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Columbus claims first place by downing Red Bulls

HejdukHall (HoiwardCSmithISI)

Photo by Howard C. Smith/



Two first half goals by Eddie Gaven and Andy Iro lead the way for the Crew in a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls.

The ex-Red Bull/Metrostar, Gaven, came back to bite his former team, scoring the first goal of the match and assisting on the second. It was a big game for both teams with first place on the line. The Red Bulls created more chances and dominated possession throughout the game but still found themselves on the losing end.  

Playg without their three best players (Guillermo Barros Schelotto to suspension and Chad Marshall and Robbie Rodgers to USMNT camp), the Crew came away satisfied with its performance.

"We played well enough to score three goals away from home and that's how we played the game," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "Obviously they had their chances; they hit the pole two times and the crossbar off the free kick. Listen, we scored three goals."

The Red Bulls missed a golden opportunity to take three points from the best team in the Eastern Conference. But, finishing, a problem that has plagued New York throughout the first two months of the season once again was the main culprit for the loss.

"It was just not bouncing for us," said forward Dane Richards. "They got a couple chances, they finished them. We got a bunch of chances but couldn't finish. We hit the post, wide, just over, and it was a tough game for us."

The misses started in the tenth minute when Chris Albright, who made his MLS return with his start in right back, played a ball down the wing to Seth Stammler. The midfielder had a great first touch to beat his defender and found a streaking Juan Pablo Angel who with a cute move to get by Eric Brunner, nailed a ball just wide of the left post.

After dominating for the first 35 minutes, the Red Bulls found themselves down a goal when Crew captain Frankie Hejduk found a streaking Eddie Gaven for a diving header goal.

"It was huge [getting the first goal], they were dominating a bit like the home team is supposed to be, said Hejduk.

"The home team is supposed to dominate games, especially a team like the Red Bulls, they are a good team and we were sitting back a bit, letting them get a few chances. It was a very opportunistic goal, we had once chance, two chances, and then boom, we scored the goal and then two minutes later we scored another goal so it was 2-0 before you knew it."

The Red Bulls down a goal, quickly got back on the offensive as Sinisa Ubiparipovic had goalkeeper Will Hesmer beat but saw the ball glance off the left post. But that second Crew goal would come just two minutes later off a corner by Gaven finding Iro for the power header past Bouna Coudoul.

The second half would be much of the same luck for the Red Bulls once again controlling the pace but could not capitalize on their opportunities with Dane Richards and Juan Pablo Angel both hitting woodwork.

New York would finally get on the board in the 82nd minute when a cross from Danliegh Borman found Tony Tchani for his first MLS goal. But, the Crew would ice the game a minute later when Emilio Renteria, a second half sub, finished a breakaway coolly past Coundoul for the 3-1 lead. It was a goal that put the nail in the coffin for NYRB.

"I think when we got to 2-1, I thought we had a decent chance to equalize the game, because it was only way," said Juan Pablo Angel. "The third goal just killed the game for us."

Mike Petke's 300th MLS start did not go the way he or the Red Bulls wanted as the central defense failed to mark up on both first half goals for the Crew.  A miscommunication between him and fellow centerback Tim Ream caused Emilio Renteria's breakway to ice game for the Crew in the 83rd minute.

"I was calling for it to be my ball to head back to Bouna and he (Petke) was calling it for him to clear out," said Ream.

"I think we were in good positions to do both of those things. We both hesitated thinking the other guy was going to go. There, one guy just has to take charge, doesn't matter who it is, it has to happen. And it cost us."

The Red Bulls passing game was in fine form throughout the match, but three key mistakes and lack of finishing cost NYRB valuable points.

"Probably our best performance so far in this league, if you at the possession, if you look at creating chances and putting a team like Columbus under pressure like that, said Hans Backe. "Two and a half individual mistakes killed the game for us and you can never in a way train to get rid of individual mistakes."

At the end results are what count in the MLS, and despite a solid effort, the Red Bulls find themselves losers of their last three games after a 5-1 start. The team is struggling to score goals breaking a two match scoreless streak late in this game. The finishing has to improve in order for the team to get results going forward.


  1. The Red Bulls were able to string together a lot of passes at times. But “dominated” is a bit strong. I watched all but the first 8 minutes or so (stuck in traffic). The Red Bulls could pass around fine in their defensive 3d. They had some nice passes in the attacking 3d – especially once they realized Iro was afraid of Dane’s wheels.

