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Earthquakes pounce on another Red Bulls collapse for latest comeback win

Chris Wondolowski


The New York Red Bulls were in total control, and looked to have a road win in the bag on Sunday night, but two familiar scenarios played out yet again.

Roy Miller  cost his team another game and the San Jose Earthquakes were able to capitalize with yet another late-game comeback.

Rookie forward Adam Jahn came off the bench to score an equalizer before also drawing a penalty on Miller for a handball in the 90th minute. Chris Wondolowski had his ensuing penalty kick saved by Luis Robles, but Miller was whistled for encroachment on the penalty attempt, giving Wondolowski another chance for the winner. The reigning MLS Golden Boot winner made his second attempt count, converting the penalty to help give the Earthquakes a 2-1 victory at Buck Shaw Field.

The win improved the Earthquakes’ record to 1-1 while dropping the Red Bulls to 0-1-1, and a single point despite leading in both of their matches this season.

The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Eric Alexander converted a deflected Thierry Henry cross. The goal was one of the few bright spots in a largely uneventful first half that did included a clear-cut missed chance by Earthquakes forward Mike Fucito.

The Earthquakes, missing several key starters, including injured regulars Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon and Marvin Chavez, picked up the pace in the second half, with Jahn coming on in the 66th minute and giving San Jose a target up top to put pressure on the Red Bulls defense.

San Jose broke through in the 83rd minute when Sam Cronin whipped in a cross that found Jahn on the back-post. The rookie from Stanford beat Miller to the back post and converted to tie things up and rejuvenate a Buck Shaw Stadium crowd that had gone relatively quiet.

Miller’s bad day got worse just seven minutes later when a Jahn shot struck Miller’s raised arm, drawing a clear penalty. Robles did well to save Wondolowski’s ensuing penalty, but Miller inexplicably raced into the penalty area before the spot kick, drawing an encroachment call that was eerily reminiscent of the same kind of encroachment call that cost the Red Bulls a goal in last year’s playoff loss to D.C. United.

Wondolowski converted the second PK attempt to secure the victory and doom the Red Bulls to their second straight blown lead.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the match? Impressed with San Jose’s comeback? Trying to understand why the Red Bulls still play Roy Miller?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. NYRB fans were up early this morning venting on their team, now it’s Quakes fans turn. Could someone please tell me why SJ spent the first 80 minutes of the game lobbing long balls to the front line? Wondo is not a target forward and Mike Fucito sure isn’t going to win any high balls. Yallop seemed to be stuck in the “Bash Brothers” strategy in spite of not having the personnel to support it. I’m happy for Adam Jahn, but watching him in the pre-season, he isn’t going to produce numbers like Gordon and Lenhart on a regular basis.

    • give jahn some time….gordon didn’t produce numbers like last year at any point before last year, and lenhart took a few years to come on as well….i’ll admit that jahn’s preseason was less-than-inspiring, but he may just show himself to have a wondo-like knack for popping up in the right place at the right time more often than not

  2. I don’t care one way or the other about RBNY, but I like when they struggle because we get to hear Thierry Henry’s excuses. Either the trip was long or the refs were biased or my favorite–“it’s tough to play when your teammates are not on he same level.” I know this is Rafa,, but Henry says one version of this pretty much every time the team struggles. That said, I wanted them to beat Portland, because those fans are just annoying….

  3. Is Lade hurt? Why can’t he or Barklage play left back? That seems like the simple answer to me.

    I can’t believe Miller is still on the team after last year.

    And when Wondo was taking that PK I said to myself, “they better not encroach” and they did. Amazing. I didn’t know it was Miller until I saw it on twitter. Come on they have to do better than this.

    Ives what is the expected return date for Meara? I think he might be better than Robles.

  4. How many stadiums around the world do you NOT hear complaints about the left back? Miller stank last night, and I think he’s past his sell-by date. But picking a player’s worst night as a professional to judge him by (or his best) is crazy.

    • It may have been his worst night, but it is by no means an isolated bad (or underwhelming) game. Miller has been a defensive liability for a while now, and does not bring enough to the table in terms of overlapping/attacking runs to make up for it. He was simply lazy on the first goal, stupid on the handball, and clueless bordering on comatose on the encroachment.

  5. Yes, Miller was horrendous and should be removed from the lineup immediately. But the rest of the team didn’t do him any favors in the 2nd half. Where was the possession? Once again the vets and DPs should’ve helped grind out a win (or at least a draw!) after what was, honestly, an opportunistic goal in the first half by Alexander. Really unimpressive all around.

