It is one hell of a night for a stadium finale.
The New York Red Bulls are playing host to Toronto FC tonight in the regular season finale for both and the final soccer game at Giants Stadium. New York fans might feel some sense of nostalgia as this long-time home for soccer closes, but TFC fans only care about one thing. Seeing their team make the playoffs for the first time.
Mother Nature isn't exactly cooperating, as heavy rains and thunderstorms pelt the area. Tonight's kickoff has already been pushed back to 7:55pm.
I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please 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 (Commentary is after the jump):
FINAL- That's all for me tonight. Thanks for following along tonight and please feel free to share your thoughts on tonight's match in the comments section below. Good night.
FINAL– There are a ton of people still here, watching the ceremony. You can tell that a lot of people came tonight to say goodbye to the stadium.
FINAL– The Red Bulls are honoring Juan Pablo Angel, Mike Petke and Albert Celades in a post-match ceremony. Angel has really cemented himself as the best player in team history this year. Consider that right now he has 12 goals for the season, good for a tie for third in MLS. That's incredible considering the nightmare season the club has had, and considering he missed five games due to a concussion and back issues. He will go into 2010 with 45 career goals.
FINAL– Real Salt Lake is leading Colorado, 2-0, which is a result that would eliminate Toronto FC from the playoffs if it holds up.
FINAL- Red Bulls 5, Toronto FC 0. What a thrashing by the Red Bulls against a TFC team that came in needing a win to help its playoff push. Now, Toronto FC will have to pray that D.C. United, New England, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake all lose in order to make the playoffs.
94th minute– Matthew Mbuta scores the penalty and becomes the last player to score a goal at Giants Stadium. Not who most would have expected for that distinction. Red Bulls 5, Toronto FC 0.
93rd minute– PENALTY. Serioux takes down Kandji. Matthew Mbuta will take it.
92nd minute– Albert Celades is taken out of the match to a nice round of applause. He is retiring after tonight's match.
91st minute– Three minutes left in Giants Stadium soccer history (And possibly TFC's season).
90th minute- Juan Pablo Angel comes off the field to a nice applause. Nice move by Richie Williams.
88th minute– It's starting to sink in for me that this is my last game here at Giants Stadium. After covering more than 200 games here I have to say I'm going to miss this place, miss my seat at midfield in the press box what seems like a mile away from the field. This place was a terrible place to play soccer, but it was still home for so many years.
84th minute– Tonight's attendance is 21,305. Now there aren't that many people here, but there's a bigger crowd here than you would expect on such an ugly night. It was nice of the Red Bulls to deliver a performance like this for these loyal fans.
79th minute– Dwayne DeRosario is playing tonight for those wondering. I know I haven't mentioned him, but he's here.
75th minute– That fourth goal by the Red Bulls just helped them break a tie with the 2007 Toronto FC for fewest goals in a season in MLS history. I have a feeling the Red Bulls knew they needed four tonight.
SAVE COUNDOUL!!! Another nice diving save by the Senegalese shot-stopper.
74th minute– I'll say this much, of this performance, and the Red Bulls overall improved play under Richie Williams isn't enough to earn him the Red Bulls job permanently, I wonder if TFC will consider hiring Williams. He was Mo Johnston's assistant when Johnston was head coach of the Red Bulls in 2006.
72nd minute– You have to feel for the TFC fans who made this trip. To see the team lay an egg like this is truly embarrassing.
71st minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!! Mac Kandji runs onto a poor back-pass from TFC's Sam Cronin, beats Edwards to the pass, and taps into an empty net. Red Bulls 4, Toronto FC 0. WOW
70th minute– Here is an interesting thought. Before the season began the front six most thought the Red Bulls would wind up starting for the majority of the season was Angel, Kandji, Hall, Celades, Richards and Stammler. That front six never played a single match together as a front six until tonight, and tonight we're seeing an offense that is moving the ball well and pressing all over the field.
Adding a stud central defender and a top-flight playmaker are certainly at the top of the Red Bulls' things to do list this off-season, along with finding a head coach and general manager of course.
64th minute– Pablo Vitti comes in for Emmanuel Gomez. That would be the TFC kitchen sink. I wonder i Chris Cummins has realized that this is probably his last game as a coach in MLS.
63rd minute– Jeremy Hall isn't looking too bad on the left flank today. That assist is the first of his career.
