Henry’s late equalizer helps lackluster Red Bulls salvage draw vs. Toronto FC

ThierryHenryTFC (Reuters)

The New York Red Bulls needed a win against Toronto FC on Saturday to really boost their playoff chances, but for a team with just two road wins all year, a draw was probably the more realistic goal.

Toronto FC nearly left the Red Bulls with zero points, but Thierry Henry stepped up to save New York one more time, collecting a Dax McCarty' corner kick and hitting a perfect turn and shot in the 88th minute to help the Red Bulls salvage a 1-1 draw at BMO Field.

The draw helped New York extend its lead on D.C. United for the final MLS playoff spot to two points (and three points on Portland), but with D.C. set to play Columbus and Portland facing Vancouver on Sunday, the Red Bulls could very well be out of a playoff spot by the time they return to action on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Galaxy. 

Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 49th minute courtesy of Rafa Marquez. The beleaguered Mexican star, playing his first match since being suspended for criticizing teammates, capped another awful performance with a turnover that TFC quickly turned into the opening goal. Torsten Frings picked off a Marquez pass and dished it to Ryan Johnson, who beat Marquez down the field before laying the ball off to Danny Koevermans. The Dutch striker's perfectly-timed run beat Tim Ream's attempt at an offside trap. Koevermans converted the pass, beating Frank Rost to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.

The Red Bulls looked doomed for another road loss, but Henry saved the day again, scoring his 13th goal of the season, one behind D.C. United's Dwayne DeRosario for the league lead.

The match was an other disappointing display for Marquez, who was deployed in a defensive midfield role and failed to make the impact expected of him. Along with committing the turnover that led to Toronto's goal, his effort in tracking back to try and stop Johnson was pitiful, and couldn't have pleased Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe, who replaced Marquez with McCarty in the 80th minute.

Toronto FC played an admirable match, with Torsten Frings and Koevermans impressing yet again. The young and rebuilt team is out of the playoff picture, but with an eye toward 2012, and with a CONCACAF Champions League decider against FC Dallas on Oct. 18 still to play, things are looking up for TFC.

New York returns to action on Tuesday, with a match against the Galaxy at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls could be in for some luck, with the Galaxy expected to rest some starters for the match after posting a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake to move closer to clinching a second straight Supporters Shield.

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22 Responses to Henry’s late equalizer helps lackluster Red Bulls salvage draw vs. Toronto FC

  1. Joamiq says:

    The Red Bulls need 3 points every time out these days, and yet there’s no urgency at all in their play. It’s as if they think they can waltz to the championship with draws. It would be nice if someone, anyone looked like they gave a s*** (besides Lindpere, who always plays his heart out, and I guess Rodgers too).

  2. Tim F. says:

    Starting with the positive, Henry was absolutely sublime yesterday.

    I have supported Rafa up until now but I think it is time to call this experiment over. It’s either heart or physical ability that is starting to fade; either case is unacceptable. Rafa started off the season playing so well, but like last year, the playoff ouster loss to the Earthquakes, he can not perform at DP level at the end of the season. The problem is that Keel is too inconsistent — you don’t know which one will show up — but that may be the better option at this point. Number one off season need is a centerback or two.

    I also don’t understand why Agudelo came in so late. Down by a goal, I would have thought he would have come in, at the lastest, with 30 minutes to play; the team really needed 3 points last night.

    Hope everyone shows for the LA Galaxy match on Tuesday! Let’s go Red Bulls!

  3. Tim F. says:

    For LA match,

    Rost in goal

    Solli, Ream, Miller and Mendes or Keel in defense

    Richards, Teemu, McCarty and Lindpere in midfield

    Henry and Rodgers in attack

    Agudelo first sub

    Coundoul, Auvray, Ballouchy, Kassel, Marquez, Keel or Mendes available for substitution

  4. ko'd says:

    Marquez’s giveaway was a pretty childish/infantile mistake. His complete lack of interest in tracking back was also childish/infantile. He really is on another level.

  5. Dan in New York says:

    Marquez = Tevez. Both are quitters.

  6. bryan says:

    F Rafa. F NYRB.

  7. Allegre says:

    The “european experiment” is not faring well for RBNY. Just as Osorio’s “latin american experiment” did not work out. It is in obtaining the best players that want to play with heart and give it all that matters. Skill is important, but skill without desire is wasted. It is also about having a coach who is in charge of his team and is not intimidated by having some older “star” DP’s on his squad.

