Lenhart scores late to earn draw with Red Bulls

Steven Lenhart

By RYAN TOLMICH

Through the first 84 minutes of the San Jose Earthquake’s clash with the New York Red Bulls, Steven Lenhart was the goat.

The Earthquakes forward played a hand — literally — in what appeared to be the game’s lone goal by conceding a penalty via handling the ball on a Red Bulls corner.

However, an 85th minute Lenhart volley was enough to cancel out Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 33rd minute penalty, as the Earthquakes picked up a rare come-from-behind point at Red Bull Arena with the 1-1 finish.

Wright-Phillips, who was named to the MLS All-Star Team prior to the match, converted from the penalty spot for his 17th goal of the season, giving the hosts the 1-0 lead. The penalty was conceded by Lenhart’s handball, prompting protest from Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski, who earned a yellow for his continued frustration with officials.

Wright-Phillips, who moments earlier saw a shot cleared off the line by Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez, sent Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch the wrong way to put the Red Bulls up by one.

The hosts maintained that 1-0 lead for the next 52 minutes, but failed to add the all-important insurance goal, with misses from Wright-Phillips and Eric Alexander keeping the Red Bulls in the match.

The Red Bulls, who have only picked up one 1-0 victory all season, finally cracked in the 85th minute, as Lenhart atoned for the earlier penalty by earning his side a share of the points. With the Earthquakes pushing for an equalizer, Alexander failed to head clear to end the Earthquakes attack. The ball found its way to Lenhart off a deflection and took a bounce waist-high into the air. The Earthquakes forward volleyed the ball past Luis Robles to earn his side a valuable point.

The Red Bulls will now enter an 11-day break from MLS play due to next Saturday’s friendly with Arsenal, while the Earthquakes, who remain in last place in the Western Conference, face a quick turnaround with a match against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.

Here are the match highlights:

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18 Responses to Lenhart scores late to earn draw with Red Bulls

  1. Brain Guy says:

    I’m getting tired of watching Eric Alexander do dumb things.

    • Section112 says:

      Amen, but with Petke’s support, he starts and will continue to cost us games. Over and over!!!! Do not get me wrong, he is a great 2nd tier or Reserve game starter for any NASL team. BUT, if Red Bulls want to be taken seriously, this guys does not need to be on the field. I think that the only knock on Petke is that he does not know what “real-world’ soccer professionalism is……… Alexander is not professional level and if Steele does not belong on this team, Alexander definitely does not belong in the arena!

    • slowleftarm says:

      He’s had some excellent games this year. Reserve NASL player? He was called in for the January national team camp earlier this year. Sure yesterday wasn’t his best game but he’s hardly the biggest problem in this squad. Besides, who should be playing instead?

  2. I Sniff Glue says:

    Everybody who follows football knows Lenhart would’ve had a hat trick against Belgium. Sadly, he was not able to participate due to a personal vendetta from the egomaniac Klinsmann, who does not believe strikers should have blonde hair as he perfected this two decades ago.

    • GW says:

      You must be sniffing gasoline in garbage bags not glue.

      For the West German team Rudi Voller was “Lenhart” and JK was “Wondo”.

      It was Voller not JK who sported the hairstyle that Lenhart now claims as his own.
      Get it right!

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      Do you really?

  3. Cabrito says:

    That wasn’t a penalty.

  4. Brain Guy says:

    Luyindula and Petke are likely to hear from the Disciplinary Committee for their post-game outbursts. But even if he did not hit Luyindula’s face, wasn’t the defender’s high boot a quintessential dangerous play? And for you rule experts, if so, would it have been a penalty kick?

    • Brain Guy says:

      I think I found the answer. It would (should) have been an indirect free kick from the spot of the dangerous play. (It’s not a foul.) If it’s less thn 10 yards from the goal, the wall must be on the goal line.

  5. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Lenhart didn’t handle the ball. Cahill who jumped up right next to him headed the ball instead. Do the right thing and tell the ref he made a mistake. Not only did the ref have it out for Lenhart, his whistle was particularly egregiously going against Lenhart. When will refs stop taking sides? The game would be served by having the refs come out free of suspicion of payola or some other vendetta. Granted, Lenhart used to be a player who fouled a lot. But that was in 2012. He is not doing that now. He is also not a malicious player like some that won’t be mentioned here. Lenhart has received all kinds of fouls lately that were not called properly, one of them very similar to the one that broke Neymar’s back at the World Cup. Do players practice those chaep shots? Tell it really like it is or the game will become similar to wrestling where the outcome is predetermined by a script.

    • john says:

      Watch the highlights. Lenhart clearly handled the ball and he did it on purpose.

    • Bklyn says:

      EXACTLY, Birgit! You nailed it. It doesn’t matter that the video replay clearly and unambiguously shows Lenhart handling the ball. I mean, with how much Wondolowski protested, how could it possibly have been the right call, amirite?

      At least the referee did his best to make up for the incessant mugging of the beautiful flower that is Mr. Lenhart by giving the Earthquakes a (relatively) equal number of fouls: 21 for New York, 7 for San Jose.

      And to step away from the Cone of Irony for a moment. It sure seemed that Lyundiula was kicked in the face. Maybe he wasn’t hurt, but to give him a card? Very strange outcome.

      The refereeing in MLS is now what is holding the league back.

      • swift says:

        It’s so funny when fans see one view from behind the goal and make their mind up even though the side view clearly shows the ball was headed by Cahill and never touch Lenny. And while were at it what replay did they show in NY that makes you think Lyundiula was actually kicked? Try looking at more then one replay you might just see what you’re looking for.

  6. Birgit Calhoun says:

    The high kick should have been a penalty kick for the Earthquakes.

    • Brain Guy says:

      I don’t know which is harder to comprehend — this idea about the PK or your earlier equation of Lenhart with Neymar.

      • georkt says:

        I think “to comprehend” is unattainable in this case since the poster is not from this planet. Your post on the indirect free kick for a dangerous play is spot on.

      • BumpBailey says:

        He is equating the knee in the back that Lenhart received from Boswell in last week’s game. At the vbery least Boswell deserved a yellow as there was no intent to play the ball and he raised his knee squarely into Lenharts back. Probably should have been a red. Though for Lenharts past discretions he is rarely if ever going to get the benefit of the doubt. I will say that he has cleaned up his act this year and when he sticks to playing straight he can bring some value to his team. He does have soft feet and is a pretty good hold up player. As far as the NY pnealty it definietly was not a hand ball. It CLEARLY went off of Cahill’s head. Lenharts arm was definitely raised but behind Cahill’s head. Now, you can make a case for him jumping at Cahil or maybe more appropriately “charging” as he did kind of take a run at him. Both would both be deemed as penalty kick offenses. But hand ball, no way. Anyone who says other wise is blind to the obvious and only see what they want to see. Now as far as the high kick goes. Kicking or attempting to kick an opponet are both considered to be direct kick offenses. One of the 10 such offenses that eqaul a direct free kick. So the Quakes had a legitimate gripe for a penalty. Now i will also say that for the most part they game was called pretty evenly.

        For what it is worth the “creative” refereeing in the MLS needs to be addressed. That penalty awarded to Chivas last night should have been retaken. Hell the guy started to the ball then backed up and started again. You are supposed to make a continous motion to the ball on the spot kicks. The refereeing is not at the same level as the play on the field. it needs to be better.

        • Brain Guy says:

          The high kick I meant was the one against Luyindula at the end of the game. That’s why I was dumbfounded by the argument that it should have resulted in a PK for the Quakes.