Red Bulls rout D.C. United: A second look

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                                                                                Photo by ISIphotos.com

When Jaime Moreno scored what seemed like his 100th career goal against the Red Bulls on Sunday you got the distinct feeling that the season was ready to slip away for the New York squad. They needed all three points. Not a tie, and certainly not a loss.

Juan Pablo Angel knew that and proceeded to impose his will on the match, scoring a beautiful free kick equalizer and putting the match out of reach with a perfect chip over an on-running Zach Wells to help the Red Bulls roll to a 4-1 win over D.C. United.

The victory also marked the first MLS match to include all four of the Red Bulls new signings in uniform. Venezuelan defender Gabriel Cichero joined coountryman Jorge Rojas and Argentine Juan Pietravallo in the starting lineup and all three contributed well to the win.

So the big question looms: Will we see more of this from the Red Bulls?

Sunday’s match was a game of many firsts for the club. It was the first blowout win against D.C. in the long and painful history of the rivalry. It was the first time this year the Red Bulls scored more than two goals, and perhaps most impressively, it was the first time the Red Bulls came from behind to win.

The team also showed fight like we haven’t seen this year, as well as a willingness to go after opponents. For too long, the Red Bulls have been an easy team to play against, a team some around the league would call soft. Sunday’s performance could be a first step in trying to erase that reputation.

Is this the Red Bulls squad we can expect to see in the last 11 matches of the season? A team with some bite and some skill and a healthy Angel leading the way? There were countless positives, including Gabriel Cichero’s successful debut, and Mike Magee’s best performance in recent memory.

The Red Bulls aren’t a complete squad yet. Dane Richards is still working his way back from a hip injury and Juan Carlos Osorio is still looking to add a forward to start alongside Angel (with Mac Kandji looking like a strong possibility at this point), but Sunday’s performance and effort had to provide some relief to a squad that hadn’t won since June 21st.

So are the Red Bulls good enough to play this well down the stretch? Are they good enough to grab one of the five playoff spots likely to come out of the Eastern Conference? With Toronto fading, D.C. struggling and KC chasing consistency, the door is open. Now it is up to Osorio’s squad to make the most of it and prove that Sunday’s romp wasn’t a fluke.

What did you think of Sunday’s performance? Can the Red Bulls keep it up? Was Sunday’s match just a mirage?

Share your thoughts below.

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47 Responses to Red Bulls rout D.C. United: A second look

  1. Nick G. says:

    Ives, I love how you have said in the past that you are not a Red Bulls fan…but during the in game commentary you provided, after every DC goal or good play, it was ho-hum. But after every Red Bulls goal, there were at least 2 exclamation marks and a few WOWs thrown in for good measure. I just get the vibe from the commentary, you are actually rooting for the Red Bulls.

    Eh….nevermind me. I’m just bitter your team whooped my teams ass :)

  2. I thought that the Red Bulls looked great in person, there were a few moments in that first shaky 20 minutes that I was really concerned, but Cichero and Rojas add the bite that this team has lacked. I think that while we might not be the most gifted team on paper, we should make a decent run at the playoffs here.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Hey Nick G,

    maybe Ives’s exclamation points after Red Bulls comments were due to the fact that he was shocked to witness those events as he never would have expected the Red Bulls to actually do them! Then, the same goes for his “ho-hum” description of the DC comments. Maybe it was a “been there, done that” reaction to DC.

  4. Alex says:

    where is John Wolyniec?

    Definately not with olympic team as far as i know.

  5. Rob C says:

    Yesterday was the most satisfying experience for Red Bulls fans in a long, long time. When they woke up after a dreadful first 20 minutes or so, it was a fun game to watch. Everyone played very hard, and you can tell the game meant a lot to the players involved. Hats off to Cichero, Pietravallo, Magee and Luke Sassano, all players who stood out to me during the match. Also, hats off to Osorio for not only the signings, but motivating the team. Hopefully they can hit their stride as we head towards the finish line this season.

    Oh, and I’d like to thank Mark Burch for playing what I thought was one of the worst games I have ever seen by any defender in any competitive soccer game. He was just horrendous and actually made me laugh out loud as I watched his ineptitude. He misjudged ball after ball in the air, his passes were intercepted more than they were completed, and he helped gift the Red Bulls 2 of their 4 goals. So, from a die hard RBNY fan, three cheers for Mark Burch!

