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Red Bulls 1, Real Salt Lake 0: A Look Back

Angelbeckerman_isiphotoscom

                                                                                    Photo by ISIphotos.com

Two days have passed, heart rates have returned to normal and all remaining remnants of smoke bombs and nerve-racking suspense have faded into the memory banks, and Saturday’s Western Conference final victory by the Red Bulls over Real Salt Lake still brings a chill as you think about a game not many will forget.

There has been plenty said about the Red Bulls victory and I wanted to go over some of it, while also providing some details of that chilly day in Sandy, Utah. You saw two teams battle bravely, chances missed by inches, free kicks taken with smoke bombs making the 18-yard box look like a war zone, and some of the most exciting drama MLS has ever seen.

No, it wasn’t beautiful. There were no offensive clinics put on, but the beautiful thing about The Beautiful Game is that there is value and beauty in all its forms. The footage from Saturday’s West final won’t be showing in an art gallery any time soon, but you also won’t have an easy time duplicating its drama, suspense and emotion.

Here are some observations and notes from Saturday’s Western Conference final:

The first order of business is this notion that REal Salt Lake played this amazing 90 minutes of beautiful soccer while the REd Bulls played the role of unskilled hacks bunkering for the entire game. That notion is as laughable as it is false.

The game broke down this way. Real Salt Lake started fast, the Red Bulls gained their footing about 20 minutes into the game (after injured midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic left the match) and had as much of the game, if not more of it from the 20th minute to the 65th minute. From that point RSL started to get more possession, pushed numbers forward and created the bulk of its chances as the Red Bulls hunkered down for an incredible final 20 minutes.

Did Real Salt Lake pull off this beautiful display of soccer? Let me start by saying that RSL is a talented and exciting team that should be good for a while. All that said, RSL’s attacking approach through most of the first 60 to 65 minutes consisted of booting long balls to Yura Movsisyan in the hope that he would be able to beat somebody and work the magic that has been working so well for the past month.

When did Route One soccer become the beautiful game? You’ve got me on that one, but the revisionist historians have taken that last 20 minutes of frenetic, everything including the kitchen sink soccer by RSL and spread it over the full 90 minutes. That was never the case. If anything, the Red Bulls were the team more interested in passing, combining and trying to create in the middle portion of the match. RSL got caught in a rut of long ball that helped create some chances, and draw some free kicks, but produced very little in the way of truly stylish soccer.

RSL did have longer stretches of possession, but the creativity of players such as Javier Morales and Clint Mathis went underutilized as RSL spent far too long waiting for Movsisyan to make something happen. It is certainly interesting that this has gone largely ignored. You would think that criticizing a losing team for what it didn’t do what make more sense than critizing a winning team for what it did do.

As for Movsisyan, his combination of strength, speed and skill is impressive, but the penchant for diving was out of control on Saturday. Perhaps his recent hot streak had him thinking he would get every call, but he hit the ground entirely too often. He needs to learn how to pick his spots.

And not to get too critical about Jason Kreis’ lineup decision but it is a fair question to ask why he wouldn’t simply start Robbie Findley alongside Movsisyan if the team’s attack was going to focus almost entirely on long balls. The Movsisyan-Findley tandem created a boat-load of chances when these teams met at Giants Stadium, with only poor finishing preventing RSL from running away with a game they wound up losing.

The Red Bulls certainly began shutting things down a bit too early, resorting to booting everything away at about the 65th minute mark, but it seems a bit misguided to criticize a road team for doing everything it could to protect a second-half lead. Style points are for gymnastics and Dancing With the Stars. Playoff soccer is about winning and the result. RSL gave its all, but did not score a goal.

And yes, the Red Bulls won ugly, but it is an interesting dynamic at play when such a clear-cut underdog, a real-deal Cinderella Story is criticized instead of embraced. Could it be the fact that its a New York team? I’m really trying to think of the last underdog to make a deep playoff run in any sport and not become a favorite of the neutral fan.

