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RSL manhandles New York in 3-1 win


Photo by Howard C. Smith/


HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls are a sinking ship. 

New York, after a gutsy win in Dallas on Saturday, had a chance to strengthen its playoff hold. Real Salt Lake was without suspended midfield rock Kyle Beckerman and traveled cross country after a hard-fought win against Sporting KC on Saturday. But any doubt that RSL would collect their fifth win a row was erased almost immediately. 

RSL scored three goals in the opening 21 minutes to roll to a 3-1 victory and deal a heavy blow to the Red Bulls' postseason hopes.

In the eighth minute, Andy Williams spun a perfect corner to the head of Alvaro Saborio. The Costa Rican Designated Player beat Teemu Tainio to the ball and finished for the early 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, RSL continued it's scoring ways and the Red Bulls continued their sloppy play. Jan Gunnar Solli, back off a suspension, played a simple ball back to Tim Ream. The U.S. international centerback played a sloppy, short pass toward goalkeeper Frank Rost that was easily picked off by Fabian Espindola, and the Argentine easily finished the gift to give Salt Lake a two-goal lead. 

"Obviously we have a lot of stars and good players," said Red Bulls Designated Player Rafa Marquez. "But if we cannot gel together that doesn’t mean anything.

New York head coach Hans Backe added: "It was more about the individual mistakes. I don’t think we played poor or anything, but it’s frustrating with that kind of individual mistake. It kills the first half definitely, and the game."

Espindola continued the onslaught in the 21st minute after some superb passing from RSL. Collen Warner played a one-two with Saborio at the edge of the midfield circle in Red Bull territory. Warner found a streaking Espindola cutting behind the New York defense and flicked the ball with his left foot past an oncoming Rost. Espindola's ninth goal of the season gave Salt Lake a 3-0 edge. 

“We are a team that is kind of clicking right now," said RSL goalie Nick Rimando. "I don’t think we are playing our best but we are playing good and we are playing good at the right time.

Rimando added: "With New York you don’t know what to expect because sometimes they can be really good and sometimes they don’t click. Lucky enough we dropped on them early and never looked back.”

New York got one back in the 68th minute. Shortly after Joel Lindpere rocked the cross bar with a long distance shot, the Estonian finished a acrobatic bicycle kick to cut into the deficit. The 2010 team MVP's seventh goal of the season was too little, too late for New York, though, as their fate was sealed with 24 minutes left in the first half. 

The loss puts the Red Bulls' playoff position into further peril. Portland's tie against San Jose on Wednesday put them one point clear of New York for the tenth and final playoff spot. Chivas USA's late comeback on D.C. United for the 2-2 draw put D.C. two points out of the 10th and only a point behind the Red Bulls. Four out New York's final five games are against playoff teams including one this Saturday against Portland. The winner would take a monster step toward their playoff hopes. 

"Everyone is now aware it's a must win," said Backe. "We can't go in and get a tie or anything. That's the consequences and conclusion when we go out Saturday. We need to win."

RSL's playoff hopes are all but secure as the win pushes them into a tie for second in the Western Conference with Seattle. RSL faces a favorable schedule down the stretch as they try to push the LA Galaxy for the Supporter's Shield. Salt Lake has one match left against L.A. at the Home Depot Center on Oct. 1. 

"I think that we have demonstrated clearly over two years what we are capable of winning some games and going on runs," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "I believe that we should be considered as contenders for the championship and that is how we think about ourselves.”


  1. Rost looked like he had 300 lbs. weights in his shorts last night, so slow off his line. He didn’t even try to follow Espi as he went around him. Both him and Maquez are fail DP’s.

  2. “Is there anyone on the team with speed…”

    Dane Richards raises his hand and stands up.

    “…who can create plays?”

    Dane Richards awkwardly sits back down.