    There has never been a slant to development of the younger player on RBNY in the current regime. Not even in their use as subs. Instead we see fixed spots, with a handful of them giving it all, certainly not all.

    It did not work with the Galaxy upon the arrival of Beckham, and it will not work in NY until a coaching change is made there as well.

  8. alex says:

    Could not agree more. NYRB has become so predictable that even a recreation soccer team could figure out their next play or timing and choice of subs. It’s obvious that Backe has no desire to develop his younger talent while his starters continue to be less than satisfactory game after game. Tired of the argument that these young players are not ready when every other MLS team is not only playing their younger players but starting them as well. If the starters know that their spots are guaranteed, there is no need for them to change because no matter what the result they continue to start and get paid exuberant salaries. Let’s face it…this season is done. Hopefully Austria will wise up and realize that their current system and choice of management is not working.

  9. hendrix says:

    Henry was sublime? More like invisible until he scored the goal. He hardly touched the ball in the first half, for example… and when he did, it was a giveaway to TFC.

    Everyone will remember his goal, but he did nothing up to that point and barely salvaged a tie when they needed a win. NYRB beat TFC handily at BMO Field last year… there was no gap between the teams last night.

  10. Chosun says:

    I disagree. Henry actually made some great passes throughout the game–a few which could/should have been converted into goals. If you re-watch the game, I think you’ll see that he actually did well (except for a few giveaways). In fact, I believe he orchestrated most of the plays that almost ended in goals.

  11. ManicMessiah says:

    I think this has been the worst season I’ve been through as a Red Bulls fan (granted I only started following 10 years ago, so I missed the really early stuff). When they’re crap with no expectations you just lose interest. No matter how many times I tell myself they won’t make the playoffs I just can’t make myself believe it. I still believe they can get in and win MLS cup, no matter how much their play is saying otherwise.

    This must be how Red Sox fans have been feeling during the collapse.

  12. jim says:

    ha it is exactly like it cuz if they dont make the playoffs with one of the league’s highest payrolls then yeah nyrb=red sox, hey then maybe the next day after the season nyrb n backe will “part ways”…

  13. GSScasual says:

    I just saw on the MLS facebook page, all the comments left about his goal…. and i have come to the conclusion that 90 percent of MLS fans are ignorant, stereotypical american sports fans that have absolutely ZERO knowledge of the sport… They were calling that goal a fluke, and saying they have seen better mistake goals… and also the old tired hand ball joke… since these comments were from the majority, i can easily say MLS biggest threat is our embarrassing fans… Im just happy there are a few real ones.

  14. Scott A says:

    One of the continents will work for us…Asian experiment is next!

  15. Paul says:

    WAY off topic, but as with Greg Sutton and former Net forward Keith Van Horne, doesn’t Troy Perkins look like he could have been separated at birth from David Schwimmer (Ross from “Friends”)?

  16. Dan in New York says:

    Agreed. That goal was brilliant; total control. While Henry’s not as active throughout the game as I’d like, he can turn it on in a second. I’d love to see a compilation of his 13 goals this year. Pretty much everyone, as I recall, has been spectacular.

  17. simply put I’ve now gone from not liking Rafa much to actually thoroughly disliking him. Though I will put part of the blame yesterday on Backe with going to the bench way too late.

  18. Robin says:

    Really? Ten years as a Red Bulls fan eh. Does 2009 not ring a bell to anyone.

  19. Mack says:

    I didnt see the fire in Lindpere…He should have been able to take advantage of a Plata-less midfield, especially with Frings playing sweeper, and De Guzman out.

    Tim Ream and Backe are having awful 2011s. Where is De Ro????

  20. Rick says:

    absolutely wrong….Red Bull was strongest team in the league with De Ro and the Euros.

    Galaxy had Beckham, Donovan, and absloutely nobody else.

  21. Catenaccio says:

    That year was a good one but done on a much smaller payroll without the big names we have this season. They played with heart to get to the Cup and gave Columbus a scare. If I remember we had Danny Cepero in between the pipes but still had GK issues then as well.

  22. Scott A says:

    That run to the Cup final was 2008, not 2009.