New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew: Match Night Commentary

New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew: Match Night Commentary

Major League Soccer

New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew: Match Night Commentary

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The top two teams in the Eastern Conference square off tonight as the Columbus Crew makes its first visit to Red Bull ARena to take on the first-place Red Bulls.

The Crew enter the match unbeaten, but will be short-handed as Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall are with the U.S. national team and Guillermo Barros Schelotto is serving a one-match suspension.

The Red Bulls come in looking to erase the bad teaste of their first loss at Red Bull Arena, a 1-0 loss to Seattle. Defender Chris Albright will make his first MLS start of the season, with Hans Backe pairing Dane Richards at forward with Juan Pablo Angel.

I will be providing commentary on the match throughout the night 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– That's all for me. Please feel free to share your post-game thoughts on tonight's match in the comments section below, and look for more coverage from tonight's match on Friday on SBI.

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FINAL– That is going to be one fun ride home for the hundreds of Crew fans who made the trip East for this one.

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FINAL– Crew 3, Red Bulls 1. The Red Bulls had the edge in possession, and saw three shots hit the woodwork, but none of it mattered because they couldn't capitalize on their chances. Columbus took care of what it had to, finishing the chances that came and making things tough in the final third.

The Red Bulls' hold on first place in the East has been lost, and you have to wonder if they'll ever get it back this season.

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91st minute– Tchani broke the shutout, but the goal-scoring woes are still clear for all to see for New York.

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87th minute– Columbus doesn't look to be too troubled now. They've got two minutes to kill and a two-goal cushion.

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86th minute– Ream was having a good game before Renteria came in and started giving him all sorts of trouble. Just shows how deep the Crew are that they can bring in a player like Renteria off the bench.

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85th minute– Ream gets a yellow for a foul on Renteria, who raced past him again.

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83rd minute- GOAL CREW!!! And it's Renteria with the finish, beating Ream on the play before rounding COundoul to finish it off and likely kill this game. It was Petke and REam with the miscommunication that let Renteria race in on goal. Crew 3, Red Bulls 1.

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83rd minute– That goal was a long time coming for a New York team that has controlled play for a long time. Tchani did well to head that, but Hesmer won't be happy with how he played that long pass from Carlos Mendes

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82nd minute- GOAL RED BULLS!! And it's Tony Tchani with his first career MLS goal. Crew 2, Red Bulls 1.

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78th minute– Lenhart nearly heads a goal into his own net. Probably the only way New York scores at this rate.

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74th minute– Stammler with a yellow card for a foul on Lenhart, doesn't look like Stammler approved of Lenhart's sell job.

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72nd minute– 11,940 is the attendance tonight. Disappointing total, but the atmosphere has been great tonight.

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71st minute– Tchani shanks a WIDE-OPEN look on the back post off a corner kick. To be fair, it's tough to hit a volley like that, but the Red Bulls needed that one.

Carlos Mendes comes on for Chris Albright, who wasn't bad tonight (aside from the blown assignment on a corner kick).

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70th minute– This match certainly doesn't feel like a 2-0 match, but until New York finds the net, the possession and shots off the post won't matter.

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68th minute– Emilio Renteria on for Emmanuel Ekpo. John Wolyniec is coming on for Jeremy Hall, who was largely invisible tonight.

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67th minute– The Red Bulls are trying to find Richards on diagonal runs against Iro, but he can't quite break free. He's knocking on the door. Columbus needs to pressure the midfield better or risk giving up a goal.

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65th minute– Tony Tchani comes in for Sinisa Ubiparipovic.

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65th minute– Richards gets the ball played into space and he looked to be a threat, but got muscled off the ball.

New York has had promising stretches, but the final touch fails them (or the woodwork gets in the way.

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61st minute– ANGEL OFF THE CROSSBAR!!! His free kick curls down but hits the frame. That's three shots off the woodwork tonight for New York. It just isn't their night.

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60th minute– Richards draws a dangerous free kick. Questionable call by Toledo there, though Iro did have a high boot up.

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59th minute– Wil Hesmer hasn't had much to do tonight, unfortunately for New York, visiting goalkeepers haven't been very busy all season.

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57th minute– ESC is singing "All We Are Saying is Give us a Goal." Was wondering when they'd break that one out. This match was crying for that one.

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55th minute– Jed Zayner is coming in for Columbus, replacing Adam Moffatt.

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50th minute– RICHARDS OFF THE POST!!!! He pounces on a misplayed kick by Iro and races in on goal, but his shot hits the far post. Brutal for New York. Two posts hit tonight.

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49th minute– Hejduk has played very well tonight (that turnover just now aside) and I can't help but wonder just how close he actually was to being called into the USMNT camp this week.

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48th minute– SAVE Coundoul on a Gaven shot.

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47th minute– No subs for either team. The reality is that New York is light on options on the bench. Salou Ibrahim and Joel Lindpere are injured.

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46th minute– And we're back (after a TV delay).

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HALFTIME– Columbus has played with poise tonight. No Schelotto, Rogers or Marshall and you wouldn't know they're so short-handed, well, perhaps on the offensive end.

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HALFTIME– Mike Petke getting honored, or at least mentioned at halftime for becoming just the 11th MLS player to play in 300 matches. I have a feeling he'll want to forget this match. At least that first half. 

