Henry ends drought, Rodgers bags brace to lead Red Bulls past Earthquakes

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By MIKE NASTRI

Luke Rodgers scored twice, breaking the New York Red Bulls' 135-minute scoreless streak to power New York past the San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0, in the pouring rain at Red Bull Arena.

Thierry Henry finally got on the scoresheet to break his scoring drought. Henry had a few chances off the foot of Rodgers, but he couldn't convert until the 87th minute. Rodgers sent a curling cross from the right corner of the box to find a streaking Henry. The Designated Player buried the header in the right corner of the goal for Red Bulls' final goal.  

"I think [the fans] wanted me to score, and I wanted to score," said Henry, the Red Bulls' captain. "Overall, we won't remember that today. I think the most important thing to remember is the way we played and the way we put pressure. If we do carry on defending like that on the front, we will be a difficult team to beat."

In a surprising move, New York head coach Hans Backe started Rodgers over the usual starter aside Henry, Juan Agudelo. Rodgers stifled any criticism scoring just two minutes into the game off a Red Bulls corner.

"We have three good strikers," said Backe. "I think we need to rotate a little bit with those three guys. Juan has been training and playing since the beginning of Janurary. We just a feel that he needs to calm down a little bit."

Rodgers added his second of the game just 13 minutes later, after Thierry Henry stripped San Jose captain Ramiro Corrales and slotted the ball to a streaking Rodgers. The former Notts Country striker flicked the ball past Earthquakes keeper Jon Busch for the 2-0 lead.

"I knew exactly where he [Henry] was going to put it," Rodgers said. "If you don't make as a striker then you're not a striker. It was brilliant. Two goals in 15 minutes. It was the perfect start for me."

San Jose never held a grasp on the game. They had a hard time extinguishing an explosive Red Bulls attack. The one or two chances that Chris Wondolowski and the Earthquakes had were handled with relative ease by Bouna Coundoul and the rest of the New York defense.

"I think the best team of the night won," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "I thought New York played well — score an early goal and followed up with another one. So for us to start out, we got no real chance to get back into the game, so I think the result was fair."

The win for New York avenged a playoff loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in last year's Eastern Conference semifinals. But revenge wasn't all this match was about. The Red Bulls struggled to score this season and it cost them points in matches in which they dominated possession.

In this match, New York came out with new energy and a strong team effort to rebound from last week's 1-0 loss on the road to Philadelphia.

"It is a great team effort," said Henry. "We defended together and we attacked together, and that's what we need to do to win games."

Added Rodgers: "It's just a matter of time before it clicked. All you have to do is watch a training session to see how sharp we are. I think tonight it clicked, and this will kick-start our season."

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86 Responses to Henry ends drought, Rodgers bags brace to lead Red Bulls past Earthquakes

  1. agnigrin says:

    That was damn fast Mike… Woah The Bulls are back in town!

  2. agnigrin says:

    Also Mike change your post to 5th game of the MLS season!

  3. agnigrin says:

    The Bulls play like this every game…watch out MLS! Wahoo!

  4. WK says:

    argh. Quakes played like s#$% and our coach didnt help matters by subbing off Dawkins for Sealy. meanwhile Ryan Johnson just saunters around useless and invisible. its like he looks for a bad loss before he’ll make any changes- good coaches and good teams sometimes have to be adjusted on the fly, ala Backe benching agudelo for rogers. doesnt help that lenhart still isnt fit, but damn- change the tactic if you don’t have the players available coach…

  5. Bill says:

    Henry told the South Ward to F off… hahaha

    Oh man, I’m sure we won’t care.

  6. brillant says:

    Rodgers isn’t an England international.

  7. Murphy says:

    Red Bulls look real good… could have finished more of those chances but they were dominating.

  8. jonk says:

    He does have an England C team cap…but that’s a bit like being named to the high school All-American team.

  9. The Dude says:

    As an Henry defender, I’d just like to say a big SUCK IT to all the haters. I’ve been saying all week that we need to be patient. He’s most definitely NOT an “injury-prone bust,” as Ives sadly put it. (Waiting for an apology, Ives). He was absolutely brilliant tonight. The strip of Corrales was classic, and the goal was class. He should have buried at least one other goal, but I’ll chalk it up to the monsoon. In any case, I think Titi and the whole team responded to the criticism. Henry and Rodgers looked dangerous and motivated all night long.