Now, onto the actual match-day highlights:

Juan Carlos Osorio and Dema Kovalenko finally talked face-to-face and it looks like the beef between the two has been squashed. The two spoke before Saturday’s game and cleared the air. After the game, Kovalenko walked down the hallway outside the locker rooms and crossed paths with Osorio again. The two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. One Red Bulls player was walking by during this scene, and not knowing that the two had resolved their differences earlier in the day, joked that he wasn’t sure if he was going to have to break up a fight or not.

If you read any number of Dema Kovalenko features last week, you might have heard that Kovalenko has purchased a dog. No, not a big, mean dog, but a small toy dog. An RSL source tells me the dog recently suffered a broken leg. No word on whether Ronnie O’Brien had been in the Salt Lake City area recently.

Osorio gave Jason Kreis a big hug after the final whistle on Saturday. The two coaches have developed a strong friendship, with Osorio serving as a bit of a mentor for his younger counterpart. For all the drama of Saturday’s game, you could tell by the smiles on their faces as they shook hands after the match that there the two coaches like and respect each other.

RSL owner Dave Checketts has had his share of sporting successes and failures (Knick fans can insert jokes here), but you could definitely tell that Saturday night’s loss was a tough one for him. He stood with misty red eyes as he gave Osorio a heart-felt congratulatory handshake after the match.

While there were plenty of RSL attacking players who could be criticized for a variety of misses, defenders Chris Wingert and Nat Borchers deserve plenty of credit for what were strong performances for both. They each played a role in containing Red Bulls standouts Juan Pablo Angel and Dane Richards.

RSL fans will eventually wake up this off-season and realize that their team is in pretty good shape. With young standouts in every area of the field, and a designated player slot that still hasn’t been used, RSL will head into 2009 looking like a serious contender to challenge Houston as the top team in the Western Conference (the regular season Western Conference, not the bizarro New York is now in the West Western Conference).

Jorge Rojas was very gracious after the match, acknowledging that while he wasn’t happy to not have played in recent matches, that he respect Osorio’s decision to go with other players and couldn’t argue with the fact that Luke Sassano and Sinisa Ubiparipovic had been playing very well lately. When Rojas came off the bench and gave a strong and honest 70 minutes of hard work and sharp passes (including one beauty that Dane Richards should have finished) it became clear that he hadn’t let his recent benching cause him to lose focus.

One of the funnier scenes after the match was watching Dave Van Den Bergh break into a version of John Wolyniec’s take on the Michael Jackson Thriller dance. No word yet on what goal celebrations they might break out for MLS Cup.

For those wondering where the Red Bulls recent defensive form stands in MLS playoff history, the Red Bulls’ consecutive road shutouts in the playoffs marked only the second time in league history that feat had been accomplished. The 1998 Chicago Fire also posted consecutive road shutouts on its way to an MLS Cup title.

That’s all for now. Be sure to tune in the rest of this week for extended coverage of MLS Cup. I will be heading to California on Wednesday and will be looking forward to meeting some West Coast SBI Mafia members.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this post in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. Interesting that RSL’s attack devolved into booting long balls over the midfield to the forwards, as that’s exactly what seemed to happen with Houston. Perhaps it has something to do with NYRB’s defensive alignment…?

    As far as not jumping onboard the RedBull Cinderella bandwagon? Yes, it’s because they’re New York. Screw the East Coast Yankee Guidos! Go C’bus 😉

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  2. Wrong. RSL failed to dominate the only statistical category that matters: goals scored. New York beat them in that category and won the game. And that means that RSL still has never beaten the Red Bulls.

    Aesthetically pleasing is a criteria for judging diving, gymnastics and synchronized swimming – not soccer.

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  3. What does RSL’s all time record against NY have to do with the outcome of Saturday’s game? Nothing! You’re saying somehow RSL’s record in 2005 against NY affected the outcome on Saturday? I think RSL’s overplay play was more aesthetically pleasing; they dominated every statistical category, and therefore were more deserving of a result.