  3. Backe is the worst thing to happen to this league and the NYRB. I pray and hope Portland puts a final lid on you guys not for the club and fans but for Backe to be given a one way ticket back to Europe. He is a Euro denigrating holier than thou Snob whose comments (MLS Cup is worthless), actions (benching and only starting one American at times), and attitude (US Open Cup) is the worst I’ve seen in the 17 or so years of MLS. Good riddance and I wish you guys luck and hopefully with a new coach next year.

  4. Really disappointed in this team, how badly it has fallen apart, was there on Wednesday, will let them hear it again on Saturday.

    Is there anyone on the team with speed who can create plays?

  5. 1. Henry was trying like crazy. Slide tackling the keeper, for instance.

    2. All you idiots who boo Marquez are wrong.

    3. McCarty was also trying like crazy. OK, he’s kinda limited, but don’t criticize his effort

  6. Absolute embarrassment. RB this year are the model for how not to spend money. Hey Rafa, how about playing better, shutting up and perhaps earning that fat salary.

  7. Absolute embarrassment. RB this year are the model for how not to spend money. Hey Rafa, how about playing better, shutting up and perhaps earning that fat salary.

  8. “and we had de-ro too, how could this crumble so fast?”

    “Had” is the key word there, and at least a partial answer to your question.

  9. That’s pretty bad, but Frank Rost called out the whole league!

    the German keeper bellowed “This is girly football,” fired the ball in the side netting and added “pussycat league!”

  10. Didn’t Mexico play a whole lot better at the back once Rafa came out? He’s been coasting on reputation for quite a while now. Sure, now and again he’ll send in a decent free kick, but is that what you need from a central defender?

    The entire backline had a horror show tonight, Marquez included. To me, he seems a player not only in decline, but in denial about it. Bro, there’s a reason Barcelona shipped you OUT.

  11. Excellent point. Nicol is a coach that can get the best from his players. He’s had his hands tied by a stingy owner. I shudder to think what he could do with the kind of money Backe wasted, and an ownership group that is supportive and motivated. it’s such a good idea I hope it never happens, as the east would no longer be the easy back door to an MLS cup championship.

  12. As an RSL fan I think the Red Bull will get it right eventually. They’ve got to stop trying to build a team like they’re in Europe. This is MLS. No one can buy a winning team. The league is set up to punish those who try. Winning teams must be built. Even LA had to push through a couple disappointing years to get where they are (Ruud Hulit anyone?).

  13. Yeah definitely,perhaps one day the red bulls wont play so horrendous and make me proud. Not going to hold my breath though. Wish we can find a stable coach, we change coaches like Paris Hilton changes underwear.

  14. Marquez after the game (fr. the NY Post):

    “I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn’t an equal level between my teammates and I,” said Marquez, who gesticulated to the crowd. “I’m not paying attention to that. I’m actually focusing on my game…I’m focusing on performing at my highest performance, at the highest level. That doesn’t mean the whole back line can perform at the same level, that’s the problem.”

    Damn. If if you think that you definitely don’t say it…and if you do say it you don’t say it to a reporter. Locker room killer.

  15. No organization in this organization at all. Horrid coaching, a complete lack of discipline on defense, front office disarray, and over-priced stars getting in the way. Shame such an awesome stadium is wasted on this team. I would kill to have RSL or Portland instead of this bunch of clowns as my home team.

  16. Wow!! Did he seriously just call everyone on the defensive line out and say he’s better than them? Seriously, Rafa, your Barcelona days have long since passed son. How arrogant and delusional can he possibly be to make comments like that?

    I’m not even an NYRB fan, but that comment still annoys the daylights out of me. I agree entirely with you Scott, let that prima donna go and use the money he’s stealing to start rebuilding the squad.

    What an arrogant jerkoff.

  17. Thanks…we’ve come along way from 2005…we have a great coach and hard working players…and great guys to boot…always have time for the fans…its been fun to watch thsi team grow…:)

  18. agree. and that’s what happens when the players aren’t fighting just get in the lineup. as said above, this is a combination of error by backe and soler.

    Soler for trading away depth. backe for stubbornly refusing to give young players a chance.

