New York Stays In Playoff Hunt With Hard-fought Victory And A Two-game Homestand Ahead

September 17, 2011 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York Red Bulls News Release

FRISCO, TX - Luke Rodgers' seventh goal of the season and a stout defensive performance helped the New York Red Bulls snap an eight-game winless streak in MLS play with a 1-0 shutout victory over FC Dallas Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park. New York, led by goalkeeper Frank Rost, earned its eight clean sheet of the year, as the Red Bulls moved to 36 points off a 7-6-15 record. The Red Bulls are currently in possession of the last wild card spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs standings, currently tied on points with the Portland Timbers, but besting them on goal differential.

The Red Bulls tested FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman in the ninth minute. Rodgers, who made his first start for New York since July 9 after missing time due to plantar fasciitis, slid a pass through to Dane Richards in the corner of the box. Richards' ensuing shot was pushed aside by Hartman. Two minutes later, FC Dallas' Ricardo Villar won possession in the center of the park and found an on-rushing Maicon Santos, as the forward slid his attempt past the right post. Santos got behind the Red Bulls back four and lobbed it over Rost and the crossbar moments after.

Both teams searched for the first goal and Villar nearly had it, forcing Rost to make a full-extension save at the near post. Rost was returning Saturday from a right quadriceps tear that made him miss three regular season matches. Then, the visitors almost caught FC Dallas on the counterattack with Teemu Tainio stringing the ball to Rodgers, who rounded Hartman and could not get his left-footed attempt on net.

The pesky Rodgers put the Red Bulls in front in the 36th minute. New York defender Stephen Keel launched a ball down the right channel into the path of forward Juan Agudelo. Agudelo drove to the endline and crossed it to Rodgers, who bundled it in from close range.

The Red Bulls' defense held off FC Dallas for the second half and could have doubled their lead. Former FC Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty found a wide open Joel Lindpere in the left side of the box. Lindpere dribbled in, cut to his right foot and put his shot just high from six yards out.

New York was missing Thierry Henry due to Achilles inflammation while defenders Rafa Marquez and Jan Gunnar Solli were suspended for the match. Roy Miller was also out due to injury. Rost made three saves to earn his second shutout this season.

The Red Bulls return for a two-game homestand starting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, when they take on Real Salt Lake at 8:00 PM at Red Bull Arena (TV: MSG Plus; Radio: WADO 1280 AM). On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Red Bulls host the Portland Timbers at 7:30 PM (TV: MSG; Radio: WADO 1280 AM). Tickets for the Red Bulls regular season matches are available by calling 1.877.RBSOCCER or logging onto

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