    But there were a lot of passes in the middle 3d that were busted up by Carroll and Moffat, even if they didn’t immediately lead to Crew counterattacks. There were more than a few times when the first touch for the Red Bulls failed them and resulted in loose balls.

    I’m not saying that RBNY didn’t play competently, or that it wasn’t one of their better games this year (I don’t know; I haven’t seen much of RBNY). I’m just saying that I don’t think they “dominated” much of the game.

  2. yeah, I know – never once commented here at SBI until suddenly I appear from nowhere to point out that a USMNT player had his name misspelled, and I had no other constructive comments whatsoever. Yep, you got me.

  3. Redbulls dominated possession in the second half only. Smart passing?? I saw Redbulls turn the ball over repeatedly in dangerous spots.

  4. we had 4 key players hurt. I was confused to see Miller in MF tho. Columbus may receive a surprise later in the year.

  5. Columbus is the best team RBNY has played. Ream did not look good last night. But he has not been asked to defend against a team like that yet. Let us not forget that he is still rookie and like in all sports even the top rookies get more than they can handle sometimes. If Ream continues on like this to the end of the season than questions should be asked.

  6. The Red Bulls certainly won games where they were out played, so it appears luck is now fleeting for them. I think the record they have now is more indicative of how good a team they are than 5-1 was.

  7. It seems pretty simple… winners win, losers make excuses as to why they really outplayed the other team and could/should have won.

  8. Columbus capitalized on their chances and the Red Bulls did not..simple as was dominated by the Red Bulls for a majority but couldn’t do anything with all the possession..too many individual errors and lazy passes too..overall a good preformance by both teams and could have easily been a draw

  9. I think NYRB were just really gassed up this year because of the new stadium. Crew just came in and took the gas out of them.

    This match pretty much had everything a Columbus fan would want: a strong message to the Eastern Conference that nothing has changed and the Crew are still the team to beat.

    And does anyone know where to find a clip of that…rooster-like shriek that Hejduk let out? I can’t remember when it happened, but if you saw the game on ESPN-2 You know what I’m talking about.

    Like, I remember hearing it, and then it got a close up replay on the ESPN broadcast. The commentators were really trying hard not to bust a gut. My friend spat beer all over the place.

    It was the funniest thing I’d seen in MLS up until the 3rd Crew goal. Oh, Tim Ream, may you never stop amusing.

  10. The attendance could always be better but as far as the atmospere, it is GREAT… The ESC can be heard clearly as you walk into the stadium and you just know your in the right place once your in…. Despite the heartbreaks that the Red Bulls give us fans, we all still try to get them back in the game… I love the Red Bulls n I been following forever now, Reb Bull Arena is the best thing that has happened to us and the atmosphere is just great… I recorded some videos yesterday at the game but having trouble uploading to computer because my file is to big n I have no idea how to shrink it for it can fit .. But if u ever have a chance to make it to a game… DO IT!!!

  11. There is zero inner city marketing and its tough to get out to the stadium. I was in midtown Manhattan last night and it was a 50 minute public transportation ride out there. There needs to be an NY team that isn’t in the middle of nowhere NJ. Its painful to get out there.

  12. Red Bulls looked awful last night. I felt right back at home.

    How bout Sideshow Bob Leinhart diving the whole night and not drawing a card? Officiating in this league is a joke.

    Someone’s foot came within 15 inches of his head (meaning the foot was actually about a foot below his chin) and he went down like a sniper shot him in the forehead. Of course he jumped back up the second the foul was called. He dove–and I don’t mean “maybe”–this effer clearly dove 3 times at a minimum. And nothing. Terrific.

  13. Curious as to why the low attendance with the new stadium and decent team this year? Anyone at the game that can fill me in on the atmosphere? (I used to live in W. Orange but now out west).

  14. I saw the first half and bits of the second, and to me it looked like a pretty decent soccer match. If these two represent some of the best in the Major League, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  15. I couldn’t blv it.. After the game I go to Apple bee’s… it hasn’t even been 2 hours after the game and they make the top 10 plays of the week lol..crazy

  16. Compare last years attendance from Giants stadium (this period of the season, and check our numbers now.. Blv it or not, we have more people

  17. Your an idiot if you don’t think we dominated the game.. We clearly dominated but we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities like the Crew did.

