Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIPhotos.com
By MIKE NASTRI
After a miserable May and June that included just one win, the New York Red Bulls showed what they can do with a nearly full-strength side.
The Red Bulls overcame a promising start from Toronto FC before finding a good attacking rhythm and dismantling the visitors from Canada in a 5-0 dismantling on Wednesday night.
Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers each scored in their return to the lineup, while Joel Lindpere continued his hot play with the third goal of the match and assists on both of Juan Agudelo's match-concluding goals.
The victory moved the Red Bulls back into first place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Philadelphia Union, which has two games in hand on New York.
Henry opened the scoring in the 34th minute off an assist from Jan Gunnar Solli. Solli made a darting run down the right wing and hit a low cross into the box. The ball squirted through the legs of Luke Rodgers and Toronto defender Richard Eckersley and found a wide open Henry. The Red Bull captain took the ball calmly and slotted it past Stefan Frei for his league leading 9th goal of the season.
"I think most of the time we got a hold of the ball, our possesion and the decision making was to go forward," said head coach Hans Backe. "That was probably the key to winning this game."
Solli was at it again just five minutes later. On a similar run down the right side, Solli played a trailing ball at the top of the box to Rodgers. Rodgers flicked the ball up to himself and hit a full volley rocket into the top left corner for the 2-0 lead.
"He is a little bit lucky on the first touch on the first goal because I asked him if he was trying to tip it and he said no, that he was just trying to reach it and bam," said Solli. "That's an instinct for an attacker and it's important for us and it was a nice goal and an important goal for sure."
Joel Lindpere starred on the three second half goals, after having one of his own taken back at the end of the first half. In the 53rd minute, Dane Richards slotted a ball to Lindpere at the top of the box. Lindpere touched the ball around his defender and ripped it home for his fourth in the last three matches.
The Estonian played creator on the last two goals of the match. A perfectly struck Lindpere corner found Juan Agudelo, who headed it home for the insurmountable lead. In the 89th minute, Lindpere played a quick pass to a wide open Agudelo. Agudelo pounded it home for his 4th goal of the season and his first multi-goal game of his career.
The 2010 Red Bulls MVP has been just that the past three games. Lindpere accounted for all three goals in ties with San Jose and Chicago walking into the tilt with Toronto. Lindpere has five goals and five assists on the season and is stating a strong case to be an MLS All-Star.
"I haven't seen so many bad goals against in my whole career in a row," said Lindpere. "I was so frustrated, maybe that's what helped me. Maybe I was getting a little more selfish and that is the result."
Lost in the scoring output was the solid play of the Red Bull defense. The unit posted their first shut out since April 30th against Sporting KC. The duo of Tim Ream and Carlos Mendes that anchored a 2010 Red Bulls squad to an Eastern Conference low 29 goals allowed are starting to click in the absence Mexican DP Rafa Marquez. The shut down defense of Jan Gunnar Solli on Toronto's most dangerous starter, Joao Plata, was another huge part of the clean sheet.
"We definitely needed a clean sheet today," said Backe. "If you look at the last four games and the number of goals, I think we conceded 29 in 30 games and I think we are up to 23 now after 20 games. We need to do better than what we have done so far."
Backe added: "I don't know if they didn't challenge us enough, but it looked more solid, more composed today."
The only negative for New York in this revival game was Teemu Tainio's yellow card. Tainio recieved a caution for dissent and then slamming the ball down in the 60th minute following bad throw-in called on the Finn. The card will force Taini to miss New York's Atlantic Cup show down against D.C. United at home on Saturday. Even though Tainio has been battling injuries, but the Red Bulls will sorely miss thier midfield rock.
"He has been struggling a little bit with injuries," said Solli. "So, maybe this was a small positive. We are going to miss a really good player. But, now he gets his chance to finally be ready. And I'm sure people will be up to the challenge of playing in Teemu's position."