  6. Dannyc58 says:

    Alex,

    Knee issue I think. Ives mentioned that and so did the telecast.

  7. Mike RBNY says:

    The Red Bulls are a forward away from being a top 5 club this year, if not next year. Mac Kandji has looked impressive with the Silverbacks and he can put us in position to be a Cup contener

  8. Marc says:

    it was no coincidence that within the first 10 minutes, Cichero and Petravello were playing extremely physically. They set the tone. and, more importantly, were able to settle down and play good soccer thereafter. too often guys lose their cool when in a physical match, but they didn’t.

  9. Mogens Agesen says:

    The three new players Jorge Rojas, Gbriel Cichero and Juan Pietravallo are a huge improvement of The Red Bulls and they will continue to be so if they play with the intensisty and determination they displayed against DC United last night. I cannot remember when I last enjoyed a MLS game and in particular a Red Bulls game as much as I enjoyed last night’s game, they played intelligent soccer with Babriel Cichero in strong command of the backline and Rojas, Pietravallo and Stamler working hard and smart throughout the game, the rest of the team’s performance was lifted to a higher level by these players effort and soccer smarts. I am looking forward to the rest of the season, so let us all get to games and support them.

  10. ag nigrin says:

    Hey Nick G. Don t f*** with Ives. Steve Goff does the same thing in reverse for your DC Scum!! Note the two exclamation marks!!

  11. Frank the Frowner says:

    Who cares where Wolyniec is. He’s horrendous and shouldn’t be anywhere near the field.

  12. Mark says:

    Great game for us Red Bull fans. JCO pulled all the rights strings and the players executed about as well as they possibly can.

    On the downside, the DC backline of Burch, Namoff, Carroll and McTavish is horrendous, and it makes you wonder how Zach Wells ever got the nod over Jonny Walker in net. And they had some players missing from injury like Gallardo and Olsen who would have helped out tremendously. I’d like to see the Red Bulls put up a similar performance against the Revs and Chicago. Not necessarily wins, but to play such a complete game and see what kind of results we can achieve.

  13. Eugene says:

    I think so based on Sunday’s performance. However, Rojas is a key player and they’re going to need to protect him. The defensive midfielders need to make sure opponents understand that any hard fouls on Rojas will be responded to with vicious tackles — they may even need to make this known preemptively.

    I think all Red Bulls fans gritted their teeth when Rojas went down, seemingly in a lot of pain, near the end of the match.

  14. Kenobi says:

    Marc,

    That’s a good point. The Red Bulls often try to come out physically against United, but in the past, it’s almost always resulted in an early red card or a slew of yellows that force them to play timidly. This was the first time I’ve seen that tactic actually work, and it really threw DC off their game, especially once Moreno was subbed out.

  15. kpugs says:

    I’m going to be honest here, I am not going to expect many (if any) more matches like that this season. Our team just isn’t good enough or consistent enough.

    It still felt great though. And I’m sure it makes it all the more enraging for DC fans that we know full well how bad our team is, and they still got totally lit up.

  16. Tim F. says:

    What did you think of Sunday’s performance?

    THE BEST RED BULLS GAME. VERY GOOD CONTRIBUTIONS FROM EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY, JUAN PABLO ANGEL, DAVE VAN DEN BERGH, JORGE ROJAS, GABRIEL CICHERO AND JON CONWAY. PIETRAVALLO STILL GIVES THE BALL AWAY A LITTLE TOO OFTEN AND I HOPE THAT CAN BE ADDRESSED.

    Is this the Red Bulls squad we can expect to see in the last 11 matches of the season? A team with some bite and some skill and a healthy Angel leading the way?

    I SURE HOPE SO BUT THE TEAM NEEDS ANOTHER FORWARD ASAP. I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME MIKE MAGEE HAD A GOAL IN THE RUN OF PLAY; WHEN WILL THAT HAPPEN AGAIN?

  17. MetroTard says:

    Magee’s best performance? Outside of the goal, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  18. Patrick Cook says:

    Wow, just wow is what comes to mind about that performance. The red bull controlled the game, well after the shaky first 20 minutes, but i hope this is the turning point for the red bulls and for the rest of the season, they just play good, solid soccer and get some good results out of the remaining 11 games. : )

  19. Haig says:

    The most gratifying win in many years.

