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Red Bulls vs. Wizards: Match Night Commentary

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The New York Red Bulls have first-place in the Eastern Conference in mind, while the Kansas City Wizards have playoff survival on the line when the two conference rivals square off at Red Bull Arena tonight:

The Wizards are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go, but they'll have to beat the surging Red Bulls to stay alive. New York comes into the match a point behind the Crew for first place in the East.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your 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. Thanks for following along and please feel free to share your post-game thoughts in the comments section below. 

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FINAL– The win, coupled with the Columbus Crew's 0-0 tie vs. San Jose means the Red Bulls are now in first place in the East, two points ahead of Columbus with three matches to play. 

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FINAL– Red Bulls 1, Wizards 0. A hard-fought game and a deserved victory for the Red Bulls. Kansas City isn't eliminated from the playoffs yet, but this loss definitely hurts the Wizards chance. The win also clinches New York's playoff berth, not that it was really in doubt at this point.

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94th Minute– Wolff draws a very soft foul from about 28 yards out, straight on goal. Good free kick chance for the Wizards.

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92nd Minute– SAVE Coundoul, stops a potentially dangerous shot from close range. We've got about two minutes left for KC to make something happen.

Kamara just took out Albright.

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90th Minute– Mike Petke with a pretty vital tackle on Kamara in the area. Clutch stop.

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88th Minute– KC now in a 3-4-3 formation as they chase the equalizer.

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87th Minute– KC really did have another attacking card to play, with former No. 1 overall draft pick Chance Myers coming in for central defender Shavar Thomas.

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85th Minute– Plenty of New York ties with KC. Former MetroStar player Peter Vermes is KC's head coach, assistant coach Octavio Zambrano was the MetroStars head coach from 2000 to 2002. Birahim Diop is also a former MetroStar.

Mike Petke is in the match for Roy Miller.

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84th Minute– Birahim Diop comes in for Auvrey, and yes, that's the kitchen sink as KC fields four forwards in search of an equalizer.

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81st Minute– KC with another corner after Coundoul flails and misses a dangerous ball in. He really is a heart attack in gloves.

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80th Minute– Wizards with ten minutes to make something happen. Their coaching staff is standing on the sidelines trying to figure out what they can do.

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78th Minute– SAVE NIELSEN! Red Bulls go on a counterattack and had numbers, but Ballouchy's shot is stopped by Nielsen. KC got lucky there. Another dangerous run by Richards.

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76th Minute– KC corner after Tchani is stripped, leading to a counter by Jewsbury. Tchani needs to be smarter with the ball in that dangerous a spot. He can't be trying to dribble out of traffic there.

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74th Minute– Carl Robinson comes in for Henry, who didn't have a great game tonight. NY switches to a 4-2-3-1.

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72nd Minute– Jack Jewsbury is in for Craig Rocastle. He will look to help spark the KC attack, which is struggling to really put pressure on NY right now.

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68th Minute– Tonight's announced attendance is 24K+. Not that many here obviously, but there's a good crowd tonight, with the upper decks more full than usual. Could be the biggest MLS crowd of the year here at Red Bull Arena.

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66th Minute– New York putting the pressure on. They're not sitting on this lead.

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65th Minute– This one-goal lead does not feel safe for NY right now.

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63rd Minute– HENRY GOES WIDE! A great head pass from Angel to Henry, who dribbles in and has a look on his right foot, but sends his shot wide.

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60th Minute– Some better moments from Ballouchy, and Tchani has also stepped it up.

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57th Minute– Some wild action here. Coundoul with a clutch save and Richards with a missed opportunity. It could be 1-1 and it could be 2-0 New York.

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56th Minute– SAVE COUNDOUL!! Albright turns the ball over right to Bunbury, but his shot can't beat Coundoul.

RICHARDS OFF THE POST!!! Wow, clear look and he sent it just wide.

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54th Minute– Ballouchy gets a yellow card and an angry Rocastle protesting the foul. Not a great game for Ballouchy tonight. He is much better suited to be in a 4-2-3-1 with two defensive midfielders behind him.

