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Red Bulls 1, Real Salt Lake 1: A Look Back


It was an entertaining game on an unforgettable evening in Utah.

The New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake walked away from Thursday night’s 1-1 tie disappointed at not taking three points in a crucial match late in the season, but it was probably the fair result on a night when neither team dominated or created a bunch of chances.

Real Salt Lake controlled the game for longer stretches, but the lack of a dependable goal scorer continues to be an issue yet again. The recently-hot Yura Movsisyan had no magic in his boots on Thursday while Clint Mathis delivered some sharp passes but did little in a forward role in the first half. Robbie Findley and Kenny Deuchar didn’t provide more more in the second half.

The Red Bulls’ issues were familiar refrains. The midfield didn’t create enough chances aside from Dave Van Den Bergh and the defense kept getting caught on counterattacks.

The real question after Thursday night’s game is not whether either of them makes the playoffs, but whether either could really make an impact in the playoffs. Simply making the playoffs would be a big milestone RSL because the club has never reached the post-season, and having a playoff game at Rio Tinto Stadium would be amazing.

Simply making the playoffs wouldn’t mean much to the Red Bulls, and they haven’t shown that they would be able to do much in the playoffs. That said, with Columbus up next on the schedule, the Red Bulls will see first-hand how they would stack up against one of the teams they would be most likely to play in the first round of the playoffs if they qualified.

I will write more about Thursday night’s match, the first at Rio Tinto Stadium, after I get back from Real Salt Lake. For now, please feel free to share your thoughts on the match in the comments section below.


  1. The pitch played ultra-fast in the first half. Simple five yard passes were getting away from both teams making sustained possession very difficult. With so much on the line, defenders were making sure to be extra safe. This resulted in too many balls over the top. In the second half, the field dried off a bit and there was much more possession especially for RSL. New York played for the tie from about the 65th minute on and made it hard for RSL players to get to the service in the box. Kreis’ switch to the 3-5-2 in the second half helped RSL keep the ball a lot more, but he should have brought Deuchar in earlier to try to get to the crosses being whipped in by Wingert and Morales.

  2. I loved the way Mac Kandji played, not afraid to take people on, and aggressive. The RSL goal was one of the ugliest goals I’ve ever seen (no bias even as a RBNY fan). Nevertheless, a goal is a goal.

  3. giaco – the scots not only populated the world, they invented EVERYTHING that has progress the modern world….

    i thought this was common knowledge, did they skip this part in history back in your gradeschool days??

  4. I was at the game last night, the stadium is simply amazing. SO much better than Rice-Eccles for soccer. Unfortunately, the game was crap, but the stadium love more than made up for it. I think that’s why Ives remembers it as a solid game, the environment kinda clouds your judgement!

  5. What Athan said, plus I’d add Stammler and Goldthwaite to your list, though in fairness nobody had a real standout game except Parke and VDB.

    As for the bagpipes, they’re not as lame or irritating as drums IMO. If I had my way, the only instrument allowed at a game would be the human voice.

  6. the reffing needs to be more forceful in taking control of matches and petulent players that now not only get in in their faces, but give them slight pushes….This badgering cannot be tolerated.

    The field looked nice, the game was…well….it was entertaining, that is for sure.

    And OMFG, I didn’t know that mormons were Scotts……what was up with the bagpipe ruining the audion throughout almost the WHOLE flippin’ match?! That wasn’t Scottish, it was just crap!

  7. Why are the Red Bulls so boring to watch?!! They can’t pass the ball to save their lives. Also, where is Mbuta?? The guy showed some great skill in 15 minutes a few games ago, and now he doesn’t even play?!! What is Osorio doing? Until Magee/Leitch find their way out of this team, I won’t be happy with the Red Bulls!

  8. I can’t wait until every team has a soccer specific stadium. So much more enjoyable to watch the game than on the turf at Giants Stadium. Great atmosphere. But same old Red Bulls.

  9. Mark, What empty seats? There were under 100 empty seats at the start of the match, but remember it was a cold night, and a weeknight match that started late in a community full of families. Or it could have been the long lines at the concession stands.

    The second half saw RSL miss out on a half dozen great chances to take the lead, the draw hurt both teams playoff chances.

    The stadium is super, and ticket sales are already rocking. First match sell out, second match under 4,000 tickets remain.

  10. braden —

    those two defensive mids — pietravallo and stammler — were a couple of the most important players on the field (until pietravallo saw red). stammler’s header is what set up vdb’s goal, he had a clearance off the line, and played steady throughout the game.

    sure, he and pietravallo gave the ball away a handful of times, but if there weren’t TWO d-mids, there would have been way more turnovers, and probably a loss.

  11. I think you guys aren’t focusing on the real issue of this game: the debut of the new stadium, which I almost forgot about but then ESPN reminded me with a beautiful close-up shot of someone’s nachos being passed through the crowd.

  12. Not sure what game you were watching Ives but that game was far from entertaining. The constant unforced turnovers made the game embarrassing to watch.

  13. Didn’t watch the whole game, but I really liked Kandji’s hustle in the first 15 minutes. He lost the ball, battled to get it back, lost it again and then got after it once more. I think it took 3 or 4 real players to final get the ball out of danger. Great to see from an attacking player.

  14. Jason Kries needs to teach his team how to pass through midfield. I mean, Beckerman and Morales are both pretty talented on the ball, and with Mathis in there you had three decent passers, what the heck were they doing?

    Credit goes to Parke for really keeping Movsisyan under control, but otherwise I’d say another uninspired performance. Red Bulls have the talent (barely) to win these games, but there’s no clear plan to make it happen. I’d have liked to see Kandji up top with Angel, but in the end the loss was all about a lack of creativity. Starting two defensive mids and relying on Magee to distribute will do that to you.

    We are one result closer to being worse than we were last year, and that’s about all you can say at this point.

  15. I don’t know if the first half was any better (probably not since both goals came off set plays) but that second half was AWFULLLLLLLL. Route one for 43 minutes of the second half with minutes 88 thru 90 being the only entertaining part of that half when both teams decided to pass instead of boot the ball into the other half. It may have entertaining at the stadium but watching it made I eyes bleed. I, for one, am glad to have watched The Office and It’s Always Sunny in Philly instead of that first half.

  16. thought Redbulls did well to dominate the first half (started watching about 20 min in)…. then complete lapse and RSL owned the 2nd…. quite simply, RSL were throwing the ball up in the air and praying that their forwards could do something with it…. very rarely will that work….

    1) stadium looked nice

    2) JPA’s two feet leave the ground tackle shouldve been a card..

    can someone tell me what JPA was so pissed off about after he performed that crap tackle?? he seemed pissed at the defender who slid and got to the ball first….

  17. yes i am RB fan but the city of Salt Lake deserves to be in the playoff. Besides, it’s not like we’ll be doing anything in the playoffs. I want to see Kanji up top.

  18. Wow! The stadium looked great in HD. Rice-Eccles was the worst venue for TV. The awful camera angle and the football lines painted on that concrete surface made matches nearly unwatchable.

    Congratulations to RSL and their fans!


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