New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

Major League Soccer

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire: Match Night Commentary

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New York Red Bulls - JPEG Chicago Fire - JPEG

Red Bull Arena's first MLS match will be played tonight against arch-rival Chicago Fire in the MLS season opener for both teams.

Both teams come in with first-year coaches making their MLS debuts, but the clubs arrive with different expectations. The Fire came within a penalty kick shootout of playing in the MLS Cup final, while the Red Bulls look to erase the memories of the worst season in MLS last year.

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

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump

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FINAL- A new stadium and a new feeling for the Red Bulls. Could they do what the 2010 MetroStars did and follow up a horrendous season with a memorable one? Looks good so far.

That's all for me tonight. Thanks for following along and please share your post-game thoughts in the comments section below.

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FINAL- Great atmosphere tonight from a lively crowd, and kudos to the Fire fans who came here and represented Chicago, complete with flares.

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FINAL- Bouna Coundoul was voted man of the match here. Not sure about that one. he did get the shutout, but had too many shaky moments for my taste.

Chicago's attack probably didn't figure to get shut out, but once Collins John is in the lineup and John Thorrington returns, the Fire should get rolling.

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FINAL- Red Bulls 1, Fire 0. It's New York's first win over Chicago in six attempts and it's sweet victory after several ugly losses to Chicago.

Joel Lindpere was man of the match, but the Red Bulls back four was stellar tonight.

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93rd minute- Tchani's first possession is a turnover. Not a great start by the rookie.

Wolyniec blocks a Conde pass attempt. Seconds ticking down. Red Bulls are buzzing.

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91st minute- De Los Cobos is irate at the fouls being called on his team. now he knows how El Salvador opponents felt in World Cup qualifying.

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90th minute- Wow, Coundoul nearly lets one in, but he recovers in time to pounce.

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90th minute- Tony Tchani comes in for Kandji.

Fire fans have set off flairs in their section. Looks great in the upper deck.

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88th minute- Coundoul bobbles a John shot but pounces on it.

John looks extremely dangerous when he gets a head of steam on goal. Too bad the Fire midfield hasn't done the job tonight.

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87th minute- Angel looks tired, but would he come out?

Fire with possession now, nervous moments but Ubiparipovic does well to intercept.

Another Red Bulls turnover leads to a Fire counter.

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86th minute- Why any defender would play a ball back to Coundoul right now is beyond me.

John looks dangerous, but he's not getting good service.

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85th minute- John forces a Coundoul turnover, but Nyarko's shot on an open net goes wide.

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84th minute- Will Hans Backe use his two remaining subs? Now seems like a good time.

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81st minute- Lindpere's new nickname is "The Estonian Rifle." Why? He's got a heck of a shot.

Here comes Chicago on the counter, but Pappa's shot is blocked and grabbed by Coundoul.

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80th minute- Nearly jinxed Ream, who got caught napping a bit as Nyarko ghosted in behind him, but his header was too weak to trouble Coundoul.

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79th minute- Did I mention how good Tim Ream has looked tonight? He's my pick for MLS rookie of the year and tonight he's shown why (No, I'm not his agent).

Mapp is in for McBride.

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78th minute- Tim Ward heads it wide.

This crowd is electric. A wave just went through the crowd and it got loud in here.

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77th minute- Fire with a corner kick.

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76th minute-  Sinisa Ubiparipovic hasn't played poorly tonight for a third option in defensive midfield.

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76th minute- Justin Mapp is ready to come in.

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75th minute- Richards hits the side netting. Wow. He had Angel at the doorstep but skips passing it and drills it into the netting. Is there a more frustrating player to watch in MLS?

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74th minute- The Fire fans here are giving it one last loud cheer to spark their team.

Dykstra with another nervous moment but avoids danger.

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72nd minute- Tonight's attendance is 24,572. Lively crowd tonight.

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71st minute– Neither. Wolyniec comes in for Borman. Kandji should slide to the left wing.

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70th minute– Lindpere's blast forces a save (and bobble) from Dykstra.

Wolyniec is coming in, for Angel or Kandji?

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69th minute– Richards will eventually learn (or not) that he can't take so many touches in the penalty area).

Coundoul smothers a Nyarko shot/cross.

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66th minute– Kandji just kicked Conde in the face when he tried a bicycle kick. Conde is up.

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65th minute– Red Bulls free kick. Watch for Tim Ream.

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64th minute– Nice tackle by Petke on Nyarko in the area. Needed that stop.

Husidic is whistled for a foul on Richards.

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63rd minute– SAVE COUNDOUL!!! What a diving save on Mike Banner's free kick.

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62nd minute– Fire free kick from 24 yards out, right at the top of the arc.

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62nd minute– Husidic draws a foul for a dangerous free kick almost immediately after coming in.

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61st minute– Husidic is in for Logan Pause. An attack-minded sub here as the Fire look to find a spark.

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60th minute– Coundoul with an easy save on a soft John header.

Nyarko has been a handful since moving to midfield.

Will Husidic replace Lowry?

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59th minute– Baggio Husidic is ready to come in.

The Red Bulls are passing extremely well tonight. This looks like such a far cry from last year's disaster.

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57th minute– Angel with a CLEAR look but Conde raced in to block the shot. Wow, Chicago dodged one there.

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56th minute– Coundoul with an easy stop on a long-range McBride shot. Chicago should start to find more chances now.

