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Red Bulls dominate D.C. in 4-0 win


 Photo by Jose L. Argueta/


WASHINGTON – After a modest start to the season, the star-studded New York Red Bulls are officially living up to the hype.

Striker Thierry Henry notched two goals and an assist, Joel Lindpere and Juan Agudelo added strikes of their own, and New York put together its second straight emphatic win with a 4-0 triumph at Atlantic Cup rival D.C. United on Thursday.

"I told you guys at the beginning of the season, once we start to score, I think we’re going to score a lot," Henry said.

Henry continued his good run of form after recording his first goal of the season during New York's 3-0 win over San Jose last week, appearing well recovered from the hamstring and Achilles ailments that bothered him earlier in the campaign.

He opened the scoring in the 12th minute. A clever touch from midfielder Dane Richards freed right back Jan Gunnar Solli, who sent in a precise service that Henry nodded past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The Red Bulls (3-1-2) doubled their advantage in the 38th minute when the Richards-to-Solli-to-Henry combination struck again. This time, Richards chipped to Solli as the defender made a run into the penalty area. The Norwegian's subsequent off-balance centering feed fell to Henry, who thumped it off Hamid and into the back of the net.

"I think it's a lot with the health issue definitely," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said of Henry's improved play. "Because if you have some pain, you can't be as explosive as you want to and you can't run the way you want to."

To United (2-3-1), the match marked a step back after the team picked up a 3-0 win in Toronto last week. Although D.C. did enjoy stretches of encouraging play, the final ball in the attacking third was lacking and its defensive miscues were ruthlessly punished by New York.

"There was some good stuff out there at times," United coach Ben Olsen said. "I think we fouled up a couple plays that cost us. They're a good team. If you make mistakes, they have got guys who know how to punish you. We didn't do a good enough job on Thierry in the first half. We let him make the game."

Said Backe: "I would say D.C. is the best team we've played against so far. It sounds strange when you win 4-0, but the way [United] plays, the way they defend — we got them on the breaks, but they played well. We had trouble today."

After protecting the two-goal advantage for most of the second half, New York piled it on late. Lindpere added the third tally in the 76th minute when he collected a pass near midfield from Henry and charged through the empty space in front of him before beating D.C. midfielder Clyde Simms with a vicious cut and slotting his finish past Hamid.

Substitute Juan Agudelo then capped off the win in spectacular fashion, flicking a low pass from Solli up to himself and volleying the shot home in the 92nd minute.

It was the third assist of the night for Solli, whose overlapping runs were a thorn in the side of United left back Marc Burch throughout the contest.

"Jan Gunnar was more than active on that right-hand side," Henry said. "He created a lot for us tonight."

But not every Red Bull's contributions showed up in the box score. Teemu Tainio looked sharp for New York as he dictated possession from his deep central midfield role and came up with a few timely tackles.

Centerbacks Rafael Marquez and Tim Ream did well to deny D.C.'s strikers service, and Bouna Coundoul made his case to retain the starting job in goal ahead of the now-healthy Greg Sutton, preserving the shutout with several stellar saves.

"They're a good all-around team at every position," United defender Dejan Jakovic said. "They definitely knew what to do with the two-goal lead that they had."

One United player who came close to unlocking New York's defense was midfielder Branko Boskovic. The Montenegro international, who has struggled to find playing time this season despite his Designated Player status, entered at halftime and struck woodwork on two shots, including a 30-yard free kick.

The Red Bulls became the first team to hold D.C. striker Charlie Davies off the score sheet in this young MLS season, although he did fluster New York's back line with pace throughout his 60 minutes on the pitch. In the first half, a clear breakaway for Davies was whistled dead for an offside call television replays showed was incorrect.

For United, it was that kind of evening.

"I don't think we executed on that final ball where we could have took advantage of them a couple of times," Davies said. "I think a lot of it was my fault. I felt I didn't get involved enough. I wasn't as dangerous as I could have been, but it's just a learning curve and we're going to have those days."


  1. You need to relax. NY has Ream, Agudelo, Kassel, Hot, Keel, Mendes, Albright, Horwath, Lassiter, Schneider, da Luz, Hertzog… plenty of Americans. Are they all playing? No. Some are injured, some are young and developing, some are backups. But I’m really not understanding the problem here. NY has a succesful academy, they are developing young talent AND signing plenty of them as homegrown. NY is up there in terms of homegrown signings. And having thier young Americans play with high-quality, experienced players–regardless of the nationalities of those players– can only be a good thing.

    Furthermore, you’re employing a logical fallacy–the “slippery slope” argument–which basically invalidates your entire comment. Not to mention that NY isn’t “walking all over the foreign player limit”– their roster is within MLS rules. A lot of their “foreign” players have green cards, for one thing.

  2. Whoa. Calm down. It didn’t look like the worst decision when Rogers scored two goals his first game. Plus you are not in the locker room/ training with NYRB on a daily so you can’t speak to what was going on.

  3. you know he is benching him because he needs to0 keep the kid level headed and prevent him from becoming anohter freddy adu or jozy altidore? he wants to keep him in the US to help out the bulls and to make sure he develops his skills fully. Messi was benched when he was 17-18 all of the time even though we knew he was gonna be a prodigy.

  4. Or you can see 5-10 years from now a league where every team only lines up 2 Americans and then only 36 Americans play in an American league…WRONG!

  5. Exactly which for English national teams fan this is the worst that could had happen to them. I hope this is not the beginning of an easy way out which if other teams follow only 36 AMERICAN players (if that) will be playing in an American league. Then take that American flag off the shoulder and put the UN flag!