62nd minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!!!!!!!!!! Juan Pablo Angel with the nice finish off a great layoff pass from Jeremy Hall. Red Bulls 3, TFC 0.
61st minute– In other league news. KC is leading D.C. United, 1-0, on a Kei Kamara goal. That's good news for Toronto FC.
60th minute– O'Brien White with a yellow card.
56th minute– TFC fans are trying to cheer their team on, or at the very least wake it up. There are 34 minutes left in Toronto's season (barring a major run of results going their way around the league).
53rd minute– New York still with more of the ball as TFC looks a bit lost right now.
52nd minute– Boyens heads a dangerous cross away. TFC corner.
50th minute- Kandji and Celades have looked especially sharp tonight for New York.
48th minute– No subs at the half. New York is still controlling the game right now.
47th minute– And we're back.
HALFTIME– Red Bulls 2, Toronto FC 0. The Red Bulls haven't exactly controlled play, but made two beautiful plays to finish off both its quality chances.
45th minute– One minute of stoppage time.
44th minute– Walter Garcia deserves some credit. He's held up well since coming in for Petke. There are still 46 minutes to go though.
43rd minute– Toronto is pressing, pulling a goal back before the half would be major. Clock is ticking.
37th minute– Guevara misses wide on the free kick. Golden chance wasted.
36th minute– Kandji assisted on Angel's goal. Nice to see that combo working well together. You have to wonder what the season might have been like if Kandji had been healthy all year. Ah, the Red Bulls are probably still in the East basement (though probably with more than four wins).
TFC free kick 22 yards from goal.
35th minute– Toronto is stunned. So what now? If Toronto loses tonight, it needs D.C., New England, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake to all lose in order to reach the playoffs. Not exactly good odds on that happening.
33rd minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!!! Juan Pablo Angel with a beautiful finish. Red Bulls 2, TFC 0. Angel just torched Serioux on that play.
31st minute– The Red Bulls are buzzing around tonight, putting pressure on every ball. Don't tell them this game means nothing.
30th minute– Cronin with a good cross in but nobody can get a head on it. Here comes NY on the counter.
28th minute– A member of the TFC staff pointed out that Toronto FC's crucial Canada Cup victory against Montreal to earn a place in the CONCACAF Champions League came on a night similar to this one, so maybe TFC fans shouldn't give up hope just yet.
26th minute– Guevara needs to take control of this game. Both he and DeGuzman needs to start winning the possession battle if Toronto is going to create enough chances today.
24th minute– Toronto can not afford to settle for a tie tonight, and a loss would mean TFC would need D.C., Dallas, New England and Real Salt Lake to all lose to make the playoffs.
20th minute– Toronto FC's midfield has yet to impose its will in a match-up you would figure it would have the edge in.
18th minute– Coundoul runs out and beats Chad Barrett to a ball 30 yards from goal. Barrett is injured.
15th minute– Mike Petke's injury is a right quad strain.
Did I mention that it is absolutely pouring? Kudos to the 300 Toronto FC fans in attendance.
13th minute– SAVE COUNDOUL!! Amado Guevara with a long-range shot that forces a tough diving save.
12th minute– Toronto FC works a corner kick into a back-post header that goes wide. There are literally puddles in the Red Bulls goal-mouth.
11th minute– Coundoul pounces on a loose ball in front of goal. Toronto is starting to wake up.
9th minute– Mike Petke had to come out and in comes Walter Garcia, who is making his first appearance. There's no way Toronto doesn't burn Garcia for at least one goal (for those not keeping track, the reason Garcia hasn't played yet is because of fitness issues).
9th minute– Here is TOronto FC's lineup:
Sam Cronin is out with a broken finger. Marvell Wynne is out with a quad injury.
6th minute– Toronto starting very slowly as New York controls the early possession.
5th minute– Here is New York's lineup tonight:
4th minute– Devastating start for Toronto, which needs a win tonight.
2nd Minute– GOAL RED BULLS!!
MAC Kandji with the finish off a nice pass from Celades. Kandji beat both Emmanuel Gomez and Nana Attakora on that finish.
1st Minute– And we're off.
PRE-GAME– Even though the match means nothing in the standings to them, there is a nice contingent of Red Bulls fans in the Empire Supporter's Club section. They are here to say good riddance to Giants Stadium.
