05/16/2008 8:30 AM -
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
GIANTS STADIUM, E. Rutherford, N.J.
May 17, 2008 | 6:30 p.m. CT (MSG; MetroSports)
WEEK # 8 | GAME # 52
Having quietly put together a four-game unbeaten streak, the New York Red Bulls return to Giants Stadium to take on the Kansas City Wizards, who are trying to reverse direction in the midst of their long road run. The Red Bulls are coming off a victory against the LA Galaxy in California, their last loss - and only one on the season - now more than a month ago. The Wizards have lost back-to-back matches as their six-game road swing continues, returning to action after a weekend off following a loss in Columbus.
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. SAR (bench): Rob Fereday; JAR (opposite): Sean Hurd; 4th: Lee Suckle
MLS Career: 73 games; FC/gm: 27.9; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 25
INJURY REPORT: NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: FW Oscar Echeverry (R LCL sprain); MF David Roth (L knee surgery); MF Seth Stammler (lower back injury); QUESTIONABLE: DF Chris Leitch (L MCL sprain); MF Claudio Reyna (L calf strain); MF Sinisa Ubiparipovic (L hamstring strain); FW John Wolyniec (R hamstring strain) ... KANSAS CITY WIZARDS - OUT: MF Lance Watson (foot fracture); PROBABLE: MF Davy Arnaud (hamstring strain); DF Jimmy Conrad (heel pain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Jonathan Leathers (U.S. U-23 national team)
SUSPENDED: KC: Roger Espinoza (through May 18)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Sinisa Ubiparipovic
ALL-TIME (35 meetings): Red Bulls 14 wins (2 shootout), 47 goals ... Wizards 13 wins (2 shootout), 49 goals ... Ties 8
AT NEW YORK: (16 meetings): Red Bulls 8 wins (1 shootout), 26 goals ... Wizards 2 wins (0 shootout), 18 goals ... Ties 6
• This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season, the only one to be played at the Meadowlands. The first-ever meeting in the series at CommunityAmerica Ballpark will take place on July 10.
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/2: KC 3, NY 2 (Johnson 46, 59, 85 - Angel 8; Kovalenko 88)
6/16: NY 3, KC 3 (Angel 6, 90; Mathis 15 - Zavagnin 43; Movsisyan 70, 79)
10/13: NY 2, KC 1 (Angel 19, 24 - Jewsbury 21)
• A year ago, the teams split their season series, each winning once on their home ground, with a third meeting ending in a draw. Juan Pablo Angel scored in each game in the series, five of his 19 goals on the season coming against Kansas City.
• The Wizards haven't won on their last 11 visits to East Rutherford. The last Kansas City win at Giants Stadium came in a 2-1 triumph on April 19; the New York club has won five meetings since, with six draws.
• Since changing their name, the New York Red Bulls have yet to win in Kansas City. The last New York win on the road in the series came Sept. 10, 2005 - when the then-MetroStars claimed a 1-0 victory. The teams played to draws in their two 2006 meetings - the first as the New York Red Bulls - before Kansas City won last year's series finale at Arrowhead Stadium.
• Coaches record: Juan Carlos Osorio vs. KC: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Curt Onalfo v CLB: P3 W1 L1 D1
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls extended their unbeaten streak to four games, going to southern California and coming back with a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Red Bulls have 11 points from six matches, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the New England Revolution and seven out of first place in the division, with a game in hand.
• The Galaxy hadn't lost in three games, with two draws surrounding a win, while the Red Bulls had put together the exact same string of results over their last three matches.
• The visitors took the lead in the 21st minute when Jozy Altidore took a flick-on, turned and fired powerfully on goal. Galaxy 'keeper Steve Cronin was able to parry the initial effort, but Danleigh Borman followed up outside the left post and knocked home the rebound for his first professional goal.
• The Galaxy finally broke through after the break, getting the leveller in the 77th minute. Mike Randolph took a pass on the left and sent in a low ball to Alan Gordon in the heart of the area, who turned and drilled a shot inside Jon Conway's left-hand post for his third goal on the year.
• But the Red Bulls hit for the winner almost immediately from the restart. Dane Richards went haring forward from the left, slipping the ball to Juan Pablo Angel as he cut across his path. Angel rounded Cronin in the Galaxy area and drove a rising shot high into the goal for his first goal on the season and the eventual match-winner.
• Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio made two changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC 10 days previous. With Seth Stammler and Claudio Reyna sidelined by injury, Luke Sassano and Dane Richards came into the Red Bulls midfield.
• Here's Osorio's team (4-3-1-2): Jon Conway - Hunter Freeman, Jeff Parke, Kevin Goldthwaite, Dave van den Bergh - Dane Richards (John Wolyniec 82), Luke Sassano, Danleigh Borman (Carlos Mendes 58) - Mike Magee (Chris Leitch 90) - Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel. Substitutes Not Used: John Gilkerson, Chris Megaloudis, Zach Thornton, Sinisa Ubiparipovic
• "(The three points) are massive," Osorio said. "It's three games in a row we haven't lost and I think it shows with a different formation we can get results away from home."
• Angel, who tore apart MLS with 19 goals a year ago, tallied his first strike of 2008. Battling through hamstring problems, Angel was able to start a second consecutive game for the first time this season in the Galaxy match.
• "It's been quite a difficult start for me in terms of the injury I've been having," Angel said. "I'm still not feeling 100 percent but I've been trying to get myself in good shape and the only way that you're going to do it is ... to play games and that's what I'm trying to do. Little by little, I'm getting there."
• Earlier in the season, the Red Bulls were pegged back by a second-half equalizer and couldn't strike back, before settling for a 1-1 draw with New England.