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  4. I haven’t read everything written about this, but as a neutral observer I have some thoughts:

    First of all congrats to NY for the win. I, like many, assumed they wouldn’t beat Houston and then assumed RSL would win, but they found a way to beat both.

    I just re-watched the game after reading your post, and I think it’s clear that RSL dominated the play. With the exception of the first 10 minutes, and especially in the last 25 minutes they dominated possession and shots.

    I’m not sure that I’d say Salt Lake played beautiful soccer – that is subjective. But they did dominate possession and shots – that is fact. However, as often happens it soccer, it comes down to finishing. NY did, RSL didn’t – end of story.

    It seems a bit homerish to deny that RSL dominated play. That was clear to this neutral observer, and I assume that the same goes for most.

    I’ll be excited to see the NY/Cbs matchup. It should be interesting. Good luck to you.

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  5. There really is no best team in MLS. During the entire season any team is capable of beating or achieving a tie with any other team at one point or another.

    Compare the results of the team with the best MLS season record (Columbus) with the team with the worst (San Jose). During the season, Columbus managed to beat or tie every team in the league at least once, but so did San Jose. And this is just within the regular MLS season and doesn’t count cup matches or the pre or post seasons.

    Even lowly San Jose managed to beat the Supporters’ Shield winners once this season, and they even managed that feat by beating Columbus 2-0 at Crew Stadium.

    And for anyone who says that RSL deserved to win, consider that RSL has never beaten New York Metros or Red Bulls ever.

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  6. Christoph-

    I watched on TV from sunny NJ. The camera was trained on Leitch. I never saw the ankle. I saw him immediately grab his leg with a cramp. If I am not mistaken, wasn’t this the one where RSL fans threw smoke bombs at an injured player? Or was that only done for free kicks?

    Maybe the smoke clouded your view. Maybe the TV camera missed something. Maybe Chris Leitch was banged up. Maybe he was faking. The only person who truly knows is Chris Leitch.

    Let’s assume that he was faking (which I don’t think is true). You are calling Ives out for not writing about one player who tried to waste time. This is done constantly in games. I don’t approve of it, but the safeguard is that the ref is the only offical time judge. According to you, this player tried to waste 2 minutes. The “Man with no sideburns” was attempting to dive to draw penalties for free kicks and PKs. As far as the outcome of the game, one is a minor offense, and the other has the potential to be game changing.

    Additionally, I am sorry for being a little angry in my previous post, I just don’t know why everyone is raining on my parade. After reading a few posts from RSL fans, I take them out of my SBI MLS whiners list (Houston and Chicago are still there).

    -Mike

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  7. Ives,

    In the comments of another article on this match, you scolded RSL fans for having a skewed perspective of the game because they are fans who were at the game and were caught up in the emotions. Couldn’t the same be said of you, a fan of New York who was in attendance at the highly emotional game.

    I give credit to New York for capitalizing on a bad defensive error, and for using everything at their disposal (including simulated injury time wasting) to protect their lead. Salt Lake was unlucky not to equalize, but the fact is they didn’t.

    Good luck to New York in MLS Cup, perhaps they have another trick up their collective sleeve. I will be rooting for Columbus, who have been the class of the league all year.

    -Jesse

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  8. Mike,

    Let’s see….I was sitting in the section directly behind where Leitch’s display took place. The first time around he went down grabbing his ankle. Then every time after that it was a cramp. So no, not making it up.

    By the way, I am not trying to whine. New York deserved to win because they finished their chances and RSL didn’t. I am not arguing that fact. I just think that it is a little silly for Ives to dedicate an entire paragraph to Yura diving and not even mention the fact that Leitch wasted at least half of the 4 minutes of stoppage time.

    So in conclusion….unless you had a better live view than I did….don’t tell me what I did or didn’t see.

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  9. Ives,

    What did I mean by suit your needs? If you look at your posts since the NYRBs win, I see a distinct lack of objectivity in your writing and a pandering to NYRB fans. Now you can chalk it up to me being an RSL fan, but clearly other posters have noticed also who claim to be neutral.

