Thursday, June 3, 2010

Red Bulls 2 Houston Dynamo 1 - WOW!

I think it's safe to say that Juan Pablo Angel's sublime free kick in the 4th minute of second half extra time must now rank as the signature moment so far at Red Bull Arena. Joel Lindpere's strike in the opening match against Santos will live in the memory, of course, but it was a meaningless goal in the larger scheme of things.  Angel's goal came at a critical time.

With a five game winless streak staring them in the face, and having wasted chance after chance over the previous 93 minutes, the Red Bulls simply could not afford to walk away from a game they dominated with anything less than three points.  Happily, Angel showed everyone again why he gets designated player money with a long range strike that would not be out of place in the top leagues of Europe.  JPA noticed that Houston keeper Pat Onstad had taken one additional step to the side and changed his approach just before he let fly.  That's why he gets paid the big bucks.

Praise must also go to Sinisa Ubiparpovic, who slotted in on the right for Dane Richards after Richards left the game with a first half injury and put in another stellar performance.  Similarly, Tony Tchani showed again why he is going to be a superstar in this league eventually, filling in nicely for Joel Lindpere, who left the game with calf soreness.  Tchani is a tireless worker and an absolute beast on the ball.  If only Juan Pablo Angel had done a better job of getting the ball to him in the second half, the rookie could have had his second MLS goal.

So a great result, but man did they make hard work of it again!  Mike Petke gifted the opposition a goal for the third consecutive game, when he failed to deal with a header and let Brian Ching get behind him for an easy tap-in, even though questions might be asked about whether Ching was in an offside position. 

Viper will be along later with some more video, photos and other assorted goodies.  I took some pre-match video outside MMM Bello's with You Suck Corrales, Homebrew Tim and our friend Alex, which you can view above.  As you can see, we weren't especially confident going in.  Or even at half time for that matter.  Any hate mail from New England fans should be directed to YSC, not me (PS - FWIW Brian has since apologized in the comments below.  Ah, beer!). The guys had a fun time busting my balls about my newly unemployed status on the walk to the stadium (Who Laid Off Sam?).  They also bought me a few rounds to make the pain go away, but it didn't fully subside until the 94th minute.  Nothing to take your mind off of life's cares like the magic of football!
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