• "I think the most important thing was the way we reacted right after they tied the game. It was a great play on a counterattack and a perfect pass by Dane Richards," Angel said. "We were upset for having given up a goal, but I think the way we reacted leaves us all feeling good. They could have easily taken control of the game but we did not let them and that's the most satisfactory thing from the game."
• The win was the Red Bulls' first in three tries away from Giants Stadium, and buoyed the team with four home games ahead in their next six league matches.
• "We didn't have a road win yet and we're improving, from Dallas to Toronto to here, and you see it in the results," Red Bulls midfielder Dave van den Bergh said. "I thought we played better in Toronto but we'll take the three points. It's always a tough road game here."
• The Red Bulls also did something no other team in MLS had really been able to do - quiet the Galaxy attacking thrust of Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Before Gordon's goal, the pair had not been involved on the scoresheet with just one of the Galaxy's 13 goals on the season; they didn't play a real part in Gordon's strike.
• "I thought it was a good battle. Everybody knows exactly what [Beckham's] good at so it was important for me to take away the crosses," said Dave van den Bergh, who played a second consecutive at left back in a back four. "He had a couple in -- you can't prevent him from crossing the ball, that's impossible especially in a big field like this."
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
The Kansas City Wizards return to action after a week off, continuing their long road spell following a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew two weekends ago at Crew Stadium. The Wizards have 10 points from seven matches, tied for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with Toronto FC, a point behind New York and three in arrears of third-place New England.
• The Crew came into the match atop the Eastern Conference for the first time since the 2004 season, with three victories on the trot, while the Wizards were facing the third game of a six-game road swing following a win and a loss in the first two.
• The Crew have made their home performance a special emphasis this season and they got off to a terrific start, opening the lead after just four minutes. Guillermo Barros Schelotto swung a free kick from the right all the way to the other side, where Chad Marshall headed it back across goal. Adam Moffat got up at the back post to nod it over the line for his second goal on the campaign.
• The home side doubled their lead in the 34th minute. After an interception from a throw-in, an overhead kick from Alejandro Moreno found Robbie Rogers streaking down the left side. He slipped in front of a defender and poked the ball past Wizards goalkeeper Kevin Hartman as he came off his line, sending it trickling into the goal.
• Just two minutes later, the Wizards were left down a man when Roger Espinoza was sent off in a homecoming of sorts, after a clash with Crew fullback Frankie Hejduk. Espinoza played his college soccer in Columbus at The Ohio State University.
• Even shorthanded, the Wizards came back into the game and pulled a goal back 11 minutes from the end. Danny O'Rourke pulled down K.C. striker Scott Sealy as he tried to spin past him just inside the area, and Claudio Lopez finished from the spot -- the first of three penalty kick attempts to beat Crew 'keeper William Hesmer this season.
• Wizards head coach Curt Onalfo made one change to the team that lost 2-0 to Toronto FC the previous weekend. Eloy Colombano made his first appearance in the starting lineup on the season, replacing Kerry Zavagnin.
• Here's Onalfo's team (4-3-1-2): Kevin Hartman - Chance Myers, Jimmy Conrad, Tyson Wahl, Michael Harrington - Eloy Colombano (Ryan Pore 74), Jack Jewsbury, Roger Espinoza - Kurt Morsink (Carlos Marinelli 61) - Ivan Trujillo (Scott Sealy 46), Claudio Lopez. Substitutes Not Used: Aaron Hohlbein, Eric Kronberg, Sasha Victorine, Kerry Zavagnin
• "It was gut check at that moment (of the red card)... and they passed with flying colors in the second half," Onalfo said. "It's the first time our team had to deal with some major adversity in a game and I thought our guys responded well. We were extremely well balanced and showed enormous grit - there are a lot of positives to build on."
• After back-to-back shutouts - where they took four points - the Wizards have allowed two goals in each of their last two games and dropped both. The two goals allowed in Columbus put the team in an early hole from which they weren't able to break out.
• "I think that there were a couple of times when our back line was stepping when they should be dropping. We have a lot of young players on our team, so we are going to make those mistakes," Onalfo said. "We can live with that because we feel that we are building a team for the future, a team that is not only going to be good in the future, but darn good now."
• Said midfielder Kurt Morsink: "The team is focused. We've played three away games and we've won one and lost two, but our two losses I feel like we played well. We've given up a couple free kicks, a couple errors here and there, but all in all after 90 minutes I feel like we were the best team both times."
• Just two of the Wizards' eight goals have come in the first half; they've now conceded four before the interval. "For some reason, we haven't been getting off to good starts," said goalkeeper Kevin Hartman to the Kansas City Star. "That's something we need to address as a group."
• Onalfo said the bye weekend was good in some ways, but after losing two games on the trot, it would have been nice to return to action quickly.
• "You never want to have any time off, you always want to get right back into it. We want to continually get better," Onalfo said. "We are right in the middle of a very long away stretch. It will only make our team better. They are going to learn through this experience."
• But Onalfo said it would be in getting three regulars - Carlos Marinelli, Sasha Victorine and Davy Arnaud - all back to health.
• "The reason why we have a lot of younger players playing is partly our philosophy of developing players. But more so that we have three starters that aren't currently playing, which gives us [time to those guys]," said Onalfo. "It's a real positive ... you're developing depth."
• Especially key, said Onalfo, will be the return of Marinelli. He has not been able to start any of the last three games, missing the Chicago win entirely, and limited to late substitution appearances in the two losses in Toronto and Columbus.
• "Carlos started the season very, very well. He has passes in him that change the outcome of the game, and when he's on the field, [Claudio] Lopez plays a bit further up the field for us. We're just a better team going forward," said Onalfo. "When you lose a guy of that caliber [to a lingering injury], you lose some of those final passes."