One of the the guys will have to step up in Tainio's absence will be newly acquired Dax McCarty, who will be facing his former team on Saturday. The match will also mark Dwyane De Rosario's return to Red Bull Arena in just his third game since being traded to D.C. United last Monday. This rivalry game will have even more heat than usual as the two star midfielders will try to prove their old teams wrong for trading them, helping their new team toward victory.
What did you think of the Red Bulls convincing win? Glad to see New York firing on all cylinders? Hoping for a better July? Think Lindpere should be an all star? What did you think of Toronto's flat performance?
Saturday should be interesting w/ Dax and DeRo flipping sides and all. One of these seasons we’ll get both clubs at the top of the table and this rivalry will get super-charged again.
In the meantime, I hope you won’t be too bothered by the currently downtrodden boys in black-n-red pulling the road upset. 😉
Cheers! I would be disappointed if you didn’t want to keep our case empty.
I am very sympathetic to you guys for having a crappy home and an incompetent FO for obvious reasons. I even took part in that e-mail blitz to that Maryland county when it looked like it could be a home. None of that stops me from laughing at every pothole you guys are hitting on and off the field and hoping you never win again 😉
nobody cares.. g’day
I’ll tell you what, Scott A, smack talk aside, I actually have a great admiration for Metro/Red Bulls fans who’ve been following them for years. You’ve been through hell and for a long time it must have been really tough to support that team. The league — and our rivalry — needs a strong club in NY.
That said, even though we’ve had a couple down years I still love beating you guys when we do, and I hope DCU can help keep your trophy case empty. 😉
other than the Vince Lombardi rest stop in Secaucus, NJ Backe will be lucky to take them anywhere
Hans Backe for the USMNT??
Invisible…nice move by NY
Backe’s possession style is great…If that takes bringing in experienced Euros to mix with young Concacafers, keep em coming!
This is definitely the next level. RSL is also there if they can find a replacement for Morales. FCD is getting there if they can find a replacement for Ferreira. LA and Colorado are a notch below because of Arena’s MLS 1.0 styles.
Sorry, I don’t support a team based on winning trophies (unlike DCU fans evidently whose support has dropped to 12k on Saturdays now that they’re bad). We may not have gotten the big one yet, but we had olden days too and I still enjoyed supporting the team.
i’ll take olden days over no days.
Best 5-0 Red Bull victory over Toronto since the last game they played at Giants Stadium.
Not to carp, I really enjoyed the game, but NYRB play Saturday. Why not use the third substitution? I would have pulled Henry, put in da Luz,gone to 4-5-1.
solli didn’t really shut down plata, especially in the first half.
in the first few minutes, plata made a little move, touched it around him, and had a clear look at goal, but took the shot a moment too late, allowing mendes to streak back and block it. plata was pretty dangerous in the first half but was unable to finish / had no one else to pass it to.
(SBI-Plata gave Solli and NY trouble in the first 25-30 minutes, but after that Solli shut him down. The three or four times they wound up matched up against each other in the second half Solli either took the ball from him or completely neutralized him.)
Henry is a give-away machine. He gave the ball away more than any other player on the pitch, BY FAR. As he typically does.
We shall see. It’s easy to say a team on paper will do well.
BTW, Tchani did play today.
No, MLS has enough conservative coaching…Coaches like Winter and Backe bring fresh approaches. Winter’s style will be more effective once he gets his horses.
De Guzman, Tchani, and Santos were out but Plata and Martina still looked dangerous. They will be a different team in the second half.
I would take DeRo over Ballucci anyday
there are adding another player also
You certainly did well in the olden days. Are you guys going to have to upgrade to a larger moving truck to fit them? 🙂
We’ll see how much TFC’s fortunes change when the two DPs arrive.
Hopefully he will at least show some minimal level of competence considering this is the guy everyone wants as our national team coach….
Toronto is a poor side to begin with, even at full strength there are many holes to fill. Consider the absence of the first three choices at centreback were absent (Cann, Williams, Attakora). Add DeGuzman, Gordon, Santos, Peterson into the mix as MIA and this team is beyond impotent.
