By DAVE MARTINEZ
On a night where Tim Cahill scored his first goal as a Red Bull and the team rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory, it was Bill Gaudette who stole the show.
And that says a lot.
“I think the real hero tonight was probably Billy,” Cahill said after the match. “He played exceptional today – and every game I’ve been to since I’ve been here, he’s a massive part of our result.”
Coming off of an impressive eight-save performance against Spain with the Puerto Rican National Team, Gaudette shined in net for the Red Bulls as he held up the fort to preserve an impressive come-from-behind win at home.
His latest victory follows a string of strong performances that have caught the attention of Hans Backe and the Red Bulls coaching staff. After being picked up from Los Angeles and filling in for the injured rookie phenom, Ryan Meara, Gaudette has made an indelible impression on the team which will push New York to make some difficult decisions once Meara is ready for action.
“Bill was fantastic,” Jan Gunnar Solli noted. “He had five, six class definitely world-class saves. I gave him all my best after the game, he had a phenomenal game.
“Now we have a big competition for the first goalie again and that’s just good for our team.”
While Meara continues his road to recovery, Gaudette continues to make the most of his opportunities.
“We don’t know really with Ryan if and when he will be back,”Backe revealed. “I think it will be some discussion this week with thedoctors to see how bad it is or if he can still keep on training. ButBilly has been, his games he’s been playing I don’t thinkhe’s done one mistake so far. He came up big with three, four very, veryimportant saves when (Portland) had free runners. He’s beengreat.”
After a strong first 45 minutes, the Timbers continued to challenge Gaudette in the second half, including a point blank shot by Darlington Nagbe that was turned aside by the keeper. His heroics kept New York in the game, allowed them to go ahead and eventually helped secured a vital three points in what has become a tight race for first in the Eastern Conference.
“They were just saves,” Gaudette said post game. “That’s what your job is – to keep the team in the game. So it wasn’t our best performance. I keep reiterating that any time you come out and play like that and you weren’t really top notch and you get three points, it’s a pretty good night.”
Not one to accept personal accolades, the Puerto Rican backstop instead focused on the efforts of his backline in a match where luck played as large a part as skill in achieving the outcome.
“The boys did a great job getting back," said Gaudette. "They got back and saved me. It’s one of those things where right spot, right time. We are just happy to get three points.
“The only positive was we got three points. Other than that I don’t think there was much positive. We’re definitely not happy with the performance. But like I said, you get three points at home and that’s what you have to do."
Just don’t mention “Butch Lee” to any US basketball fans. That 1976 Olympic game was nerve-wracking.
Well, he’s the GK for Puerto Rico. He’s just not “Puerto Rican” in every sense of the word. It’s not incorrect.
Shep Messing is the god of hairy American GKs.
Full respect to the former RBNY ‘keeper, but how great is it that we’re not having debates over the strengths and weaknesses of Bouna Coundoul any more?
Props to the ex-Islander! And yes, PR identity is very complicated. Carmelo Anthony would qualify for b-ball w/o ever living there. I think the best way to describe the team would be to compare it to Whales and England. However, the home nations have a history of battling for players, and that is just not the case with US sports and PR. Therefore, the rules are much more lax. I think if PR were ever to be really competitive with the US in soccer, lets hope PR is one day the Croatia or Uruguay of CONCACAF (‘-)), then I’m sure it would be more strict.
I’ve watched Gaudette for years. It’s no surprise he’s thriving. Bill was one of, if not the reason, for Puerto Rico’s amazing semifinal run in the ’08-”09 CONCACAF Champiions League. Cat like reflexes, great command of his back line, and outstanding with his distribution. Meara is a good project for RBNY but Gaudette is the vet presence you need with a crappy back line.
what is a ‘Frank Rost’?
Yes, right, I’ve been to San Juan and Puerto Rico many times. Wonderful place. I think I had a brain fart with that last sentence.
Right. Duh. My bad. What I meant is he’s not of Puerto Rican descent, didn’t live there until recently, but just happened to qualify for the PR national team because he worked there. Does that make him a “Puerto Rican” goalkeeper?
Correct except for the implication of the final phrase (which is technically true, but the implication is wrong). Yes, Gaudette is a US citizen, but so are all Puerto Ricans (and all members of the Puerto Rico national team). If you ever go to San Juan, which I highly recommend, you will note that you do not need a passport to return to the mainland US since it is a domestic flight.
The Puerto Rico “national” team is similar to the situation with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—four separate “national” teams, but the players, no matter which of the four they play for, have the same citizenship.
Wow. Surprised more wasn’t said about this.
As is everyone in Puerto Rico.
I’m pretty sure it’s inaccurate to call Gaudette a “Puerto Rican backstop,” although I’ve seen variations of that repeated over and over. He’s American-born and grew up here but just happened to play in Puerto Rico for the PR Islanders. As I understand it, since he played/worked in Puerto Rico for the Islanders for over a year, he was allowed to play for the Puerto Rican national team. But as far as I know, he’s still a U.S. citizen.
Nagbe is known to not have good striking abilities? The player who made the MLS goal of the year last year? That is funny.
Yeah, lets give props to the guy for blocking two 1v1s on players known not to have good striking abilities.
Why did New York pick up Luis Robles? With Gaudette and Meara on the team, where will Robles fit? There are several other MLS teams which could use a quality goalie, but NY seems to be on solid ground in that department.
Yes, and they fared relatively well. 2-1 loss in Puerto Rico.
Maybe Portland should put in that moron who cuts up logs? Couldnt be any worse than their current starting 11.
Why did LA send him to NY? Who or what did they get in return? Saunders is a decent keeper, but he seems to lack Gaudette’s verbal leadership abilities.
Lets not play dumb Hans. We al know and can see Gaudette is a better gk then Meara is. Has better instincts, better hands, beterr reflexes, and really important better command of his backline. I was always of the opinion that meara was hugely overrated even said this many times on thisnblog. No way thta i replace gaudette for meara at this point. The only thing ryan has over bill isnleg strength kicks, and size.
Puerto Rico played Spain?
Unfortunatly, our defense is awful. They sold one player to Bolton and brought in a bunch of new players who bring the same results. It’s one thing to have not great players but how little our opponents have to combine to score is so frustrating…
geat for Gaudette, but what does that say about the back 4 🙁
i seem to recall keller had some in the early to mid-90s, but he fortunately got rid of it
Meola. But he had enough of it to cover a few generations of keepers.
lol – When is the last time the US had a keeper with hair???
With that beautiful bald head, shouldn’t he be in the net for the US instead of PR?
That will be a nice problem to have: Gaudette or Meara!
Way to make the most of your opportunity! His stock is definately rising.
Curious about Mearas injury? Out now for 5 wks – 7 games. Wow