    I see in your writing the overwhelming need to justify the NYRBs appearance in the finals as something more than having gotten lucky and won ugly. As part of this, you claim that RSL played ugly soccer for the game and that the two teams played on even terms from the 20th to the 65th minute.

    If you go back and watch the game, you will see that RSL midfield throughout a lot of the game strung some nice passing sequences together and put themselves in a position to score (which they did not take advantage of). Before the goal, and after the goal, except for brief periods of time, RSL dominated the midfield. NYRBs midfield only tried to clog up the play, disrupt the flow and make weak and unsuccessful attempts to string some passes together. This was BEFORE the goal, not a result of them laying back and protecting the lead after the goal. If you measure from 20 minutes to the 65th minute any objective measure of who has the best of play (time of possession, % time in what half, shots, etc.) it will come out in RSLs favor. The only thing during that time that did not come out in RSL’s favor was having scored.

    And to denigrate people for saying that NYRB did not deserve to go to final is to ignore how the term “deserve” is commonly used in soccer discussions. Most often, when discussing what team “deserved” to win, it comes down to 2 things:

    1) A team was robbed by bad refereeing decisions, who would have probably otherwise won (this was not the case in this game).

    2) A team that had more initiative and the vast majority of the run of play but did not end up winning because of bad luck. (There is certainly a valid argument for this).

    The main reason that the NYRBs won were (in no particular order of importance):

    1) Luck (which is a valid part of the game) = 3 goals that could have gone in.

    2) The hot goaltending of their goalkeeper (who saved 2 more for sure goals, Movsisyen and Russell’s shots that were going in,on GREAT saves).

    3) A great efficiency in converting scoring chances to goals.

    There is nothing wrong with this, those things are supremely important and are often enough to pull out games in soccer. But to then try to say that the NYBBs, in addition, played RSL even up in every other aspect and that they were as aesthetically pleasing is just patently false.

    And to whine about why they aren’t being “embraced” because they are “clear cut underdogs” and “Cinderella story” is as laughable as calling the Yankees that in any year, and appears to be pandering to NYRB supporters. NYRBs have a much higher payroll than RSL or just about any other MLS team. They can afford, unlike RSL or most other MLS teams, to have 2 DP’s (that they blew one slot does not make them worthy of support). That’s why more people don’t buy into the “Cinderella Story”. They SHOULD be winning! Why would any neutral observer root for a team that plays ugly soccer? Columbus is the Cinderella story this year.

    Look at your post crowing about Lala’s predictions. Don’t you think it would have been more enlightening and interesting if you were to have analyzed what his reasons were and show how he was misguided or ignorant of certain things that led to his wrong predictions. Or maybe he was right in his underlying reasons but something else came into play (I don’t know, I didn’t see his comments) Instead, what it looked like to me was a fan chortling and having a commupance against someone they don’t like. The line between a reporter’s objectivity and a fan blog in a lot of your writing this last week has been blurred. That’s fine if that’s where you are going with it (a blog by a NYRBs supporter for his supporters) but again, I think you strive for something more (and up to this week have largely succeeded).

    And I continue to insist (as is my right and the right for people to disagree) that aesthetics and style are important in soccer, especially in the MLS at this point. Fans are not going to continue to watch games, (especially if it is not their hometeam which is the basis of TV contracts and the leagues economic health) if the soccer is boring and defensive. The league has got push itself as a league of attacking soccer that win lose or draw is fun to watch, instead of as one NYRBs poster put “like a bad root canal” or something to that effect. Fans will only continue to go if they are entertained, not sitting through 0-0, 1-0 snoozefests of bad, defensive soccer. This can be done, partly through refereeing decisions and partly through all the owners deciding that they are going to play a certain style and choosing coaches with that philosophy.