    BUT, every should also understand, earlier this season the Dallas and RSL games would’ve been ties for 2 total points. at least WINNING one of them gave us 3 points. don’t mind losing one if we win another… cuz it moves the team into the playoffs (would hate it next year).

  19. Rafa must go. Red Bulls fans shouldn’t have to endure outrageous ticket price increases to pay for his multimillion dollar US vacation.

  20. Hellyes RSL. I had to miss the game but this is great news as RSL is beginning to peak at the right time. To hear Rimando talk about RSL’s possession against a team who on paper should be the keepers of the ball the entire game is awesome. Hopefully Javi will be back soon.

  21. when u saw the lineup of henry marquez lindpere solli rodgers agudelo ream miller taino richards at the beginning of the season did u ever imagine it will get this bad? what happen? how did this happen? and we had de-ro too, how could this crumble so fast?

  22. Rafa Marquez:

    “I’m trying to play at my level. That doesn’t mean that the whole backline can perform at that same level, so that’s a problem.”

    “I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn’t an equal level between my teammates and I.”

    You’re terrible Rafa and we don’t want you here. You’ll hear boos as long as you’re here.

  23. and as much as i love henry like where was he tonite? he took off on sat at dallas because he probably didnt wanna fly but seriously u gotta have some energy or at least sense of urgency when ur fighting for a spot with an expansion team

  24. Rafa deserves every boo that comes his way, especially after he antagonized the crowd because we were booing him. But he’s not the only one who deserves it obviously. This team has no passion, no heart. How can you come out flat in a game so important?! It’s shocking, yet not terribly surprising for this team as it’s become a pattern. Joel and Luke are the only ones fighting as hard as possible at all times. Rafa is garbage. Richards is all speed, no end-product. McCarty has been useless. Solli has tailed off big time. Rost hasn’t made a difference whatsoever. They’re hopeless. I fully expect for Portland to run us over on Saturday. At least next year maybe we’ll have a chance to give the young guys like Tchani and da Luz a shot. Oh wait… nevermind. They’re gone. Backe and Soler must go.

  25. I was at the game. He was booed every time he was on the ball. He has been garbage for awhile now and the fans are pretty sick of it. Rost and Ream were giving him the business after the 3rd goal. But it is not just down to Marquez. The team is sloppy, lazy and soft. They really need a no non sense coach to come in and light a fire under there you know whats.

  26. To me…Tim Ream is sooooo bad…it is incomprehensible he is even being invited in…I know I know…he’s big and can play with his feet but more often then not when I watch this guy he makes a Big error that hurts…please let’s move on to someone else

  27. The boos were loud and clear for Rafa. I was surprised how organized it was, as there were a lot of people doing it. Although I’m usually not one for booing someone on my team, I do agree that Rafa has been phoning it in since around the Gold Cup. Otherwise, I guess cynical ball was not in the plan tonight. RSL deserved the three points, no doubt. Hopefully RB can manage to take care of business against Portland on Saturday.

    I cannot see how Backe and Soler are in charge of the team next year. The hikes in season ticket prices are sure hard to accept in the current situation.

  28. From a redbulls fan you guys have an awesome team, you should be proud. If the red bulls dont make the play offs……which i assume they wont..Im deff gonna go for salt lake. Great fan base and Great players.

  29. Despite everything…I really do believe that a Jason Kreiss, a Richie Williams or several other young coaches in this league could win a few points with this team and get them into the playoffs. But what I do know is that, playoffs or not, I will not buy tickets next year if Soler and Backe run this team again. The $14 million circus must come to an end. Forget about the tragic Ream mistake tonight….this is clearly a team that has no character, no discipline, no ability to adjust tactically/strategically during the game, and no leadership. Last year, our hopes were high, and the team was cohesive and deep. But then Soler and Backe cleared house, firing coaches two weeks before this season and trading any and all talent on the bench shortly after. So this season’s disaster is theirs and theirs alone. Look at their performance and results. WOW. Red Bull management – hear your fans. Or lose even more of them.


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