Top Stories

Collin leads Sporting KC to fifth straight shutout and another win vs. RBNY

Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin,

Photo by


HARRISON, N.J. — Broadway might be in Manhattan, but under the bright lights of Red Bull Arena, Aurelien Collin took center stage.

Collin was dominant on both sides of the ball, scoring his first goal of the season and marking Thierry Henry the entire match, making the Red Bulls forward nearly invisible throughout.

Using their trademark physical defense, Sporting Kansas City defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Wednesday night in front of an announced crowd of 12,338.

“It’s always a big challenge to play against [Henry],” Collin said. “We have to stay very focused and he had a couple of opportunities he could have scored, but we are very happy with the result.”

Sporting got the only goal of the match in the 13th minute, when Collin out-muscled Red Bulls defender Jamison Olave on a corner kick and headed home from eight yards away. From then on, the steel curtain that is Kansas City’s back four plus goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen kept the door shut on the hosts.

“They have a system they play and they have everybody onboard, every single person,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said, emphasizing the last three words. “You’re looking at a guy like Graham Zusi in the 88th minute chasing 30 yards back. That’s commitment.”

To make matters worse, the Red Bulls lost Olave in the 33rd minute to a left knee injury, forcing Petke to bring on Heath Pearce.

“Initial feedback from the trainers is just a little bit of a twist,” Petke said. “To the extent of how bad it is, I don’t know yet.”

In the second half, the Red Bulls had opportunities to score, but it was Collin who time and time again found a way to frustrate the home side. Henry came close on one occasion, but saw his best chance miss wide by inches.

“I think he saved four or five (chances) on crosses when we were about to score,” Henry said. “We didn’t create enough today, and sometimes you have to be honest with yourself.”

As the match wore on, the Red Bulls had fewer and fewer chances. Eric Alexander and Tim Cahill, both having played wide midfield, had forgettable days and were taken off in the second half, replaced by Ruben Bover and 18-year-old Marius Obekop, respectively. For Obekop it was his MLS debut, coming on for the final 13 minutes of the match, and recording two shots, though none of them found the target.

“He’s an exciting player,” Petke said about Obekop. “He earned a spot to get on in that situation. I thought he was okay in his debut.”

Sporting KC took off Claudio Bieler in the 74th minute after a challenge in the box left the Ecuadorian forward holding his head in pain. Though he got up under his own power, Sporting manager Peter Vermes thought it better to leave him out there, and brought on Lawrence Olum to replace Bieler.

The Red Bulls ran out of steam at the end of the match, with emotions taking over as Juninho was shown a straight red card during injury time for kicking the ball at Nielsen, who was setting up for a goal kick.

“At the end of the day, I’m not happy,” Petke said. “We lost to a good team, at home. I’m not happy at all.”

Here are the match highlights:


  1. It was a slugfest. You can tell that both teams did not like each other at the end of the game. For me the ref was letting too much go on both sides and he was lucky that the game didn’t get more out of hand than it did.

    When both teams decided to move the ball, the game was exciting. RBNY need to finish off those chance they created. It was Juninho’s best game until he decided to get kicked out. It’s not panic time just yet.

    Remember that they just have to make the playoffs. Once they’re in, anything goes.

  2. Am I the only one who thinks Henry was terrible? One of the purest strikers of all time is clearly afraid he doesn’t have the legs to take on defenders 1v1. He slows up the play and then tries some finesse move that ends with the ball heading the other way and his hands on his knees, gassed. I understand that Henry is not a player that you LIKE, but one you admire. But THREE chances in the box, Henry vs. keeper and no goals? I know the poor broadcast isn’t showing all the work he does off the ball, and everyone is allowed to have an off night. But this reminds me of the last season of Angél: fierce Red Bull counterattck, ball played to the feet of our great striker — who inexplicably turns around and delays things.
    Can I say it? Boy do I miss Jozy.
    OK. Kill me.

  3. A good game between good teams, with Red Bulls probably getting the edge on qulaity chances. No Red Bull fan should be hitting the panic button after that.

  4. I am going to regret rooting for KC when they host the MLS Cup final.
    It is impossible to root against them, they just play the way everyone would want their team to play. All out.

  5. Herc would play the same role as Beiler . So to get him on the pitch that would either mean zusi back and Feilhaber sits or, sitting Sapong, (they shouldn’t do that, he is not getting the goals for KC, but he is still a beast and is still learning to be a better player, sometimes you just have to grin and bare it so he can get the reps to become something better). Bobby Convey is a financial anchor right now, not seeing time and if Herc comes in he gets dropped back in the order even further.

    • I think having to sit someone is inevitable. It’s nice to have consistency in the lineup but once Bunbury is back, the rotations up front will start with Sapong and maybe Bieler. If Vermes is actually worried about goal scoring, Sapong is going to have to sit, or maybe Move Zusi in and sit Nagamura/Feilhaber, likely Nagamura.

      That being said, not sure Vermes has any interest in changing things too drastically.