    The moral of the story is that we can’t cast judgments on players this early in the season. We’re just getting started.

    (SBI-Never said he WAS an injury-prone bust, but that he was looking like one early on, which he certainly was. For the record I’m the guy who said he’d score 15 goals this year. It’s only one game, but we’ll see if he can keep it going.)

  10. jonk says:

    Am I wrong in thinking RBA is essentially a covered viewing experience for spectators? I’m just curious why the Union outdrew RBNY by 1k fans when the SoB at PPL park were getting drenched.

  11. The Dude says:

    To call someone an “internationl” has two meanings: It can mean that they are a citizen of a country (and play abroad) or that they play for a national team. In this case, Mike meant that Rodgers is an English citizen.

  12. The Dude says:

    Yes, it’s covered. NY has a lot of fairweather fans, unfortunately. They still need to work on marketing. They have precious few ads on radio and TV.

  13. glaing says:

    I heard the trip into thes games was as harrowing as sitting in the stands. Can’t say for sure because I couldn’t make it to RBA today.

  14. East River says:

    Looking at the video of Henry’s goal was it me or did it look like Henry had a some choose words for some fans? He was gesturing to ppl as if to ask if they had any thing to say now and pointing to his name. Could he have been a bit ticked off on some ppl and played as if he had a point to prove? I will say that there have been times this season when he looked like he didn’t care…but not tonight.

  15. The Dude says:

    Word on twitter is that he bitched out the “haters,” not the true fans. He then made amends after the game by throwing his shirt into the stands. I think he’s been a bit frustrated with himself. But he’s obviously back. The assist and the goal were fabulous, and I hope he regains his confidence. Certainly the whole team looked very motivated tonight.

  16. were there Nazis/skin heads at the game? Did anyone see the three guys with their shirts off at the end of the game gesturing?

  17. glaing says:

    Not everybody with a shaved head is a nazi. NYRB has a forward with a shaved head. You might have seen him.

  18. readte12 says:

    P.S. That right-foot crack that he let off was going to be the golazo of this season thus far had Busch not got a touch on it. That was world class. I think people are too quick to kick big international signings to the curb if they don’t drop in and score hat tracks regularly. This league is competitive! We develop some of the better keepers in the world. The play in this league is physical and despite playing in the top leagues overseas, guys like Henry still need some time to get acclimated to MLS. It’s great to see him trying hard and tasting success, though.

  19. I’m sorry but what the hell are you talking about? I never said everyone with a shaved head is a nazi and never implied that. I said there were three men in the crowd with their shirts off, tons of tats, and were in front of everyone screaming and gesturing. take your head out your a** and stop wasting my time with your bull.

  20. Dan in New York says:

    Best game I’ve seen the Red Bulls play, ever. They completely dominated a very good San Jose team. Wish they could play every game in a monsoon. Great to see Henry so fired up!

  21. Brian says:

    Well I wouldn’t say all skin heads are Nazis are Neo-Nazis.

  22. Radi0head says:

    having just returned from the game with my clothes completely drenched down to the socks, I can assure you that it is not fully covered :) that said, if your sitting up higher in the 200s you will def be mostly dry. Also, the weather made it very difficult to get there, ran into some flooded roads and lots of traffic. Didn’t even get to see the first goal

  23. The Dude says:

    I think Henry finally got frustrated with himself and the fans and really started to try hard. None of this “I want to make my teammates better” or “I’ll look to pass first” BS. Tonight, it was all about “Give me the Effing ball”…..which is exactly what he need from him. It’s obvious that he’s a) still a great player, and b) plays better when he’s actually working his butt off.

  24. Chan says:

    As someone who sat in the first row of 124, I can safely say that fans can get wet. The wind made the rain swirl into the seating areas, and it was pretty chilly too. It was really pouring while we walked from and to the PATH. As the guy next to me said, it would have been even heavier rain without the roof. It reminded of the last game at Giants Stadium, big rain and a one-sided result.