TFC is a rebuilding project and much will depend on the commitment, health, and attitude of the two new DPs. The saving grace is that TFC has few players over the 100K mark and DeGuzman is likely to go. There is a core to build at TFC.
Now if only they can get a coach who understands the need to bunker down and play on the counter against supperior opposition…
Congrats Red Bulls! Well that was a slow and thorough dismantling if there ever was one. Toronto FC wasn’t ready for what hit them. I didn’t think the goal right before half should have been annulled either.
Solli was clearly well below 100% and still managed to be pivotable in the first couple of goals. I’m surprised Hans did not rest him for the second half.
About the only bad news is I believe that Teemu will have to miss the DC game, if I understand correctly, due to yellow card accumulation; that is a shame..
I don’t think this represents a next level for MLS. NY has developed a possession game better that most of the other teams by bringing in a number of European players in the second half of their careers. I doubt anyone would want to see the league as a whole go in this direction. In addition NY’s place on the table isn’t exactly eye popping.
What is more interesting to me is where the team wants to go. It was evident in the May 7th game vs LA that NY wanted to control possession and tempo, construct chances. on that day NY had 53% of the possession 81% accuracy against arguably the best team in MLS. We see a lot of mindless long ball counterattacking run and gun in MLS. NY does not want to play this way.
Damn, we needed that. Agree about Dax. He was the unsung hero in a night of many heroes for the Red Bulls. This trade is looking better and better for both teams. Now we just need a consistent goalie: Sutton was lucky on a couple of those posters and Marcus H would be a serious upgrade. Looking forward to Saturday!
DC United: 12
If I’m a Toronto FC fan I’m definitely wondering if the players are fully committed to Winter’s philosophy.
Good job Metro, keep this sh.t rolling.
Those are nice numbers, but in the last 25 minutes of the game, Toronto stopped pressuring New York in their own end. They just sat around and passed it to each other.
I think you’re definitely jumping the gun here. One good game against a disheartened team in the second half and who is terrible to begin with is not sufficient grounds to herald the Red Bulls as the next level of MLS. Hans Backe is not a decent in-game tactical manager. You can’t even say he picked the players, because Erik Soler brought all the players in. Hans Backe happens to be in the right place at the right time. Praise the Red Bulls players for a spirited rout and the lack of determination or fight from Toronto and that’s it.
A few things really jumped out at me in this game. NY had 65% of possession and that possession was controlled by 4 players: McCarty, Solli, Ream, and Taino in that order. NY passed the ball 571 times with 87% accuracy. Those are really high numbers for MLS.
Looking at this game we can see by Backe traded De Rosario for McCarty. De Rosario was another playmaker they did not need. McCarty holds the ball and makes good passing decisions. Backe clearly values possession. McCarty had the ball at his feet 81 times tonight.
NY also crossed the ball 23 times tonight. Many of the crosses were of good quality. I believe that quality crossing is a good indicator of higher quality play.
Backe may be taking NY to a place few MLS teams have gone.
5-0 is still 5-0.
“the New York Red Bulls showed what they can do with a nearly full-strength side.”
against a really bad team.
Better to actually make it to the playoffs than not be there at all.
Lindpere has finally found his stride this season and Miller was also dangerous on the left side. TFC did have some chances though…They’ll be much better when the reinforcements arrive. NY is still in need of defensive depth.
No Copa America threads?
Whenever a team is struggling, my first thought is they need to fire the newly hired consultant. That will fix it!
me too. I think he will end up being better than DeRo for the team ovearll, ant a third of the price.
Q: Glad to see New York firing on all cylinders?
A: No. But it will make their inevitable collapse in the playoffs all the more enjoyable.
Wait… wait… there was soccer on TV tonight?! Darn it, I was just watching reruns of Top Gear on Netflix.
color me impressed by Dax
Don’t put too much weight on this win. TFC are this years’ punching bag.
Get Rafa back.
That felt good!
MLS whippin boys! It’s a pleasure to play TFC!