Red Bulls tie United, clinch Atlantic Cup

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By MIKE NASTRI

It wasn't pretty, but the New York Red Bulls captured their first Atlantic Cup in seven years with a 0-0 draw against DC United.

NYRB's 2-0 win in the first leg back on May 1st was the difference between the two teams. It's only the Red Bulls second Atlantic Cup victory since the trophy was created in 2002. 

Despite the hardware, the Red Bulls missed a chance to earn 3 points against last place DC United. United has been in better form of late but have still given up the second most goals in the MLS.

"It wasn't a pretty game in general," said Juan Pablo Angel. "We'll take the point but I don't think it was a pretty game."

The NYRB midfield struggled to string passes together and weren't able to control the rhythm of the game. The Red Bulls excel in matches when their midfield can dominate possession and create chances from the wing, but that wasn't the case against DC.

"Seth Stammler looked exhausted in the first half, no legs," said Backe. "Joel [Lindpere], in a way, just running around the middle of the park, couldn't really get a hold of the ball and go for the final passes for Salou and Angel. So we couldn't break them down, even one versus one in those opportunities."

"We never could keep possession, never could keep the flow going and going forward," said defender Tim Ream.

Creativity was lacking for both teams and there weren't any great scoring opportunities. The two teams combined for only 5 shots on goal.

The only quality chance in the whole game came in the 23rd minute off a set piece from 40 yards out. Juan Pablo Angel stepped up to the ball and fired a rocket, forcing a diving save out of United keeper Troy Perkins.

The rest of the game was a scuffle in midfield and filled with misfired passes for both sides. The dreaded nil-nil draw wasn't attractive to the eye but DC United will certainly take the away point.

"We worked hard and it was a good, full 90 minutes for us," said DC keeper Troy Perkins. "Especially to get a zero on the road is fantastic. Defensively, it was a good game for us, and that's the way games go sometimes. We're happy to get the point, and overall I think we played well."

United continues to crawl out of the basement of the East with slowly improving play.

As for the Red Bulls, they're a team that have made huge strides this season. New York finally held a trophy that has eluded them for seven years. But, this was a missed opportunity by dropping two attainable points at home.

"I think we have to take it step by step," said Backe. "It would be naive to think we could dictate and control every game. We have to take it step by step."

The next step is a difficult one in the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew. And they'll need a much better effort to gain some very valuable away points.

MORE DP NEWS

Hans Backe shed more light on the third DP and when he could be arriving at RB arena.

"I am rather confident that we can bring in 2 DP players. Hopefully for the [Barclays New York] Challenge, when we start with the Spurs on the 22nd," Backe said.

On whether third DP player would be there for 22nd: "I'm not really sure. I hope it will be possible for that player to be in three or four sessions with us. I don't know if it will be realistic for the 2nd but rather close."

On why he is suddenly optimistic about signing 3rd DP: "We talked about the name. But I thought a couple of months ago it wasn't realistic with that player."

"I was very happy yesterday morning when Erik phoned me from Norway. So I got the message yesterday."

NASH COMES TO RBA

Steve Nash was around at halftime of the match and had some kind words on his good friend Thierry Henry. 

"When you have been a professional soccer player on the highest level with all of those expectations since you were 17, sometimes you welcome a change. I think he's accomplished so much."

"He loves America, he loves New York City and I think he's ready for a new challenge. I am thrilled we will be able to see him on a daily basis."

"I think we're lucky because Thierry is still a world class player. We have had players come over and show how great they are but maybe not every night. I think he's still capable of playing at the highest level in the game."

KANDJI'S COMEBACK

Mac Kandji's 15 minutes at the end of the match were his first since his April 21st surgery to repair a broken metatarsal. Kandji had one shot that went over the bar but was moving well in his fifteen minutes.

"It feels good to be back," Kandji said. "My foot feels great. Just little bumps in practice, here and there. But it feels great. I think it went very well. I got a couple of touches running around. I was kind of dead after that, but I know I will get there."

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18 Responses to Red Bulls tie United, clinch Atlantic Cup

  1. rbfan says:

    Why does everyone still seem to have a hard on for Ubi. He is garbage! He gives the ball away close to 50% of the time. What, just because he runs around a lot people should be enamored with him? In the last 2 games he has been by far the worst player on the field. He gave away the first goal last week, and this week, more of the same. Bench him and play Miller (which I am still scratching my head as to why he’s been benched).