    • Claudio Bieler is on pace for a 15+ goal season, and Teal Bunbury and Jacob Peterson both should come back from injuries in the next month or so, which will help a lot down the stretch.

    • Hmm. Let’s say Norwich completes the acquisition of Kamara and sends an additional chunk of cash to SKC, just in time for a mid-summer spending spree. I do believe one H. Gomez will be out of contract this summer….and lo! SKC holds his MLS rights.

      So it’s entirely plausible to imagine they’d make a run at him, isn’t it?

      I am not suggesting that’s what they will do or that Herc would be willing to return. I am merely suggesting he makes a plausible target as “another goal scorer.”

      And remember two important changes have occurred since he left KC (Wizards): as a player, Gomez has transformed his reputation and clearly now warrants DP status in MLS; as a club, SKC has transformed its reputation and clearly warrants consideration by prominent players. In short, each party may regard the other with fresh eyes. And if Herc aspires to win, SKC makes sense as a potential destination.

      Just a thought.

      • I would love to see Herc on SKC. And Herc clearly wants to return to MLS from comments he has made. Definitely fits the mold also, tracks back on D, high energy/effort guy. Make it happen SKC.

      • I wonder if Chivas would take a 1 for 1 swap of Hercules Gomez for Juan Agudelo.

        Agudelo would be cheaper presumably for SKC and would be the aerial threat that SKC are missing with Kamara absent.

      • I doubt this will happen. The bad blood between Herc and the team still seems fresh whenever the subject of him returning to MLS comes up. And as long as SKC holds on to his rights, he will be reminded of his frustration with the team.

  6. KC are arguably the best team in the league and the fact is, they deserved the “W”. They were just better. Saying that, the Red bulls had their chances. Henry missed two opportunities where he normally finishes so it was a bit unlucky. A couple of Red Bulls notes:

    1) Espindola and Henry do not work well together. Espindola continually slowed things down tonight and took more touches than necessary. He needs to sit next time and Peguy should start the next game.

    2) Bover: he is not ready for the Bigs. He looked a full class below everyone in the field tonight.

    3) I thought Juninho played great tonight. For an old man, he still has some skills.


    • exactly……… and petke is going to loose the team little by little and also the fans. Its like manchester united letting owen coach the team or letting beckham coach Psg just for the love. however I can not believe red bull new york let petke have the team, is like letting donovan coach galaxy next year. In reality, red bull and galaxy must have top quality coaches no matter what and sounders, fire, dc, as well. big markets equal big fancy stuff and no excuses.

      • Oh absolutely.

        We knew from the get-go that Petka was a last ditch stop gap because the management had not done their homework on the coaching search.

        It’s NYC. They can get any coach they want. They ended up with a former player with no coaching experience.

        Granted, NYRB fans are well aware of how bad their ownership and management is.

      • While I don’t disagree about Zpetke being on borrowed time now, a team this stacked and this experienced should be playing better bad coach or no.

    • Red bulls fans aren’t shocked by this type of game especially against a good team. Backe made it thru three seasons of this. Petke can certainly make it thru one, as people actually like him. Time for the players to step up. It Just wasn’t new Yorks night.

      • I agree, it’s more on the players than it is on Petke. He can’t play the game for them. The few times they had the SKC defense beat they squandered opportunities. Paying way too much for that to happen.

  7. Juninho’s ridiculous kick of the ball at Neilsen was inevitable. He was hitting nearby KC players with his free kicks all night.

      • The face-grab (on a ball that hit him in the chest) was priceless. From Vermes and his constant screaming and complaining to Collin’s shenanigans to their mastery of the professional foul, KC just rubs me the wrong way.

  8. Great game for Collin, not much more he could have done (even sacrificed some future children for the win). Juninho really dropped off his game toward the end of the first half and the red card was just stupid.

    And don’t freak out, Roy Miller had a good game. One of the better RBNY on the night

    • Roy Miller had a very good game, which is probably a necessary reminder for those of us wondering what the Costa Rica team see in him. NYRB were far more dangerous attacking down his flank than down the right side all game.

      And yes, a gem of a game from Collin. Myers and Besler were (relatively) shaky on either side of him, and Collin stepped up big time.

    • Colin was ballin! ….if he and his team can keep this up through vs/LA then Id say they’re the best team in the league……until say, week 10 when Dallas’ attack starts stride

      • Did you watch the game last night? While he’s often the best player on the opposing team, he was one of the best players on RBNY last night

      • Based on what? Admittedly, he does fill the hole left by Dane Richards’s departure: namely, race down the flank and dribble out of bounds.

        To be fair, he was in good positions, but his passing was atrocious.

      • He did what he’s supposed to do. He’s a defender, he defended. KC had limited opportunities down the right side. He made runs down the flanks, he put balls in, what else is he supposed to do.

        Not to mention he had the pass to Henry that Henry didn’t finish. If he buries it, assist Miller.

        Don’t have to like him, but he was good last night.

Leave a Comment