PRE-GAME– Toronto FC needs to win tonight to have a chance to make the playoffs. New York need a win to avoid finishing with the fewest wins in league history.
PRE-GAME– The teams are taking the field.
Well, over a hundred did travel 9 or so hours to watch the match. Anytime MLS fans do that they deserve kudos to me.
how did serioux not get a red card in the last minute of stoppage time for that tackle from behind on a breakaway?
Perfect way to say goodbye to Giants Stadium. And Ives, no kudos to the TFC fans. Yes, it was pouring, but they were covered where they were sitting, so they weren’t even getting wet. Why don’t you give kudos to all of us in the front rows, who were standing the entire game in the downpour. Can’t wait for RBA.
easily one of my favorite games. i absolutely loved the torrential downpour for the first 30 minutes of the game. sitting in the first row we had water up to our ankles. love it
(am im not being sarcastic here either lol)
We need JC OSORIO back………..for HALLOWEN
They made them take a sign down (don’t know which sign cuz we were sitting a few sections over), most likely b/c it was covering a Budweiser advertisement and not b/c of the content.
You know it’s a strange evening when you side with NJSEA!
LOl…… Canadians are silly. In all fairness you can’t blame Toronto. Maybe if Canada let its citizens have decent health care Toronto could have won a few more games.
Here’s hoping that Meadowlands security laid a few lumps on the skulls of the hoser losers with the “douche” sign. Have a nice winter, bums.
Just finished watching on DVR. Where was this team all year? Fantastic send off for Giant Stadium and Albert Celades. I truly hope Richie Williams is the coach next year. He has changed the culture and mentality of the team when there was no reason left for them to perform. He a class act give Angel and Celades the ovation at the end. A great game all around, I just wish it hadn’t been pouring rain as I had planned to go over and watch in person. Oh well, I will just have to be at the home openner in Red Bull Arena.
Interesting quote from Angel (not one to speak up on coaching issues or comments about team improvement this year) in NY daily news this morning, :
“Williams finished 3-3-2 after taking over for Juan Carlos Osorio. He has been told he will be considered for the permanent job. Several players feel Williams has made a difference.
“”The last 8-10 games have been very good,” Angel said. “He obviously has done what he has had to do. He has turned the mentality around. He has given us his support and the results have been there for us. Hopefully, we’ll make the right decision on who is going to be (coach), whether it is Richie or someone else.””
@martha you harpy. Worst team in professional soccer? Were you at the stadium? It was not empty you shrew.
To all those pumping up Richie Williams – we showed exactly 0% improvement in our road form. Playing at home has not been a problem for a while.
And yes i was there tonight. It was glorious.
No, I know what you mean. Despite being a Spurs fan, I’d be super excited to get Henry. That said, given the choice between Henry and a near Henry-level playmaker, I’d definitely take the latter.
TO all Toronto KFC fans…
with the playoffs on the line thats what you came up with? a thrashing by the worst team in all of proffessional soccer playing in front of an empty home stadium HEHEHEHEHEHEH!!!
Thats a choke job for the ages if there ever was one. How many field goals did chad barrett score today. Playing in front De Guzman, De Rosario, and Guevara surely he has 15 goals this year.
Giorgio Chinaglia, your shtick is hilarious!
I got soaked there. But 101 was rocking. It was so much fun.
This has to go down as one of the best soccer games ever played at Giants Stadium. The way this season has gone and to finish like this is just awesome.
Congrats to NJRB!
I hate TFC!
Now, that’s what Giorgio calls football. SO good to see the Red Bulls close my old home down with a performance worthy of my Cosmos teams. I am so glad to see that clown Osorio and his defensive football gone. This team could have made the playoffs with the right coach. We will go all the way next year and believe me, my friends, the greatest golascorer in the history of the North American soccer league knows everything there is to know about going all the way!
See you in Harrison. I am off to the disco to meet with my many lady friends.
“Will the last douche out, turn off the shite?”
Toronto away supporters’ wit, class and charm on full display with that ridiculous sign. You’ve been in the league 3 years or so, we dont even have a real rivalry with you, but we’re certainly happy to drop a 5 spot on your crap squad. Enjoy the long off season.