  2. Starla says:

    Lindpere and the injured Nielsen are the only midfielders who are talented enough to play on a higher level and fit in with better players.

    They must trade in two decent wingers with pace and skills to play the wings with Lindpere and Marquez.

  3. larry says:

    i agree..some of the depth has to be traded for quality. Not sure who’s willing to trade what though.

    Nielson will be out for the next 6-8 weeks..hopefully by then he’ll be healthy for the playoffs

  4. Jon says:

    Who’s the 3rd dp? Ronadihno?

  5. Avi Rosenbloom says:

    word is its Rafa Marquez Mehhican Dmid/CB

  6. jogofotoboto says:

    whoever thought of the US Reject chant… genius

    i think it actually rattled perkins

  7. brian says:

    The Atlantic Cup? Come on now. It’s an artificial competition. Shep Messing was laughing last year when they presented it to DC United.

    I admire the thinking behind the Supporters Shield, because the best regular season team deserves a trophy. But the Atlantic Cup? Do any of the players even know they won it?

  8. Beandog says:

    If I was a Red Bulls fan I would be very proud of this accomplishment.

  9. Charles says:

    I wonder if they sign Henry can they draw enough to cover the logo in the seats?

    Everyone is talking, MLS is finally becoming a legit league because they are signing Henry and another DPs….The ONLY way MLS becomes a legit league is if teams draw in fans like Seattle has. Ljungberg in no way made Seattle legit,(he is a waste of $1.3 million in my opinion ), the Sounders are practically in last place, the FANS made it legit and the money they bring in could make the talent legit.

    Until people support soccer IN THIS COUNTRY, it will always be a struggle. Unless there are only 10-15k soccer fans in the NY area, that hasn’t happened yet.

    (SBI-Charles, the seats that “cover the logo” are season tickets that are SOLD OUT and have been since before the season. The people who bought them just aren’t using them. We’ll see if Henry gives them a reason to come out.)

  10. another rbfan says:

    The improvement he has shown over-all this year over last makes your garbage label a little excessive. In my mind he isn’t any less consistent then Stammler.

  11. another rbfan says:

    If only the hot air the Sounders fans blow could make this league legit. If so the MLS would be more legit three time over.

  12. Patrick says:

    I was not happy with Angel’s positioning the whole game, he was playing as if he was a midfielder. When the Bulls would push the attack and send a ball up field. Juan Pablo could not capitalize on the service because he was too far back in the midfield. very ineffective the whole game.

  13. How about this? says:

    Trade Salou for more Midfield quality.

  14. Ceez says:

    “I was very happy yesterday morning when Erik phoned me from Norway. So I got the message yesterday.” …

    …Does that mean the 3rd DP is Norwegian? o_O

  15. garbaggio says:

    I made my first trip to the new Red Bull Arena on one of the buses up from DC. The game itself was a disappointment but the new stadium – and it’s convenient location on the PATH lines a short ride from lower Manhattan – are great.

    The game was OK for the first 30 minutes or so. Angel’s long distance freekick was well-placed but wasn’t much of a threat. NY’s main attacking danger in that stretch came when players got behind DC’s backline and made crosses and short passes to players making near post runs – but the final finish wasn’t there.

    After that DC slowed in slowing the game down starting when James rolled around on the field for a good while after minor contact on a foul from Ibrahim.

    The game was not great but the new stadium IS great expecially for anyone who made trips to old Giants Morgue in the Meadowlands.

    Hopefully interest in the team will increase as word of mouth gets out and the stadium will fill up more.

  16. Matt Mathai says:

    It’s a made-up cup meant to foster rivalries. The Brimstone Cup (Dallas?) is similar. I guess it’s nice to have, but no player I’ve talked to has cared about it, whether or not they’ve held it at the time.

  17. Matt Mathai says:

    Yeah, so much so that he gave up an easy goal.

    No wait, he didn’t…

  18. NYCtourney says:

    See Henry’s debut for the NY Red Bulls at the Barclays New York Challenge (www.facebook/BarclaysNewYorkChallenge)