Weekly Update: First Place Red Bulls Battle Toronto FC on SaturdayJune 25, 2012 - Major League Soccer (MLS) New York Red Bulls
After regaining a tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a victory in their last match, the Red Bulls travel north of the border for their lone trip to Toronto this season when they face Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 PM (TV: MSG; Radio: WLIB 1190 AM).
The Red Bulls enter Saturday's clash with Toronto on 30 points and a record of 9-4-3 after upending rival D.C. United, 3-2, on Sunday in front of a record crowd of 25,187 at Red Bull Arena. Former United man Brandon Barklage scored the first two goals of his MLS career to spark New York, which also got the first career goal of Jan Gunnar Solli "" the eventual game winning tally. The match tied New York with D.C. on points, and both clubs sit one point ahead of third place Sporting Kansas City. The victory also kept New York's unbeaten home record this season intact, as the Red Bulls are 5-0-2 at Red Bull Arena.
Toronto FC is starting to turn things around after a tough beginning to the 2012 campaign, as the Reds have earned points in three of their last four matches. Toronto comes into the match with a record of 1-10-2 and five points, in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. In their last match this past Saturday, Toronto looked headed for its second win of the season, but New England's Chris Tierney scored in second half stoppage time as the teams shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Back on June 7, Head Coach Aron Winter stepped down and was replaced by Paul Mariner.
New York and Toronto have met 13 times since the Canadian club entered Major League Soccer in 2007. New York leads the all-time series with a record of 7-4-2. Last season, New York went 1-0-1 against the Reds, earning a 5-0 victory at Red Bull Arena on July 6. In the return fixture, the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 1.
RED BULLS-TORONTO FC CONNECTIONS
Toronto defender Jeremy Hall was a first round draft pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, as the Red Bulls selected him with the eleventh overall pick. The Maryland University product made an immediate impact on the Red Bulls, starting 22 matches as a rookie in 2009. His lone goal in a Red Bull uniform came in a friendly against Italian side Juventus FC in a 3-1 victory on May 23, 2010. In November 2010, Hall was traded to the Portland Timbers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2011 SuperDraft. In total, Hall made 37 regular season appearances for the Red Bulls.
Red Bulls 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 on Wednesday, June 20 at BC Place
Red Bulls 3, D.C. United 2 on Sunday, June 24 at Red Bull Arena
Red Bulls at Toronto FC on Saturday, June 30 at BMO Field at 7:00 PM (TV: MSG; Radio: WLIB 1190 AM)
Red Bulls at New England Revolution on Sunday, July 8 at Gillette Stadium at 7:00 PM (TV: MSG+; Radio: WLIB 1190 AM)
RED BULLS CATCH D.C FOR FIRST PLACE IN EAST WITH 3-2
A record crowd of 25,187 at Red Bull Arena saw the New York Red Bulls earn a thrilling 3-2 victory over rival D.C. United on Sunday night. Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage scored twice, while Jan Gunnar Solli got the eventual winner as New York improved to 9-4-3 on the season and tied D.C. at the top of the Eastern Conference with 30 points with one game in hand. Chris Pontius had both goals for United.
The attendance Sunday night broke the previous Red Bull Arena record set on Oct. 4, 2011 - a day when the Red Bulls won 2-0 over the LA Galaxy.
It didn't take long for the United (9-5-3, 30 pts.) to open the scoring, as the visitors broke through with the game's first goal in the first minute. Dwayne De Rosario picked out Danny Cruz down the right flank. Cruz lofted a ball into the box where Pontius was first to it, nodding home his seventh goal of the season.
In the 11th minute, New York forced D.C. keeper Bill Hamid into action. Joel Lindpere swung a ball in from the left side and Mehdi Ballouchy headed it on frame, but the American keeper dove to his right and parried the ball away. Earlier, Red Bull Dax McCarty nearly answered Pontius' opening goal with a long-range strike that hit off the crossbar.
But New York's incessant pressure led to the equalizer in the 20th minute. Roy Miller did well to earn a corner kick, which Lindpere took from the left side. The Estonian fired in an out-swinger and Barklage connected with the ball in mid-air, firing it into the net with the outside of his right boot to register his first career MLS goal.