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49th Minute– The KC midfield is definitely playing with more purpose now and Tchani and Ballouchy need to step their game up.

Angel looks to be taken down by Conrad, but no call is made. I'd have to see the replay.

Arnaud hits a hard shot at Coundoul, who spills it. Luckily for him, nobody from KC was around.

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47th Minute– OFF THE POST!! Kei Kamara rocketed a shot off the top corner of the woodwork. SO Close for KC. Still 1-0 Red Bulls.

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46th Minute– FOUL on the Red Bulls inside the arc. Dangerous free kick for KC.

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HALFTIME– What can we expect to change in the second half? The Wizards already have three strikers in the lineup, so it's a matter of the midfield gaining more possession. Can it do that when the Red Bulls have the numbers advantage in midfield? It's possible if Ballouchy continues to struggle defensively.

The Red Bulls are playing well and won't want to change much.

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HALFTIME– Red Bulls 1, Wizards 0. An early Richards goal is the difference. New York dominated play in the first 25 minutes before the match settled down. 

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46th Minute– A great pass from Tchani springs Richards down the right, but he goes for the shot rather than the pass to a wide-open Angel. His shot goes wide.

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45th Minute– Ballouchy isn't having the best game today. You can tell he's not comfortable with the defensive duties that come with playing centrally in a 4-4-2.

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44th Minute– Correction on Roy Miller. He is still one card away from yellow card suspension, so he'll be in the lineup against RSL (barring anything crazy happening today).

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41st Minute– Henry goes wide with a header. His best look so far, from close range.

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40th Minute– Coundoul has one of his trademark brain cramps, comes out for no real reason and almost gets caught outside the area. Somewhere, Erik Soler is writing down, "Still need a new goalkeeper in 2011."

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38th Minute– Roy Miller just got a yellow card for persistent fouling, but the better action is on the sidelines, where Peter Vermes and Richie Williams are having some heated words over the card. The Jersey boys go way back so you can't make too much of that one.

Miller will miss the RSL match next week due to yellow card accumulation.

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37th Minute– SAVE Coundoul. Bunbury blasted a long-range shot that forced a diving stop from Coundoul. Game is starting to open.

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36th Minute– SAVE Nielsen! Stops an Angel blast. The Wizards are starting to settle into this game. A goal there would have crushed them. Still looking for the Wizards to really test Coundoul.

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30th Minute– Richards puts some serious pressure on KC's defense again, and the Wizards are lucky not to be down 2-0. NY with a corner.

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27th Minute– There's Kamara again, forcing a save from Coundoul. Roy Miller will have his hands full tonight, and Tim Ream will need to provide some help when he's not shadowing fellow rookie Teal Bunbury.

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25th Minute– Kamara's free kick hits the wall, and a Rocastle follow hits Miller for a KC corner. Harrington curls the short corner right to Coundoul. Wasted chance for KC.

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24th Minute– A Miller handball has given KC a dangerous free kick from about 22 yards out.

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22nd Minute– Kei Kamara forces Coundoul to get on the ground for a save. Kamara is the Wizards' most reliable goal scorer this season so they'll need him to spark the attack if they're going to overcome this slow start.

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21st Minute– The Wizards are in must-win mode tonight after Seattle's win against Toronto. They can't afford to drop any more points and right now they don't look like a team playing with urgency.

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17th Minute– Henry takes a bit of a knock, but he's shaking it off. Fans in the building hold their breath anytime the Frenchman starts to hobble.

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16th Minute– Apologies for the late start to the commentary. I missed the memo telling people to arrive at the stadium early. Traffic isn't usually a problem coming into the stadium, but it was brutal today. I saw a ton of people arriving late to the game so I wasn't alone. 

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14th Minute– The Wizards don't look at all comfortable and you wonder how their system will hold up on the wider field at Red Bull Arena. Their 4-3-3 works well at the narrow pitch at their home stadium, but at Red Bull Arena, the Red Bulls will have the advantage on the flanks.