    Refereeing: the league (whether FIFA follows or not) should totally cut down on grabbing and clutching in the box on free kicks and corners. This would create many more scoring opportunities. It should cut down on “professional fouls” which end up cutting off great scoring opportunities and flow of play. They should stop diving (and yes, RSL did WAY too much of that). And they should stop the fake injuries. There are relatively minor adjustment to the rules of the game (if you get a yellow card, you sit out for 15 minutes, if play has to stop to cart you off the field you don’t get to reenter for 10 minutes) that would open up the game and make it more attractive, much as hockey has done to stop a lot of the clutching and grabbing. (Mandating fields be wide, including RSLs, is another).

    Anyways, Ives, as a longtime reader and poster and overall a supporter of your blog, those are my (admittedly biased 🙂 observations).

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  10. Christoph-

    I am not Chris Leitch, so I don’t know if he was faking or not.

    I do know that it was always a cramp, though.

    Where did you get ankle injury from?

    Are you just making things up?

    The reason that soccer isn’t big in the US is that soccer fans tend to whine. Take a loss with a little integrity. I didn’t expect Houston fans to act like this, but they did. And I certainly didn’t expect RSL fans, who have had so much to be happy about this year, to join the pity party, but I guess I was wrong.

    Columbus fans- Either way it goes, lets treat each other with a little eastern conference respect.

    -Mike

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  11. Ives,

    You forgot to mention in your post the absolutely disgraceful display from Chris Leitch in stoppage time. He wasted 2 out of 4 minutes of stoppage time with an “injury” and then limped around the field on the opposite leg after the game was over.

    I mean, I understand that you are a Red Bulls fan and all but if you are going to dis Movsisyan for diving a few times in the game (which he did) then you ought to at least acknowledge that Leitch did his own fair share of “acting” as well.

    Strange how an ankle injury can turn into a calf cramp so quickly….

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  12. Ives sez: “it is an interesting dynamic at play when such a clear-cut underdog, a real-deal Cinderella Story is criticized instead of embraced. Could it be the fact that its a New York team?”

    Juan-John sez: A real-deal Cinderella Story would have had (at least) a .500 regular season. (I say this as a DCU fan, who if they had made the playoffs and been at this point would definitely have a funny taste in my mouth as I celebrate.)

    Reply
  13. Camjam et al. –

    I still don’t get it. It’s like you are saying “Yeah, NY did win, but it should have been RSL.”

    Is this what you are saying?

    And, honestly, congrats to RSL for getting to the second round.

    -Mike

    Reply
  14. What happened to the refs are against us excuse?? oh yea you just suck haha. been waiting for the metros to get a trophy for sometime now im still in shock =] …so yea RSL fans shush you lost you own conference enough said

    btw the crew are garbage Red Bull is going to dominate ..i’ll be waiting for Cepero’s second goal of the season, good thing we got rid of Conway =]

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  15. I’m a neutral and was pulling for the Red Bulls for the good of the league. But, Ives, come on, you are going way over the top with your superlatives. That game was not that entertaining and I’ve seen way better MLS playoff soccer than that. I was really looking forward to Dane Richards taking on guys. Instead, he was tripping over the ball. JPA…was he in the game? Invisible. Again, I like those players and their magic, but they brought nothing on Sat night. Maybe it was the altitude.

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  16. Horrible take and reaction to the game. Were you watching the same game as the rest of us? I understand you are a huge Red Bulls fan but be honest with yourself. Lying doesn’t make the situation better.

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  17. Perfect Mobido.

    Ives, we still love the site. Just some of us disagree with your opinion on the proceedings of the game, as it is clear you disagree with ours. I think I speak for many RSL fans when I say we loved our team, how they played, and are excited for next year.

    I just believe that many RSL fans feel short-changed by many on the site by many NY fans who try to make the game for seem for NY more than it was: a great take on a defensive lapse, some extreme bunkering, Great goalkeeping, and terrible luck for RSL.