  25. ThisIsIves says:

    i apologize for writing that Henry was a bust. i meant to say he’s worthy of a bust, a life size scuptural bust of the like dodi fayaed has put up in front of craven cottage of the king of pop.

  26. Drew says:

    It’s one goal, 5 games into the season. It’s too early to call him a bust, but he scored one goal and has looked invisible for stretches in previous games. It’s too soon to tell either way, everyone needs to settle down.

  27. Scott A says:

    Actually, what the hell are you talking about? People singing at a game with tats and their shirts off are nazis? Who’s the guy wasting time..

  28. GunneRR says:

    I didn’t see any skinhead Nazis, but I did see a skinhead from Notts County. He scored two goals and turned me from skeptic to believer.

  29. GunneRR says:

    +1

  30. OMFG you guys are sooooo stupid! IN THE CROWD, NOT ON THE FIELD!!!! AT THE END OF THE GAME WHEN HENRY WENT TO THROW HIS JERSEY, THE CAMERA BRIEFLY SHOWED THREE MEN AND THE GESTURE THE ONE IN THE FRONT MADE DEFINITELY LOOKED LIKE HE WAS SALUTING HITLER.

  31. Tom says:

    The level of possession for nyrb is an absolute pleasure to watch. 65 to 70%? Absolutely sick! Kudos to management for so many clever signings the last 2 years.

    I want to go to more games this year but it is such a pain to get there on the weekends with all the express trains shut down on the east side.

  32. Rob Hak says:

    The guys you saw with no shirts and shaved heads are members of the GSS (Garden State Supporters). They are not in any way skin heads. They GSS (the men anyway) have a tradition of taking their shirts off and continuing to chant towards the end of the game.

    What the camera showed was that group celebrating at that point.

  33. Please shut up and stop talking to me. your the one making assumptions not me. I asked a question based on what I saw, your talking out your a** because your prick.

    for the brief time the guy was on camera he clearly looked like he saluted Hitler. Anyone who saw three bald white guys, with tats, screaming and making gestures in the manner that was shown. would ask the exact same question.

    they were on camera briefly so what they were doing obviously could be out of context, hints the reason I ASKED A FLIPPING QUESTION!!!

    I didn’t just claim they were skin heads or nazis, I asked. so Yes you are wasted my time with pointless comments not answering the question, because your a toddler with poor reading comprehension skills.

    Now go away.

  34. Haig says:

    NY supporters have made it brutally clear to neo-Nazis that they are not welcome in the south end. The guys you are describing aren’t fascists. In fact, some folks went down to Trenton today to gently remind some racists that they should f— off. Just making it clear what side we are on.

  35. WonsanUnited says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So ironic. Those 3 guys you saw were in Trenton earlier today beating up Nazis.

  36. Thank you Rob. Someone with intelligence enough to answer the question and not claim I called someone something when I didn’t.

    I glanced at the screen and saw them and obviously was like. WTF was that lol?

  37. lmfao that is ironic

  38. Louis Z says:

    how did Team Ream do?

  39. Louis Z says:

    oops, I meant Tim

  40. Matt S says:

    Didn’t have much to do all night like the rest of the back line.

  41. Brian says:

    Take a joke. GunneRR made a good comment there.

    Saluting Hitler? Come on man.

  42. Brian says:

    sounds kinda dirty

  43. Brian says:

    I feel like “England national” or “English national” would be more appropriate.

  44. Scott A says:

    Out of curiosity, what is your first language?

  45. Tim F. says:

    Fantastic performance by the entire team. That’s the Thierry I was expecting to see for awhile now; great to see him play effectively and with constant passion from the beginning of the game to the end. Thierry, Luke, Teemu, Rafa, Jan and Joel had very strong games. Tim, Roy, Dwayne, Dane and Bouna were strong as well. I think they are still trying to figure out how best to use Dwayne as he was not involved as much offensively but he did track back and make a number of good tackles. Sometimes Dane seemed to get in Dwayne’s way and could be more effective usually stretching out the field on the right sideline. The players collectively defended very well, helping each other out.