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HALFTIME- Hans Backe experimented with his lineup tonight and while the team did move the ball around well, the team couldn't do anything with that possession. It's becoming a recurring theme. This isn't a new problem. The Red Bulls have the third-fewest goals in MLS for a reason.

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HALFTIME– Crew 2, Red Bulls 0. New York with the bulk of possession, but don't capitalize, while the Crew took its chances well and defended very well in the final third.

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45th minute– Petke shakes it off.

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45th minute– Petke is hurt, looks to be a groin injury.

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41st minute– For those wondering, Chris Albright appeared to lose Iro on the goal. Not sure who lost Gaven on his header.

Coundoul with another terrible long throw that is turned over.

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40th minute– That goal woke the Crew fans up and they're in full celebration mode, complete with yellow smoke bombs.

New York is in danger of being blown out of they don't settle down.

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39th minute- GOAL CREW!!! And it's Andy Iro with the header. New York leaves Iro unmarked and he buries it. Crew 2, Red Bulls 0. A throw-in and a corner kick doom New York.

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38th minute– Good teams find a way to win even when they don't play great and Columbus is doing it tonight. They're unbeaten for a reason.

Red Bulls corner.

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35th minute– Ubi OFF THE POST!!! Just seconds after the Crew scores, Ubiparipovic rockets one off the left post after racing in on goal. So close, but no goal.

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34th minute- GOAL CREW!!! And it's Eddie Gaven with the header. Columbus scores against the run of play as Hejduk found a wide-open Gaven with a perfect cross. Crew 1, Red Bulls 0.

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33rd minute– The game is being played almost entirely in the Red Bulls half of the field. That said, Hesmer hasn't really been tested.

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27th minute– The Red Bulls are dominating possession, but they can't break through the Crew defense. The Stammler-Miller midfield tandem is showing good energy and outworking the Crew's central midfield.

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25th minute– We could include Bouna Coundoul kicks, but that wouldn't add too many to the drinking game. How about a shot for every Coundoul goal kick that crosses midfield?

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24th minute– Tim Ream having a strong game so far, as is Chris Albright for New York. O'Rourke is playing well for the Crew early, as is Ekpo.

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22nd minute– How about some drinking games tonight? Any time Eddie Gaven goes to ground, Toledo cards and Dane Richards shots on goal. That should be enough to have a party with.

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18th minute– Dane Richards should pose problems for the Crew back-line with his speed, but so far he hasn't had much of a chance beyond one very promising run into the area.

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15th minute– The Red Bulls lead supporters group, ESC, took up the Crew fans' challenge and has been extra loud tonight. The Crew fans in the upper deck are much quieter now than in the pre-game. Still a great turnout for a group that drove nine hours.

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13th minute– This is the first time I can remember Roy Miller playing in a central midfield role. He looked good on the left wing in pre-season, but Hall gets the nod on the left tonight. Miller's quickness should allow him to find space behind the Crew midfield.

Red Bulls corner.

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11th minute– It will be up to Gaven and Adam Moffatt to create for the Crew, which looks to be sitting back a bit early on.

Angel with a good look early that goes wide.

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9th minute– Three former New York players in the lineup for Columbus tonight: Eddie Gaven, Danny O'Rourke and Eric Brunner. Columbus also has former Red Bull Academy player Dilly Duka on the bench.

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5th minute– Albright nearly scores on a crazy long cross that floated toward the top corner before Hesmer tipped it away just in time.

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6th minute– This is Chris Albright's first MLS start in more than a year. His last appearance came in April 4th of 2009 for New England.

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5th minute– Baldomero Toledo is the ref tonight, which means we've got a good chance of seeing a red card.

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3rd Minute– Jeremy Hall is on the left wing tonight, with Miller in the middle and Ubiparipovic on the right. Interesting combination.

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1st Minute– We are underway. Joel Lindpere is out of the lineup with a groin injury. Roy Miller is in the lineup in his place. Looks like Miller is playing centrally.

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PRE-GAME– The Crew come in short-handed, but did get some good news with goalkeeper Wil Hesmer able to go after originally being questionable with a back injury.

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PRE-GAME– It must be noted that the Columbus Crew has brought along a large and loud fan contingent to tonight's match. The Crew fans here have to be the loudest group of visiting fans to visit Red Bull Arena to date (That's including Philadelphia).

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PRE-GAME– Here are the starting lineups:

RED BULLS

—————-Angel————-Richards—————

Hall ———-Miller————-Stammler—Ubiparipovic

Borman——–Ream————Petke————Albright

———————–Coundoul——————————

BENCH- Sutton, Mendes, Sassano, Tchani, Garcia, Wolyniec, Chinn

CREW

—————Lenhart———–Garey——————-

Gaven——–Carroll————Moffatt———–Ekpo

O'Rourke———Brunner——Iro—————-Hejduk

————————-Hesmer—————————–

BENCH- Gruenebaum, OUghton, Padula, Zayner, Duka, Renteria, Herrera

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PRE-GAME– It is a beautiful night in Harrison tonight. Perfect weather and while it will be far from a sellout, you can already feel some good atmosphere from the fans who have arrived early.

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