    Congrats to NY

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  18. I don’t get this lack of appreciation for the Cinderella story thing – there’s an article with Cinderella in the headline by Lewis from Big Apple Soccer on the MLS site, and Canales put the Cinderella motif in her story on GoalDotCom! That’s as close to an establishment story line as you get in soccer. The peons who come and post on this website, like myself, are nobodies who will not be writing the first or even the third draft of history.

    And I have to say I agree with A.S. I have seen NO ONE say that RSL played beautiful soccer or even ‘secksy’ football (sorry for the spamfilter misspelling). I HAVE seen people say that RSL dominated possession and pushed the play. I didn’t see the game so I can’t say, but the final tally was 1-0 RBNY.

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  19. Ben, my point about RSL fans waking up was that at some point they will stop thinking about Saturday and step back and realize what a great season it was. That’s all.

    And very fair point about the struggles of RSL as a team for the first three years. I didn’t mean to ignore that terrible period if time. I apologize if I made it seem like RSL fans have never suffered. I have certainly written enough about the Ellinger years to know how bad it was.

    As for my view of the match, I just don’t see how the Red Bulls were dominated from the 20th minutes to the 65th minute. Just don’t see it. I watched the game over and I saw a team actually trying to string passes together and attack when the chance came to do so. They didn’t look like world-beaters, and I would never say they dominated any portion of the match, but they were at least as good as RSL for that period of time, or both sides were equally as bad. Whatever way you want to say it. Heck, after the goal, RSL looked thoroughly stunned and didn’t do much the rest of the first half.

    And Hincha, you can disagree with me if you want, but to say that I’m “re-writing history to suit my own needs” is a bit disappointing. Why exactly would I bother if I didn’t believe it Tim? What purpose would it serve at this point? The game ended already. RSL showed a lot of heart on the night and have a great future, but I just think some people’s view of Saturday’s game is distorted. That’s my honest opinion.

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  20. Thanks, Ives. I’ve been amazed by the lack of support for the NYRB under-dog cinderella story, too. Good to read about it. The Red Bulls’ team and fans have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. We’re the Western Champs and psyched about it. Let’s go Red Bulls!

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  21. Ben..what you feel as an RSL fan multiply that by 13 and you will feel how every NY fan feels.

    A lot of us are just getting fed up with the cry babies who just wont let us enjoy our VERY FIRST championship game.

    This whole pseudo-football thing is getting out of hands, a lot of comments here pretend like they know everything that football should be about. If they truly knew then they would understand that LUCK is just part of the beautiful game.

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  22. To do defend Ives a bit, I think it would be fair to say that from someone not in Salt Lake who can only read the papers and the blog it would be easy to think, so many people, especially on our official blog complain about so many things and players. I mean after the match you had people talking about how Yura and Robbie Russell are terrible. Granted that is not everyone, but I think a lot of fans expected a lot and a lot of casual fans didn’t pay enough attention to realize how good the team is. Also, I can see it being hard to stay objective.

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  23. Ives,

    I think what’s bugging a lot of RSL fans that visit your site is that you have this very clear paternalistic overtone towards us in a lot of your writing. Case in point: “RSL fans will eventually wake up…” As if most of us feel like we have a crap team. On the contrary, I think most of us realize that we have a good team and are very upbeat about the future. Another case in point, from the last article about luck: (I’m paraphrasing) “Before RSL fans complain about bad luck, maybe they should realize that RBNY has suffered through 12 years…” I’m not trying to say you guys haven’t suffered, because you have. But it hasn’t exactly been a cup of tea to be an RSL fan either. In fact, according to Climbing the Ladder, RSL has the worst 3- and 4-season records ever in MLS, and will most likely have the worst 5-season record after next year as well. We only haven’t suffered through 12 years because we haven’t existed that long. So we really don’t want to hear this “Chin up, lads, once you’ve suffered like we have then maybe you can win a game you don’t deserve to win.” I’m not saying that RSL deserved to win, because they didn’t, but if you could stop with the condescending overtone it would be appreciated.