    There is no excuse for fans not to attend the game this evening. On Thursday, we saw the Portland fans standing in colder, wetter conditions. You can not ask for a better stadium than Red Bull Arena and the team finally got plenty of scoring chances to match its excellent possession. If the Red Bulls had converted a handful of the many other scoring opportunities, the score could have been 6-0 or more.

  46. Jason B says:

    It looked like he was gesturing to “get off his back” or it could have been him gesturing that he successfully got the monkey off his back with that goal.

  47. Mike says:

    I’m all about holding people accountable who deserve it, but I don’t ever recall Ives calling Henry an “injury-prone bust.” If your talking about the live chat the other day I believe he said that there is potential for him to be just that, but I’ve personally never seen him write absolutes like about a player, especially when the sample size isn’t large enough.

    (SBI-Thanks Mike, and you are correct. I mentioned Henry in a recent Beckham piece and noted he was looking like a bust, but as you say it’s too early to label him as one. We’ll know by season’s end just where he stands, and whether it’s the Henry of last night or the Henry of the first few games who wins out.)

  48. phil says:

    Portland was opening night of their new stadium though.

    RBNY fans will be back. The weather was atrocious.

  49. canchon says:

    If you took the PATH train in, you were soaked by the time you got to the arena. High wind and driving rain – at one point it was hard to walk. I got to sit in soaking wet clothes for the entire match (and keep in mind I brought an umbrella).

    It looked like the wind swirled the rain into the club box side – I was in 127 and was pretty dry. Rained for what, 4 hours straight??

  50. canchon says:

    He really worked hard the whole game and it looked like he was angry at the fans. After he missed the second breakaway chance, some fans started booing and whistling…but he had another chance where he created a chance out of nothing on a full sprint, and got some cheers for that. Good that the goal finally went in. Last night’s effort was what people were expecting when he signed with RBNY.

  51. GunneRR says:

    Thanks, Brian. I guess Jim is too smart to understand a pun like Nazi vs. Notts County. After all, puns are low-brow humor.

  52. PetedeLA says:

    Dude,

    I just saw the highlights and I count at least 3 chances that he should have made. I’m not saying your average MLS player would make them– but he’s not 1/2 the player who played for Arsenal.

    I just felt sorry for him after the second missed chance.

    But hopefully this will boost his confidence and get him near to where he once was.

  53. Gerald says:

    I’m in the first row of 101 and I was able to take my rainjacket off and attempt to get dry. The concrete below was dry as well, it really depends on which way the wind was blowing

  54. Gerald says:

    To answer the question they are not Neo-Nazis they are part of one of the supporters groups

  55. Wendell Gee says:

    To call someone an “international” does not mean they are a citizen of the country referred to.

  56. wally says:

    I love that Rogers came up big and now Agudelo will have to fight for pt. Best thing that could happen to keep the kid grounded and hungry.

  57. Mike says:

    he was responding to GSS because once again, they ran their mouths and acted like the trash they are.

  58. Joamiq says:

    I’m very, very happy that he scored and I hope that this leads to many more. But last night was still frustrating. He looked much more active and engaged than usual, and that’s a good thing. But he still wasted a bunch of simple opportunities. Could have had a hat trick easy. He converted one and played like he actually cared tonight, so I’ll give him a pass on all the misses. But this one game definitely does not vindicate him. He’s got more work to do. The moral of the story is that you can’t cast judgment on a player based on one game. Oh, and Henry has been bad ever since he came aboard, not just this season.

  59. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, I think that’s the thing. It was the travel to and from the stadium that was the real problem weather-wise. And as others have pointed out, even once you’re in the stadium, you’re not necessarily safe. That stadium can be amazingly cold when it’s really not that bad outside.

  60. Dancy says:

    I agree completely with the first sentence. On the second, not being given a National team place before earning one on his club team would be even better.

  61. SD says:

    In the kind of rain that we had falling pretty much the whole day on sat, there was flooding. and it is clear you are not from the area because you would know that harrison is like a river when it rains…

  62. JCC says:

    Rodgers >>> Agudelo

  63. Troy says:

    I live on the east side and I made it last night….sounds like you need to find some other excuse or make it next time.

