will be gone by the sunday match against D.C. United.

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PRE-GAME– For those who hadn’t heard, FC Barcelona was planning to address the Lionel Messi Olympic situation at a press conference today but it was cancelled after the club failed to get a hold of Messi (word is he was sleeping). No word yet on what the club is planning to do. (I’m willing to bet good money that Messi plays in the entire Olympic Games.)

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PRE-GAME– Eto’o, Henry and Hleb vs. Goldthwaite, Parke and Leitch. Are you ready for that match-up?

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PRE-GAME– FC Barcelona lineup

—Hleb——–Eto’o———-Henry—-

————Xavi—–Iniesta————-

——————Keita——————-

Abidal—–Puyol—–Marquez—-Alves

——————Valdes——————

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PRE-GAME- Red Bulls lineup

————–Borman——–Angel—————

———Rojas——————-Stammler————

————Pietravallo——Mendes——————-

VDB——-Goldthwaite——Parke————–Leitch

————————Conway————————-

Newly-signed defender Gabriel Cichero is in uniform but starting out on the bench.

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