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  24. I am soooo sick of the people who wish that we would just form our own EPL just so they can feel adequate. GO AWAY!! This is our league and we should support it. Playoffs are in all of our sports and no one seems to complain. I love the intensity, and for those of you who say the regular season doesn’t matter you can’t get there if you don’t win.

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  25. lol the haters are still here…..jeez make it sound like Derby just beat Manchester Utd.

    RSL record is almost as bad as NY, I dont see what the big deal is with NY winning away but playing playoff soccer.

    if you’re all crying so much then maybe you should follow baseball.

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  26. Actually, I thought Rojas was largley invisible when he came on, and he doesn’t contribute much to defense. I would still prefer Ubi who works harder and plays as a 2-way midfielder.

    No one has mentioned this yet, but RSL didn’t earn a single yellow in the game. In a must win situation, winner-take-all game, I would think they would show some more intensity and earn a few yellows. I think that RSL did not play with enough intensity to earn the win.

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  27. The game I saw was dominated by RSL, save for one defensive blunder that the Red Bulls were able to capitalize on.

    I’m actually rooting for New York now, if they win then the 2005 Galaxy won’t be the flukiest cup winners anymore.

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  28. Ives,

    NYRBs did NOT have equal run of play from the 20th minute to the 60th minute. You’re rewriting history to suit your needs.

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  29. Yeah, not really. I think you are remembering the game a little favorably from NY’s point of view-both in the time you suggest NY enjoyed an advantage and their level of play throughout.

    They did what it took to win…and very little else. Cepero had an incredible game. As did the goal posts.

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  30. the DP links on the side aren’t working for the Offside Rules but you can go straight to the site itself http://www.theoffsiderules.blogspot.com

    and i just watched the game and while NYRB did bunker in too early (though there were some runs that should have been finished better) RSL wasn’t playing anything close to beautiful football either.

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  31. Great article Ives. As many have already said, ‘its why we come back’

    I’ve read numerous fans say RSL deserved to win and RBNY did not. In reality RSL had about a dozen chances to score and could not finish, no way they deserved.

    As the home team with the better record they were in fact favored to win but that does not translate into deserving.

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  32. I been a Red bulls Fan from day One…. Everytime we lose i was the one Screaming and blaming everyone… But i been thanking everyone….since Saturday night…. I still feel that i been dreaming.

    Yeeeaaaa We are the Metro….

    Mighty Mighty Metro!!!

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  33. Yeah, it was a pretty ugly game to watch. Why did RSL insist on playing long balls the whole game instead of making the play go through Beckerman, who’s one of their best players? I mean, you would think after the first 10 long balls to Movsisyan didn’t work out, they would try something else. It was frustrating to watch, and don’t even get me started on their horrible finishing. I’m glad New York won.

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  34. Not to get off topic, but did “The Offside Rules” site go down for good?

    It was acting crazy this weekend, and today it is the basic GoDaddy.com site…odd.

    Go NYRB.

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  35. A.S., you ignorant slut. Have you even been reading this site the past few days? All we keep hearing from clowns posting on here is how the Red Bulls played crap soccer and Real Salt Lake dominated and was the only team “trying” to play. What a load of horse crap.

    RSL fans wouldn’t know good soccer if it punched them in the face.

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  36. It’ll be a great game im sure of it. I dont know if the red bulls will win hell im not even sure who to cheer for. If you want the Red Bulls to win leave a 1 at the and of your comment if you want columbus to win, leave a 2 at the end.

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  37. “Did Real Salt Lake pull off this beautiful display of soccer?”

    Wow, that’s quite a straw man you are attacking, Ives. Has anyone actually said that RSL put on a “beautiful display of soccer”? Seems rather unlikely to me.

    In my view, BOTH teams played awful soccer. It was a badly played game by both side. Sloppy, unskillful, and tactless – by both sides. Exciting and dramatic, surely, but bad soccer. RSL may have looked better than Red Bulls – but only by that comparison.

    I do agree, BTW, with many of your specific comments, such as not starting Findlay.

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