  6. If anyone wonders why the Red Bulls have struggled to find support in the NYC region, they got their answer last night. And for as bad as the end of that match was, it wasn’t JUST the Roy Miller Horror Show that explains it. Yes, it’s only one loss, it’s still very early in the season, and a talented team will bounce back from that.

    But this organization ALWAYS manages to make choices that seem to deliberately antagonize the supporters. It isn’t just haters complaining on facebook or forums, the vast majority of fans in the stadium can’t stand Roy Miller. I’ve had season tickets (don’t have them this year) and also sat in multiple areas of the stadium. You CONSTANTLY hear complaints about Miller. The fans have made their voices very clear about the guy. He never should have been retained, and certainly should never be started. Yet they did. And any fan watching last night saw that they were right and the organization was horribly wrong again. And any fan who was thinking of buying tickets probably thought to themselves, “Same old Red Bulls,” and kept their money in their pocket.

  7. i crashed out when it was NY 1-0…. final result does not surprise me though and, yes, i love rooting agains NJRB

  8. Cannot fathom how Roy Miller is playing. Just play Holgersson and move Pearce out to left back. Even Connor Lade is better. It’s almost comical. Mostly at fault for the first goal, then running around the box with his hands up in the air, then Robles bails him out and he encroaches. It would be a comedy of errors if the whole team made all these mistakes, but it’s the same guy. All within ten minutes.

    • This. MOve pearce to left back and bring on Holgersson. Or just bring on Lade if Holgersson can’t get it done in center with Olave. Either way, get Miller off the pitch.

  9. Well…

    Positives? The game was exciting for San Jose fans and anyone who roots against RBNY. Which is many, it seems, so that’s good for soccer.

    Uh…RBNY defended well on corners, shockingly.

    And most encouraging, Petke shamed Miller by subbing him for the last minute of added time.

    And that’s all I got.

    I didn’t see a single shot by RBNY after the goal.

  10. Way too early to panic but this one is hard to take. Especially the encroachment. After last year, you would think this is the one thing we would have learned in the offseason

  11. Last year Marquez was the goat and everyone over looked how awful Roy Miller is. He has cost us games not to mention 2011 and 2012 playoff advancement. The mental mistakes by this player is enough to bench him – make it happen Petke. Please if there is anything you do at this club – solve our defensive issues….and begin with benching Miller.Oh and watch the replay for the first goal and you will see it was once again Miller out of postion. I am starting to belive Scott A…..

    • +1 to Lance. Petke was a defender. I think he has the insight to form and focus the Red Bull back line. Alexander, Pearce and Olave looked OK, if still learning each others’ tendencies. MIller must leave. It’s not as though he was much of a threat going forward either.

    • Some should actually look into this. I’d say yesterday and the last three playoff years are enough probable cause to warrant a search of his email and cell phone records.

  12. Get Wondo on the USMNT stat. And by stat I mean for the Gold Cup when we play our B team. We could use him on the bench as a sub.

  13. It’s becoming hard to root for this team. It’s too stressful. We go up 1. Ok great. Any good tram, could grind out the result. Not this team. I mean, wall knew they would concede an equalizer, but to lose 2-1, in that fashion, was a nail trough the heart – and my heart was wounded and empty from following this team and watching them collapse over and over again. They continue to find new and unbelievable ways to cough of goals and lose games. It’s too much. I mean every year the same thing. The way we lose is insane. How Roy Miller could encroach like that, especially what transpired last year. It’s nuts. Look, I get being into the whole lovable losers thing, but this is comical. I don’t need this heartbreak and stress in my life. I don’t believe in curses but no matter who they bring in the same thing happens that’s been happening for 18 years. It’s only game 2, but I’ve seen this movie before. It never ends well.

    • You would have held on for the win if it wasn’t for Miller. A team of your caliber and resources should have sold him awhile ago. Petke seems to defend him so perhaps he’s your Bornstein (the international Bornstein, the MLS one was decent).

      • yeah

        when miller took that FK from henry in the playoffs last year i thought his NYRB career was officially over

        if this doesnt do it, i dunno what will

      • Petke from inside the organization was probably not the pick to have if you expected rapid roster turnover. If you wanted a clear eyed revision of the team you needed to hand it over to someone outside.

        That being said, Petke subbing off Miller — and probably working in a replacement in practice this week — likely means he gets it. Personally, I think Miller’s a waste of space who should have been cast off long ago — and the longer you hold onto a problem player the harder it is to get anyone to take on your obvious problem (Marquez, Adu, ahem) — but NY to me needs some work and figuring out whom of the holdovers are worthwhile is good, even if the process has been effectively delayed on into the season.

        SJ is an above average team so I actually see Portland as the more dubious result.

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