It appeared as though the teams would head to the break even, but Barklage broke the deadlock two minutes into second half stoppage time. Rafa Marquez took a free kick from the left side of midfield that deflected off D.C. United's wall. The ball fell in the direction of Barklage, who hit it on a full volley from outside the right corner of the box and into the far corner of the net.
New York extended its lead in the 55th minute as Solli notched his first goal in MLS. The Red Bulls had come down on a counter attack, as Marquez played Ballouchy on the left wing. Ballouchy found Lindpere behind the D.C. defense in the box, and Lindpere crossed to Solli, whose redirect was stopped by Hamid. Solli was the first to the rebound and fired a left footed shot that found the net.
D.C. pulled one back on Pontius' second tally of the night. Substitute forward Maicon Santos took a pass from De Rosario, and found Pontius behind New York's back line. Pontius rounded goalkeeper Ryan Meara and easily finished with his left foot. However, it wasn't enough as New York's defense held firm the rest of the night to secure the victory.
The Red Bulls' 3-2 win over D.C. United on Sunday was attended by a record crowd at Red Bull Arena for a Red Bulls match (25,187). It broke the previous Red Bull Arena record set on Oct. 4, 2011 - a day when the Red Bulls won 2-0 over the LA Galaxy.
BARKLAGE BURNS FORMER CLUB
Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage made his former team pay on Sunday, as he popped in his first two career MLS goals in helping the Red Bulls to a 3-2 win over D.C. United. Barklage tied the match at one apiece when he deflected in a Joel Lindpere corner in the 20th minute, and gave New York the lead with a stunning strike in second half stoppage time. Barklage, who spent three seasons with United from 2009-2011, has played in 11 matches this season, starting nine and has two goals and two assists.
In addition, Barklage became the first defender in franchise history to score two goals in a single match.
SOLLI NOTCHES FIRST MLS GOAL
Jan Gunnar Solli picked a good time to score his first MLS goal, as his 55th minute tally against D.C. United on Sunday proved to be the game winning goal. Solli is in the midst of his second season with the club. The Norwegian has played in 43 total matches and has registered nine assists.
Red Bulls captain and forward Thierry Henry returned to action on Sunday against D.C., having last appeared on May 23 against Chivas USA. Henry came off the bench and replaced Joel Lindpere in the 70th minute, registering one shot on goal. Henry is second on the team in goals this season with nine and leads the club with five assists in 10 appearances. He missed two games due to a right calf strain.
HOME SWEET HOME
With their victory over D.C. United on Sunday, the Red Bulls improved their record at home this season to 5-0-2. The Houston Dynamo (3-0-2) is the only other unbeaten team at home in MLS.
PEARCE ON THE BOARD
Red Bulls defender Heath Pearce scored in the 86th minute of Wednesday's match against Vancouver to give the Red Bulls a 1-1 draw. The goal was Pearce's first career MLS goal. However, Pearce did score his first Red Bulls goal on May 29 in the U.S. Open Cup, a 3-0 victory over the Charleston Battery. Pearce, who the Red Bulls acquired on May 17 in exchange for forward Juan Agudelo, has played in 79 career MLS regular season matches, earning 76 starts and registering 10 assists.
HENRY, COOPER AMONG SIX RED BULLS ON ALL-STAR BALLOT
Six members of the Red Bulls are on the fan ballot for the 2012 MLS All Star Team, who will take on UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union. The Red Bulls who are on the ballot are goalkeeper Ryan Meara, defender Heath Pearce, forwards Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry and midfielders Joel Lindpere and Dane Richards. The All-Star First XI is chosen by fan voting.
To vote, click here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/all-star/2012/vote
RED BULLS EARN 1-1 TIE AT VANCOUVER
Heath Pearce's goal four minutes from full time helped the New York Red Bulls earn a road point and a 1-1 tie against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place Wednesday night. Pearce headed home a Joel Lindpere cross to secure the result.
New York had the first chance on goal in the eighth minute. After Jan Gunnar Solli won a free kick on the right wing, Lindpere's in-swinger was deflected on and caught by goalkeeper Joe Cannon. On the other end four minutes later, Davide Chiumiento cut to his right foot and fired it over the crossbar.
Chiumiento then turned provider in the 28th minute, feeding Gershon Koffie at the top of the box. Koffie, however, pulled his shot wide left. Camilo soon after had a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead, rifling one from 12 yards out off target with only goalkeeper Ryan Meara to beat. For the Red Bulls, Kenny Cooper got his head on the end of a Dane Richards cross but could not get enough power on it, as the ball bounced to Cannon. Dax McCarty was free on the back post in the 41st minute and could not nod a Richards pass on target.