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55th minute– Good sub for the Fire. Nyarko can cause problems from the left wing, while John's physical presence will put even more pressure on Ream and Petke.

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54th minute– John comes in for Martinez. Surprised to see Carlos De Los Cobos yank his guy so early.

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52nd minute– Angel with a chest and volley that goes just wide. Great look.

Who will the Fire take out for John? They should keep Nyarko in, move him to midfield and perhaps remove Lowry, who has been non-existent.

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51st minute– Collins John should be in any minute now.

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50th minute– The field isn't as bad as last week, but the grass still isn't ideal. it's ripping up too easily.

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50th minute– Kandji with another dribble and wayward cross. He hasn't been the sharpest tonight.

Ream with a turnover and Chicago breaks out. NY gets it back though.

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49th minute– Collins John looks like he's going to be coming in soon.

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48th minute– Chicago needs to feed McBride. The midfield just hasn't done enough to feed the forwards. Nyarko has been very active, but he's been having to drop back into midfield to get involved.

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46th minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– Red Bulls 1, Fire 0. Pretty even half,though New York has had some better possession. Still anybody's game, though the Fire looked rattled by that goal. 

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45th minute– Nyarko earns a corner, but nothing comes of it.

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45th minute– Ream got away with a push on Nyarko in the area. Rookie needs to keep his hands down in the penalty area.

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44th minute– Red Bulls knocking it around with ease now. Chicago looks to be waiting for the halftime whistle.

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42nd minute– Lindpere scored the first goal in Red Bull Arena's history last week, and scores the first MLS goal in Red Bull Arena history tonight.

Chicago is scrambling a bit right now.

Nothing Dykstra could do on that shot.

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40th minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!!!! And it's Joel Lindpere with a great shot from 18 yards out. Red Bulls 1, Fire 0.

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38th minute– Kandji with a nice move but his shot from 12 yards out is weak and easy for Dykstra to handle.

New York should be taking shots from distance to at least test Dykstra. He's had a relatively quiet night in his MLS debut.

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36th minute– Angel doesn't look quite right. You wonder how much his knee is a factor tonight.

Red Bulls keep dribbling into the area, but can't get any shots off.

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33rd minute– Petke nearly hits what looked like a back-pass to Coundoul but the ref rules it wasn't a violation.

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30th minute– Martinez skies a free kick. Wasted chance for the Fire.

Danleigh Borman is struggling to cope with Chicago's pace on the right side.

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28th minute– Conde steps up to thwart a red Bulls attack, but then they come right back and find Angel, but he chests the pass rather than volleying it.

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26th minute– Marco Papa has popped up on the right side now. He'll give Miller fits.

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25th minute– Corner leads to nothing.

Hello? Is this Jon Busch? Yes, this is Erik Soler. Got a minute?

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24th minute– Fire corner is deflected for another corner.

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23rd minute– Bouna Coundoul completely botches a clearance and Brian McBride nearly bicycle kicks in a goal, only to hit the post.

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22nd minute– Richards with a dribbling run into the area but he holds on too long and doesn't get a shot off. He needs to shoot earlier.

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20th minute– Just as I say that Roy Miller gets Angel a ball in the box. He can't get a shot on frame.

Red Bulls keeping the pressure on.

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19th minute– Angel doesn't look himself tonight. To be fair, the midfield isn't providing service and he's being forced to drop back to get any touches.

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18th minute– the crowd is filling in nicely tonight.

Neither team has gotten a hold on this match yet.

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16th minute– Coundoul is not having a great start tonight. Neither goalkeeper looks comfortable.

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15th minute– McBride shoots it high and wide and the Red Bulls dodge a bullet after a Juan Pablo ANgel turnover leads to a breakout by Nyarko.

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13th minute– Roy Miller vs. Julio Martinez is looking like a good match-up early on as well.

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11th minute– Tonight's crowd is VERY excited. This is more a true Red Bulls crowd than last week's exhibition vs. Santos. You can see what a difference this stadium makes when it's only half or two thirds full and the crowd can still sound great.

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10th minute– A pretty decent-sized contingent of Fire fans have made the trip for tonight's opener.

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9th minute– Red Bulls with a good spell of possession but Richards' shot is wide.

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8th minute– Some good match-ups to watch tonight include Marco Pappa vs. Jeremy Hall, Brian McBride vs. Mike Petke and Wilman Conde vs. Juan Pablo Angel.

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6th minute– Coundoul with some nervy moments of his own as the Fire starts to get its footing.

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5th minute– Collins John isn't in the lineup but he is active for tonight's match. One player not in uniform tonight is Seth Stammler, who is injured.

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3rd minute– The Red Bulls have come out firing and Chicago's Andrew Dykstra is under pressure right away in his first career MLS start.

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2nd minute– We're underway. The place is only half full but very loud.

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PRE-GAME– Here are the lineups:

RED BULLS

—————-Angel———-Kandji————

Borman————-Lindpere—————Richards

———————-Ubiparipovic——————-

Miller——–Ream————-Petke——–Hall

———————–Coundoul———————-

FIRE

—————-McBride——Nyarko—————–

Pappa——————Lowry—————–Martinez

————————-Pause—————————

Banner——–Conde———-Brown————Ward

———————–Dykstra————————–

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PRE-GAME– The festivities are underway, even if the crowd is a late arriving one.

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