Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
BY MIKE NASTRI
The Red Bull "reserves" did it again.
NYRB's other squad dismantled the Colorado Rapids regulars 3-0 behind a brace by John Wolyniec and a goal by Conor Chinn.
The Red Bulls were dominating as they stifled a potent Rapids attack and showed great creativity in the attacking third. Irving Garcia built on a solid debut start on Sunday against Juventus. Garcia would set up the first goal on a hard cross to Wolyniec who just got a touch past Colorado keeper Ian Joyce for the 1-0 lead.
"I was about to take a shot," said Garcia. "Then I saw someone coming in, I thought it was Conor. But, I just tried to play that ball and it was a good goal."
The rest of the midfield was dominant throughout the match. Tony Tchani and Sinisa Ubiparipovic controlled the center of the pitch for NYRB dominating a normally strong Rapids midfield. Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, and Mehdi Ballouchy could not string more than a couple of passes together before one of the NYRB midfielders stuck a foot in.
"They [the midfield] did a fantastic job in there winnng balls, starting the attack," said defender Luke Sassano. "You know, and we expect that from them, they're top players."
The wins in midfield led to quick counters and its how the second goal was scored. After the ball was won in midfield, Tchani made a steaking run down the right wing beating two Rapids defenders before slotting the ball to John Wolyniec. The Fordham grad blasted a one timer for the 2-0 lead.
"He's strong [Tony Tchani], drives the ball and it was an excellent setup for John Wolyniec," said head coach Hans Backe.
A midfield tackle was the catalyst for the second goal as well. Ubiparipovic stole the ball in the Rapids half, beat a defender and slipped a ball to a streaking Conor Chinn. The ball glanced off Rapids defender Drew Moor and fell to Chinn, who ripped the ball home for the 3-0 lead.
Chinn's goal might have been enough to earn some serious minutes on Saturday's match against New England with Mac Kandji still out and Ibrahim Salou recovering from injury.
"I'm not sure if he will start the game, he will definitely be on the bench that's for sure," said Backe.
That Chinn goal might not only have earned him time, but put away Colorado for good. The Rapids had a couple of chances at the start of the second half but a 3-0 deficit was too much to overcome. Their let down after the third goal was very similar to the letdown early in the first half. After a couple of missed opportunities, the Rapids looked fatigued and uninspired and let NYRB take advantage.
"Wells Thompson had a fabulous chance before anybody finds their seat in the stadium, but fails to hit the target," said Rapids coach Gary Smith. "There were some important moments and if you don't take advantage of them, they're not going to come around every minute or two. They're hard to work for, tough to create, and in the end, it means that some of the guys start to feel, literally, the heat because they're not coming back in the game."
New York put the Rapids away early, and from then on it was a clinic of passing, defense, and finishing.
"New York came in with a good game plan, they came in and sat deep, absorbed some pressure and broke well," said Rapids defender Drew Moor. "We didn't do the little things right tonight to win this game."
"Give them credit, they did well to put them away, but we had to do a better job with limiting the opportunities they had."
The Red Bulls "reserve" team once again made a huge push for playing time in a regular season match. Irving Garcia was explosive in the midfield, taking on defenders and creating a nuisance of himself. Ubiparipovic and Tchani were strong and dominating in the midfield and kept possession well. Chinn and Wolyniec finished their chances in clinical fashion.
"I'm rather pleased with the performance today," said Backe. "We controlled all of the 90 minutes today and were great with possession. We got our goals and created a good amount of chances."
It might just take one more poor performance by the first team on Saturday against the Revolutions to open the door for many of these reserves to see some serious time. And this other team is certainly ready for that opportunity.
"Any chance you have an opportunity is a chance to show what you can do and trying to get on the first team," said John Wolyniec. "And if not, at least be able to push the guys ahead of you and make sure they are staying sharp and know that there are options out there so they got to keep working."