    “And I’m sure it makes it all the more enraging for DC fans that we know full well how bad our team is, and they still got totally lit up.”

    Yes! Ha.

    As for the guy who went after Ives for cheering: read his commentary for all the rest of the games. He has been rightly harsh on the team this season, match after match. If he tried to convey his astonishment at the performance yesterday, I’m not surprise: everyone, I think, was shocked, except for JPA, who (to quote one of the relay swimmers last night) must have been thinking “I’m just sick of losing.”

  20. tedhill says:

    IVES, any chance we get the last part(s) of that Q&A from months ago, today?

  21. wykell says:

    After that first goal was scored, in my hungover state I thought to myself, “Whelp, at least the front office won’t be able to jack up season ticket prices for a half a year at Red Bull park since there is almost ZERO chance of making the playoffs when we play like this…” (I know, that’s a long chain of thought for being hungover, but it was my only coherent thought of the day at that time). Then Angel scored, and anyone at the stadium could tell you that when they saw Juan Pablo set it up, that the ball was going to end up in the back of the net, and my mind was freed from it’s cell of despair. The rest of the game was gravy.

    Except for what I think both Red Bulls AND DC United fans can agree upon – HORRENDOUS refereeing. Shane Moody let the game get away from him in the first 15 minutes of the match, and things got dicier than in a standard NYRB-New England bloodbath. If Moody had actually refereed the game instead of blowing his whistle 3 times for every foul that he was able to recognize (which were maybe 75% of what he should have), and chasing players around for 15 seconds before shoving yellow cards into the player’s faces, there would have been far less ticky-tack crap that took away some from the game. Oh, and only giving a yellow for that blatant take-out of Rojas AFTER it looked like Juan Pablo Angel threatened the Assistant’s entire extended family with a fate worse than death was rather unprofessional. Especially as Moody made it clear with his yellow of Rojas that he had something against him.

    WHY WHY WHY must the refereeing in this league be so bad as to be comical in nearly every single game? I know we don’t pay the referees nearly enough, but I’m ashamed by the constant low quality officials we get.

  22. guillermo says:

    The addition of Rojas and his ability to distribute is probably the key addition. That being said, I wouldn’t go ordering playoff tickets just yet. DC has some massive problems on defense and goalkeeping.

  23. Ives says:

    Nick G., the reason I wind up emphasizing what the Red Bulls do more than what D.C. does is probably a product of me being a Red Bulls beat writer for a decade, so I’m used to catering to and writing for Red Bulls fans. I know I have a broader readership now so I need to find a better balance, but that hasn’t come yet.

    To be fair though, I think I’ve written plenty of positive things about D.C. this year so I’m not sure how anybody can still label me a Red Bulls fan.

    And Ted Hill, I have not forgotten about the Q&A, and it has been six weeks, trust me, I know. I remember it every time I get ready to finish it and something else comes up.

  24. Sin2R says:

    Red Bulls actually looked good. I look forward to watching RSL beat them in Giants Stadium on Sept 13th. I will fly all the way to NY (NJ) for this one.

    Will someone remind me why they are NY when officially in NJ? Why not Metro Red Bulls or Red Bull Metro MRB or RBM are great!

    Just a question.

  25. Igor says:

    Holy crap, Lalas AND Gullit??? Get an article up, Ives, so I can comment on it.

  26. K-Rok says:

    Rojas already has as many assists in his RB career as Reyna did in his. I’m surprised no one pointed this out yet.

    And I have to agree, Cichero and Peitravallo were key in their early physical play. Those opening moments were key to this result.

  27. Dannyc58 says:

    Ives,

    Can you expound on this line?

    “(with Mac Kandji looking like a strong possibility at this point)”

    Is that based on anything new, just an opinion, insider info, etc?

    If he cost $200,000 just to come here, do we really have that cap room? Thats not even his wages yet…

  28. Eugene says:

    Sergio Galvan Rey — King of Goals

    Claudio Reyna — Queen of Assists

  29. inkedAG says:

    One of the things that is satisfying about this win…no Little Nothings Reyna! :D

  30. Matt Mathai says:

    Speaking as a DCU fan who was at the Meadowlands yesterday, that was no fun at all. We were soundly beaten. It had to happen some time, I guess. I wonder how much of the DC lineup selection was determined by injury and how much by having to prepare for the USOC semifinal on Tuesday night. All I can say is that I hope this was some secret plan by our coaching staff to sacrifice this game in order to win on Tuesday. Well, part 1 accomplished.

