If the New York Red Bulls had a checklist for things they'd like to see in a victory on Saturday against Colorado, there is a good chance several boxes were checked out.
Thierry Henry scores a goal? Check. Dane Richards keeps up his impressive play? Check. Rafa Marquez and Tchani play another good game together? Check. Tim Ream has a strong rebound game after struggling last week? Check.
Henry, Richards and Ream all scored goals to help the Red Bulls down Colorado, 3-1, at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. Omar Cummings scored a brilliant goal to make the score 2-1, and give Colorado some life in the second half, but Richards finished the Rapids off with his second goal of the season.
The victory improved New York to 12-8-4, moving the Red Bulls to within four points of Columbus, with the Crew facing Los Angeles later tonight.
Colorado came in riding a two-match winning streak but started the match slowly as New York dominated the early going. Henry and Richards were especially active, with Richards putting a dangerous shot on goal and drawing a dangerous free kick in the opening minutes.
Henry scored his second MLS goal in the 17th minute on a clever combination with Joel Lindpere, who sent a perfect back-heel pass into Henry's path. Henry blasted a close-range shot past Matt Pickens to open the scoring.
Ream scored his first professional goal in the 32nd minute when he raced in on the back-posted and volleyed home a Tony Tchani cross to make the score 2-0.
Cummings had the goal of the day in the second half when he raced from midfield and unleashed a left-footed blast from 35 yards away to pull the Rapids within a goal.
Richards answered his countryman's tally when Angel jarred a ball loose in the area that fell to Richards, who chipped a shot over Pickens to make the score 3-1.
Colorado appeared to have an argument for a penalty later in the second half when Ream barged into Cummings in the penalty area, but referee Baldomero Toledo didn't call a foul.
The Red Bulls delivered a solid team effort, with the midfield winning its battle against Colorado. Marquez and Tchani outplayed the Colorado tandem of Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz, while Richards wreaked havoc on the left side of the Rapids defense. The Red Bulls defense also held up well against the Rapids tandem of Cummings and Conor Casey, with Casey rendered invisible on the night.
Here are the match highlights:
New York will next travel to Texas to take on red-hot FC Dallas on Thursday. Colorado will play host to New England next Saturday.