    By the way nobody disagrees about hte contributions of NY to the USMNT IN THE PAST. I believe the point is not that but the point is the current era with Backe. Osorio, Bradley and Arena did not cop out the easy way. Believe me it works but its wrong. This is a disgrace and NOTHING to be proud of. Even Agudelo our brightest and who already show potential is being benched by this European.

  6. We are not talking about the past. If anything we are talking about the current Backe era. Osorio, Arena and Bradley himself didn’t do this. Backe is doing a disservice to the league. Setting up a dangerous precedent that don’t get me wrong, it works but its the easy way and wrong way to make it work. Jesus Christ he is benching Agudelo, a kid with talent and not matter what needs time in the field and he is benching him for a has been English guy who wouldn’t be playing in the Championship!

  7. I completely agree. They might as well have Aston Villa come over an wear the NYRB jersey and trash DC United. They have there sole American playing in that club with the other in the bench. This is bad for the league because it sets a precedent to walk all over the foreign player limit rule and DO THE EASY WAY out instead of building from the bottom up. If all teams do this then there will be only 2×18=36 Americans if that IN AN AMERICAN LEAGUE…way to go Backe and for those that can’t see pass this are just either blind, greedy or anti-USMNT and MLS fans…

  8. I’m not saying I don’t agree. I’m not sayinag I’m a fan of Harkes. I just want to know what the particulars of his complaints are and who he’d like to see in the booth. Just bashing someone without any reasoning behind it easy – kind of like saying to someone on a comment board “are you serious?”

  9. Kirk, you are a bit harsh on Altidore. He lead USMNT in scoring in the qualification tournament last year – he also scored against Spain in the Confederations Cup. Also, when Altidore played in MLS he had 15 goals in 37 appearances (0.4 goal per game). Playing for the same team, Agudelo has 2 goals in 7 appearances (0.3 goals per game). This is not to say that Agudelo cannot improve on his average, but so far (based upon this rather limited sample of his games) his numbers are quite similar with the numbers that Altidore was putting up in MLS.

  10. Too harsh. Sometimes it’s so simple to criticize individuals. Burch isn’t the best LB in MLS for sure, but he was left on an island by his teammates too much. He needed cover and never really got it. It was poor team defending that led to the goals. But the poor defending was across the entire backline — failing to pick up Henry TWICE in the box. Come on now, no excuse there. Tactics were working through the midfield and DC had good possession — it was the timing of runs by Davies and Wolff that seemed disconnected from each other and other midfield players. How many runs did the forwards make that were too early or too late? It just looked awkward. It’s a new season with new players and that understanding is going to take time. Goals will come for DC because the build up is smooth and the space is there for the forwards to attack. They need to sort out their defending because the starting positions, marking and communication was bad.

  11. RSL who..? Oh yeah, that one MLS club that is on the threshold of becoming the first to represent our country in the Club WC.

  12. I agree with you to an extent on Burch. Burch looked like a deer in the headlights last night, but he usually does OK against most MLS team. I think Richards and Solli were a really bad match up for him – he is OK technically, but he could not handle their speed and was caught out of possition several times. I think the coach instructed him to sit back to compensate for the difference in speed, but it pretty much put Pontius at a numerical disadvatage upfront and Solli/Richards did not have to worry as much about tracking back and could mostly focus on attacking. I thought that Solli had an outstanding game with his overlapping runs and crosses.

  13. I think NY has done more then their share of helping out the USMNT if you look at the world cup squad last year the MLS team with the most former players that were on the squad were from NY (howard, bradley, clark, jozy) plus if you look at the last call ups only 4 mls players were called up donovan and dermerit are both dps the other 2 would be the 2 americans that played for NY last night. NY is just not going to give you a start just bc you are american you need to be good which can only be good for the USMNT and we have a few bright stars on the bench and reserves like keel and kassel who will get their time in the spotlight come gold cup time.

  14. Sure, they built that stadium in the U.S. Developing a good academy program with several club teams (which is developing American talent). I think they are doing a good job. Plus as a fan, I want RBNY to win a championship and if this team does it, I’m fine with that.

  15. GunnerRR, it’s refreshing to finally see a sober and intelligent analysis from a NYRB fan. It get an impression that some fans are so smitten by the score line that they forgot how the game developed. I think that your analysis is very similar with what Backe said about the game.

  16. Oh we HATE DC!
    And we HATE DC!
    We HATE DC!
    Yes we HATE DC!

    Oh we HATE DC!
    Yes we HATE DC!

    We are the DC HATERS!


  17. I was waiting for the “only one American” comment to roll out… sure, lets go back to the days of Mike Magee and John Wolyneic – both hard working, blue collar players, but from a soccer fan’s standpoint, tough to watch. I have watched Metro’/NYRB since inception, and this present team is CLASS!

  18. yeah let’s not get too excited, NY definitely deserved the win but they didn’t control the pace of the game. DC just forgot to cover Henry, only one of the most lethal strikers of all time on a couple crosses. RSL > NY

  19. Pretty true. Tim Howard, Altidore, and Bradley all came from Metro/NYRB. There is a track record of developing good talent there. And Ream and Agudelo are there now, studying under Marquez and Henry. Not too bad.

    Also, the roster is 30 players deep. I think there are 8 international spots on a team (green card holders don’t count towards intl spots. If the majority of the starting XI are foreigners then so be it. Let the Americans step up their game. Competition is good. Isn’t that actually the American way? Besides, with all the new teams in MLS’s expansion years, the talent diluted a little in the league and the development acadamies and reserve legue have not been around long enough to bear fruit yet. In 5-10 years you will see more local talent that is good enough.


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