I really enjoyed the game tonight. As a lifetime
follower of this team I must say this was a great
game! I was happy because Sassano was not in the lineup and look they scored 5 goals. I like Richie Williams and think he did a great job and should be given strong consideration for the head coach. I love JPA and Kandji! I think given time they can be a great tandem. I love our goalie and must say he has been playing great as well..
Wanted to know what everyone thinks about out DP should we use it on Henry and then will we have 2 forwards and no one to feed them the ball. Maybe we get Henry and get a second division midfielder from Argentina or someone in MLS who can play the role of Celedas because Richards, Stammler and the rest of the midfielders are not that answer. We desperately need a quality midfielder. Great job by everyone writing in and good crowd in the rain.
P.S. Joamiq that doesn’t really include you. You know your stuff. I don’t agree with your comment but at the very least I see what you meant by it, i.e. getting a player worthy of big money to play Celades’ role.
BUT I’ll take Henry instead any day of the week.
What a way to say goodbye. I’m soaked to the bone, have been for about 9 hours. Thank you Metro, and RBNY. It’s been a great (if more or less trophyless and unprofitable) 13 years. A great last trip to Giants Stadium.
Anyone saying that Henry is somehow a bad edition to this team, seek help. Please. Please.
If we’re going to use the DP, it’s got to be for a Celades replacement, not Henry
I’m really going to miss Celades. Probably one of the most skilled midfielders in MLS even though he’s under the radar. You just don’t replace that kind of pedigree over night.
i was tearing up when Celades and Angel came off, and i’m so happy that the last game played at the Swamp was such an emphatic win!
JPA – most goals in MLS over the past 3 years.
I’m really disappointed in MLS for not sticking with the game for the post-match celebration on the live stream after hyping the “final match in Giants Stadium” story on the website. I paid for the day pass hoping to be able to watch any pre or post game festivities.
We should get a send off game at Red Bull Park. IIRC, the send off games last time around were at smaller venues.
Well well well. Talk about an… uncharacteristic performance. Make up on a black eye or a good sign for next year? I say the latter. The team has plenty of holes, but there are pieces there.
As for TFC… everyone involved has to take a hard look in the mirror. This was really a pathetic performance for a team with all to play for. Serioux, Cronin; DeGuzman, Guevara, and DeRosario, who should have controlled this game; and Cummins who failed to get his team in the right mindset.
Any chance we get a World Cup send off match at Giants Stadium? What is the demolition schedule?
BTW, have you all seen that, according to FIFA.com, USA will be traveling to the Netherlands for a match on 3/3/2010??
Red Bull can play the “high profile coach” game all they want – but Richie Williams has led a lame duck, under-talented team to play inspired and competitive soccer over the past months. It is hard to understate his accomplishments given the cards he was dealt (imagine if he had more than Angel to work with?!). I would trust him with any team in this league, and he will be picked up by some club if not RBNY, and lead them to long-term stability and success. I would be extremely disappointed (and very likely shift my allegiance to Philadelphia Union which has a similarly credible coach) if RBNY management makes the same mistake of failed Metrostars management of past years by signing a big name coach that has no clue about MLS or long-term commitment to our club (read: Parreira, Multinovic, Quieroz, among others…). Well done Richie and thanks for the effort and leadership.
Wow, could things set up any better for FC Dallas if this and the DC United result holds.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the field, Condoul is having a great night.
WOW. This is a showing this stadium does not deserve! I believe the Red Bulls have now ensured that they will end up with neither the fewest wins in league history nor the least goals, right Ives?
Angel! Goodnight, Giants Stadium!
Richie Williams HAS TO coach this team next year.
here is a link http://channelsurfing.net/watch-major-league-soccer.php?w=31739
Ives, yeah, that’s what I figured. Also, if TFC loses, they need all those other teams to lose except for RSL, who can draw.
ANGEL! 2-0! Excellent pass by Kandji and excellent first touch and burst by Angel.
No way should Kandji be cut, and that finish shows why.
OF COURSE it’s pouring tonight. One final night with puddles and football lines. Too bad the turf has claimed one final casualty tonight 🙁 There’s no one who wanted to be out there more than Petke…
That was a pretty reckless challenge by Condoul…
Ives, isn’t there some convoluted scenario that gets TFC in with a draw?
(SBI-TFC can get in with a tie, and even with a loss, but each result carries even worse odds and would need even more help.)
Oh Snap Kandji, atleast we not know he aint getten cut , any coach will give him the benefit of the doubt after that .