  64. Troy says:

    I got soaked but it was a great game. It bothers me that more people don’t show up but that place was loud anyways.

  65. Troy says:

    Henry showed real passion last night and it was welcome to see. The fans booed him when he missed that second easy goal chance. He went down in embarrassment (which I understand) but got back up and came back to score. I like Henry even more now.

  66. The Abalone and The Crestfallen Kerchief says:

    Agudelo needs to get out of MLS! He needs playing time!

  67. Troy says:

    He did ok, had one bad turnover that was uncharacteristic of him….also in Philly game. Maybe he’s having a bad spell.

  68. common sense says:

    agudelo needs to hustle a bit more like rodgers…. if he did then he will be the next lindpere

  69. Clayton says:

    It does in MLS, where teams have a cap on “international” slots.

  70. Smith says:

    I have to agree with Mike here. I have disagreed vigorously with Ives many times(see: Osario, Juan Carlos), but he never called Henry an injury-prone bust. He pointed out that he’d had some injuries & was looking like bust as of that writing. Ives never makes it personal & like most good sportswriters, allows himself some room to work with should the player turn it around (which Henry began doing Saturday night).

  71. Smith says:

    When you are in MLS 16 years & have sucked for most of them, tell me how your attendance is, okay?

  72. The Abalone and The Crestfallen Kerchief says:

    The next Lindpere?! I thought Agudelo was destine for big things!

  73. francois says:

    The last 4 of 5 comments have been some of the most idiotic i’ve seen on this board. I’m somewhat disappointed in my fellow SBI followers.

  74. the FACTS of life says:

    If that is the case, then you haven’t been here long enough.

  75. AdamFromMich says:

    Well, I would qualify as a doubter instead of a hater, but I ate a little crow when I watched the highlights of this game. Just last week I said Henry looked slow, but he consistently outran the SJ defenders. It was good to see. Hopefully he can continue.

  76. mulletgss says:

    wow. you have a problem with GSS? do ya? did someone from GSS do something to you? send me an email, i want to make things right. mulletGSS@gmail.com =)

  77. mullet IBC says:

    haha those are my friends! actually one of them is one of my grooms men. Considering that i’m hispanic i doubt he’s a nazi. The other is also a good friend of mine and trust me he aint no nazi. thats why i hate boneheads (neo nazis skinheads) they give the real skinheads a bad name and make ignorant people think that all shaved heads are neos. google it next time! =)

  78. mullet ibc says:

    Also just to clarify, those guys aren’t skinheads. They are casuals. Non racist or fascist casuals.

  79. Tired of morons says:

    Do yourself a favor. Go to Google and type in Antifa – while you’re at it, type in S.H.A.R.P. – a temporary relief of extreme ignorance at best, but it’ll have to do. Real skinheads aren’t racist.

  80. KPGSS says:

    One of the guys you saw with a shaved head and tats was most likely my husband, who, not only is he most certainly not a Nazi, he’s actually Jewish, and would probably kill anyone sieg heiling in the stands.
    This isn’t the 90’s anymore, and assuming that a person with a shaved head, tattoos, and their arm up in celebration is a nazi isn’t excusable. Like someone said in another comment, kindly google skinhead and educate yourself about the history of the culture and why real skinheads get pissed when you refer to them as nazis.

  81. Tired of morons says:

    You as well should type in ANTIFA and S.H.A.R.P. in google. Don’t presume anything about anyone. REAL SKINHEADS AREN’T RACIST – REAL SKINHEADS KILL NAZIS

  82. Dennis says:

    The Philly TV stations actually mention the games, both before and after, home and away. Even the TV weather people have a soccer ball displayed for days with a Union game.

    Do the NY stations ever even acknowledge the RedBull exist?

  83. Dennis says:

    I agree. There is no way Agudelo will be able to have watched that game without wondering how he would have done. He also has to know that he will need to continue to prove himself if he is going to get the chance to find out. Those are good things!

  84. Paul C says:

    Um, no.

    An “English International” is someone who has played for the English National Team at some point.

    An English citizen would be an Englishman.

    I’m an American and play soccer in England. Would you call me a US International?