    It’s a losing game to blame referees, but this one seemed to be consistently bad, and ruined what flow there might have been in the game.

  31. MANIMAL says:

    He he he, have to admit I called this one from the pre game tailgate

    in Lot 16 A. JCO was grinding out decent perfs w USL talent for awhile

    there but this league’s dirty little secret is that cups r won w/ superior talent up the middle and RBNY went from crystal palace craptastic to a healthy Angel-Rojas-Cicchero triumvirate. Add in the speed of play imbalance from Wed. to Sunday ( cmon, from Puyol to Mark “Laminate” Burch) and the do or die stakes raising by JCO and DC never had a chance. And nice job by classless douche bag Moreno’s hat dance gol celebration coming a wee bit too early and thusly throwing enough gasoline to ignite Angel and send his past-it ass to a halftime benching. PRICELESS. Bet the BarraBroma watched Escape From Guantanamo Gay all the way down I-95!

  32. TheDreamTeam says:

    This game was an amazing game. Schedule-wise with 11 matches I don’t know if they are actually hitting their stride at the right time of the season or if they’ll suffer a setback with a loss in the next 2 games against Toronto and Houston prior to taking on DC again. It appeared that the defense (which has been the sore point all season) has an anchor in its new center back. Let’s hope they can win the next four games and start a run toward the Cup!

  33. scott47a says:

    Dannyc58 said:

    “If he cost $200,000 just to come here, do we really have that cap room? Thats not even his wages yet…”

    —-

    Danny,

    Transfer fees don’t count against the salary cap, just the wages.

  34. Amit says:

    For all his apparent faults. Juan Pietravallo pissed off Jaime Moreno so much that he had to come out of the game. That is IMPRESSIVE!!

  35. ag nigrin says:

    Exactly Amit… P-vallo is a destroyer. He plays with toughness…somethingh the Red Bulls have been laking of late!

  36. wendel says:

    ives, moreno scored his 120th goal not his 100th goal.

  37. Ives says:

    Wendel, it was a joke, as in Moreno scores what seems like his 100th goal against the Red Bulls. He’s definitely scored more than 20 in his career just against the red bulls/metrostars.

  38. milo says:

    I dont think Rojas Cichero or Angel are mirages.

    Pietravallo, hmmm, we’ll see, but I dont think Mage will keep it up, nor Sassano.

    Metro needs Dane back and Goldy to play better, as well as Kandji.

    SIGN KANDJI!!!!

  39. Dannyc58 says:

    scott47a

    You sure about that? Pretty sure I’ve read the opposite, pretty much everywhere.

  40. Scott says:

    Well it looks that we may be getting this 19yo strikeer Gabriel Torres. personally id rather get the speedy 23yo kandji.

    ives can you please find out some more information on the kandji situation?

  41. robert says:

    the dc defense … What in the world was Soehn thinking of? Why wasnt Gonzalo Martinez in the starting line up? He has been impressive in his first year at MLS, almost scored a goal at the end of the match after he ran past 3 RB players.. I mean, have you looked at this guys resume? Played with Colombian natl team, with udinese & napoli in Italy..olimpia of Paraguay … And soehn opts to start Carroll and Burchie? I understand peralta is injured , but can anyone explain to me what’s going on here?

  42. MiamiAl says:

    Every time I talk smack and then travel to see a DC United match, I always am taught a lesson in humility. Red Bulls looked like they couldn’t wait to redeem themselves from the Barca disaster. The new arrivals for Red Bulls look very good, especially Rojas.

    Zack Wells is straight up awful!

    And Giants stadium is a total disgrace! It really is just a complete hassle to get to and from there. Can it really be true that the new Red Bulls stadium will be finished by 2009? I say no…

  43. Jacob says:

    Stop it with the Kandi talk… I want him in a Silverback shirt till the end of October, then, take him by all means..

  44. wendel says:

    my bad!

  45. Kevin says:

    Well Red Bulls fans, I have to say I was shocked when your team came back. It looked like yet another United rout of the Metrotards, but they got it together, and United fell apart. I now know how crappy you felt after failing to win the last 18 out of 20 against us (well, no I don’t. That must have sucked, huh?).