Both teams traded possession in the second half but the defenses stayed firm. Substitute Eric Hassli nearly found the back of the net in the 69th minute, running onto a Koffie chip and knocking it off to the left. Seconds later, New York's Connor Lade put Richards through on goal and the Jamaican's shot was blocked by a diving Cannon.
Vancouver took the lead with 15 minutes to play. Chiumiento had the ball on the right wing and swung a cross into the box that fell to defender Martin Bonjour. Bonjour had time to settle it and guided his right footed drive through a number of players and into the top corner of the net.
However, Pearce played spoiler in the 86th minute and secured a point. Lindpere played a short corner to Richards, who settled it back for the Estonian. The Red Bulls midfielder swung a left-footed cross that was nodded in by a leaping Pearce for his first career MLS goal.
New York was missing Designated Players Thierry Henry (right calf strain) and Rafa Marquez (thigh) due to injury.
Red Bulls midfielder Dane Richards is now third on the club's all-time regular season games played list (145 games played). With his appearance on May 23 against Chivas USA, Richards passed Seth Stammler and John Wolyniec to move into sole possession of third place. Richards now only trails Carlos Mendes (146) and Mike Petke (169) in all-time games played.
Additionally, Richards' assist on Kenny Cooper's goal on May 23 was his 26th career assist in the regular season, which is third-best in New York history. Richards is 10 assists behind Tab Ramos and Amado Guevara, who lead the club in all-time assists. Richards was suspended due to yellow card accumulation on Sunday in the 3-2 win against D.C. United, but is available for selection Saturday at Toronto.
RED BULLS LOAN HERTZOG TO WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS
The New York Red Bulls announced May 29 they have loaned forward Corey Hertzog to USL PRO side, the Wilmington Hammerheads, for a month.
Hertzog, originally drafted by New York in the first round (13th overall) of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of Penn State University, had not made a first team appearance for the Red Bulls in 2012. Last season, Hertzog featured in five regular season games. Hertzog scored one goal in three MLS Reserve League appearances this year.
RED BULLS TO HOST TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ON JULY 31 AT RED BULL ARENA
The New York Red Bulls will face English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, on Tuesday, July 31, at Red Bull Arena as part of the inaugural New York Invitational Cup. Kickoff time and broadcast information will be announced at a later date.
Red Bulls Full Season Ticket Holders will have this match included in their plans as "Event 18" (out of 20). Season Ticket Holders will have access to an exclusive team meet-and-greet, as well as an open practice and autograph session. Fans can purchase tickets for the Tottenham match through an exclusive three-game pack by logging onto www.newyorkredbulls.com or calling 1.877.RBSOCCER.
"Tottenham has been one of the top EPL teams over the past several years and we are thrilled to play host to them at Red Bull Arena," said Chris Heck, New York Red Bulls President, Business Operations. "We are also excited to bring an elite international club as a reward for our season ticket holders and the supporters for both clubs. There will be several exciting events prior to, during and after the match that will have the direct involvement of fans and we are looking forward to revealing more details later this spring."
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the inaugural New York Invitational Cup. We enjoyed an excellent match against the Red Bulls during our last tour to the US and we expect this game to be equally competitive," said Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy. "In recent years, we have seen a significant rise in the number of Spurs fans across the USA and especially in and around New York and New Jersey. This match presents us with a great opportunity to give something back to those fans and also introduce new supporters to the Spurs way of playing soccer."
Tottenham, also known as Spurs, finished fourth in the 2011-12 Barclays Premier League. The London-based club boasts a number of top international players including Welsh midfielder Gareth Bale, Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart and Croatian midfielder Luka Modric. In addition, former U.S. Men's National Team standout goalkeeper Brad Friedel plays for Spurs.
Tottenham came to Red Bull Arena on July 22, 2010 as part of the New York Football Challenge and won, 2-1, behind goals from Robbie Keane and Bale. New York forward and former Arsenal FC star Thierry Henry made his Red Bulls debut in that match and scored in the first half. The Red Bulls have a 1-1-1 record all-time against English Premier League sides and are 42-26-15 in international play.
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