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10th Minute– Here are the lineups:

RED BULLS

—————-Henry————-Angel—————–

Lindpere————-Ballouchy—————Richards

————————Tchani—————————-

Miller——–Ream————Mendes———–Albright

———————Coundoul—————————–

WIZARDS-

——Wolff———–Bunbury———–Kamara———

————————-Arnaud——————————

—————-Auvrey———–Rocastle——————

Espinoza——-Conrad——-Thomas———Harrington

————————–Nielse——————————-

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8th Minute– The Red Bulls are in control early and KC is clearly frazzled.

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6th Minute– GOAL RED BULLS!! And it's Dane Richards, who capitalizes on a Wizards defensive blunder to give New York the lead.

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PRE-GAME– Some absences for each team. Ryan Smith is out with an injury while New York midfielder Rafael Marquez was pulled out of the lineup after taking a knock in warm-ups. Tony Tchani is replacing him.



Comments

  1. Richards, Angel, and Henry had chances to score a goal but they didn’t finish, only because the other team has more shots taken doesn’t mean they were good shots taken. Yes I agree Coundoul was the reason why the Red Bulls won, he save them, but Red Bulls did have their chances as well but couldn’t finish them.

    Reply
  2. OBviously, you havent been to the Dub pies concession outside 133… They have beef an ale, chicken curry, chicken vegitable and minced meat….. They are quite good.

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  3. Where I come from, we eat meat pis & drink pints and invade the pitah after a loss and have bad teeth. Every now and again, we beat an away supporter uo just because he roots for a different team.

    Now THAT’s Proper Footy Culture!

    Where’s the marmite?

    Reply
  4. Red Bulls had so many chances to score? The Wizards had 26 shots with 12 being on goal; several more buzzed the post. If the Wizards could finish, they would have won that game handily. The game consisted of them attacking over and over again with sporadic counterattacks by the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls had less than half the shots than the Wizards.

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  5. @ Harraby

    When the Red Bulls are in last place and no one is showing up at the games. I do agree though meatpies would be nice

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  6. Sure, the Red Bulls are in first place and have big stars and a great stadium and draws lots of fans, but they lack proper footy culture!

    Where are the meat pies?

    The team should be named FC Harrison!

    When will we admit that this experiment know as Red Bull NY has failed???

    Reply
  7. Just got back from the game. Great crowd and great atmosphere. For all those who haven’t been to a game yet you should really go and check it out. It was quite a blast. The game itself was a strange but exciting one. Finishing was really poor and it should’ve been like 3-2. Great to see though that mls is putting together a great product in most of it’s markets. A real change from 10 years ago.

    Reply
  8. I agree. Just got back from the game, and it was quite a crowd. I am happy that RB is now in first place, but I thought that they let KC have too much of the second half, esp. in midfield. It is amazing that they did not get a goal from all of that attacking, but Bouna stood on his head and was by far the Man of the Match. Ballouchy did not play as well as in the last two games, but I think that a lot of this (including the lack of a solid midfield) was due to missing Rafa. He had better be back for the RSL match.

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  9. Agree with Mark. That was an uncomfortable win. KC (especially Kamara) looked ready to break through at almost any time, but Bouna was amazing.

    First place is nice — but I’m focusing on trying to get the second-best record overall in MLS. That would give us a decent chance of qualifying for CCL next season (even if RBNY don’t make the final).

    And props to the fans. We had close to a full house without playing a glamor team like L.A.

    Reply
  10. Got back from the game, and it feels good to be in first place. However, that game was pretty abyssmal. Red Bulls looked bad, and if it wasn’t for Bouna making some diving stops KC would have gotten at least a point, perhaps more. Hopefully they’ll rise to the occasion next week with RSL coming to town.

    Reply
  11. Haven’t seen my contemporary aristotle around recently. where’ve you been? hopefully you’ll relax with the USMNT trolling.

    Reply
  12. Hard to believe Dallas will be within one point of the Galaxy if they win tonight. Seems inevitable they will pass the Galaxy.

    Reply
  13. On a completely unrelated note: Dallas appears to be unbeatable. What a turnaround for that team. I just wish they had more than 12 fans, and that they seemed to care.

    Reply

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