    Our passing was excellent for the first 30 minutes but once we let in a goal we tended to force a little to much but still clearly moved the ball around well and by the 2nd goal we were desperate.

    Columbus Crew did not even start moving the ball around well till the 7t0th minute, all of the Crew goals didn’t come from a string of passes but just a single pass in the box that Coundol failed to come out and pounder away…A corner kick…. and a Sportscenter Top 10 Worse plays of the Week

  18. 1. Our attendance now is ahead of last years attendance during this period of the season.

    2. Ream is fricking over-rated, YES he did look solid in his first 3 maybe 4 games BUT has been choking ever since…..He needs to see the bench and we need Mendes back in the starting role along-side Petke….

    Tchani needs to start asap but can’t play alongside Lindpere cuz they just don’t mesh well.. So we can put Lindpere on the left, Tchani, Stammler in the middle with Ubi on the Right.

    Ubi is horrible in CM but he was killing it at RM, Richards actually looked better up-top but just can’t finish…

    Coundol needs to learn when to come out. He makes some great saves, but some goals he let up are just plain dumb.

    Angel played way better this game, must be the new cleats.. I went to see the cleats with my cousin and they are un-real.. They weigh nothing

    Hans is a great coach but needs to make better subs… instead of taking Ubi out.. he should have put Hall back on the left, Ubi on the right, and either take out Miller or Stammler and put in Tchani…

  19. I think Ream has certainly had better games overall, but he wasn’t helped at all by Petke. Now there is a replacement waiting to happen. Petke was terrible, Ream just looked bad at times.

  20. hey whatever happened to Ream being the rookie of the year. From the beginning i said over rated. The attendance numbers suck still for a beautiful stadium like that. And no acoustics or PA anouncer volume does not count for attendance.

  21. The Bulls didn’t have 5 starters either bb. They just couldn’t finish their chances… this game could have easily been a 6-3 rout for NY.
    Columbus made their opportunities

  22. The Jets & Giants haven’t played in NYC in close to 40 years, but they’ve had no problems.

    I don’t live in NYC, but it does seem like they need to re-think their marketing strategy.

  23. Are you kidding? Why do people always get influenced by the score of the game as to who controlled the game.

    Backe is absolutely right. Red Bulls dominated possesssion pretty much throughout. In no way did they deserve to win, way too any mistakes. But as far as possession, passing, and creating chances, that was one of their better games of the year.

  24. yeah… i would consider hitting the post twice in the first forty minutes along with columbus not getting a real shot until they scored their first goal as controlling th ename

    but based on you judging the spelling of others, you seem like a troll

  25. As I noted on the game night commentary thread:

    No Rogers? No Marshall? No Schelotto? No problem.

    The Crew lose the MVP and the 2-time DPoY, Rogers is in USMNT camp w/ CHad and Padula’s on the bench…

    No problem-o. We’ll bring in 2 Hermann trophy winners (O’Rourke and Garey), an Olympic Silver medalist (Ekpo) and a college All-American who won a nat’l title (Iro).

    *That* is depth on the roster, baby!

  26. “The Red Bulls created more chances and dominated possession throughout the game but still found themselves on the losing end.”

    Really? Were you watching the same game I was? “dominated possession”?

    There were stretches in which RBNY was in control in the attacking 3d and Columbus was bunkered in. But there were also stretches when Columbus was kicking RBNY’s butt in the middle 3d, where RBNY had trouble stringing 3 passes together for long stretches of the first half, and again in the middle of the 2d half.

    “The Red Bulls passing game was in fine form throughout the match”

    If that was “fine form” I’d hate to see an off day.

    And “Robbie Rogers” name does not have a “D” in it.

  27. I’ve read on here that Ream is the next best thing. I only caught the last 30 mins.. probably his worst 40 mins but I don’t see it. Lazy crosses. Beaten for pace and if course the miscommunication.

    I am honestly surprised at the lack of attendance at the new stadium. That team just can never forge a NYC identity..

  28. So….

    I hope more than a family picnic shows up to watch me play at Redbull Arena.

    I was under the impression from MLS fans that NYRB is the best club in MLS. Maybe I should go to Columbus to win trophies?

  29. Top notch defending in the middle for NY on that 3rd goal. Ream and Petke should be at Princeton.

    Hey what was the announced attendance for the match?
    So hard to find the figures on these days.


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