Monday, September 12, 2011

RBNY vs Whitecaps: Remembrance & Hope Dashed

On the day before the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the NY Red Bulls remembered the victims of that dark day with a beautiful pre-game ceremony. They then proceeded to deal their playoff hopes another massive blow by drawing 1-1 (and dropping 2 badly needed points) against the lowly Vancouver Whitecaps. Yes - more points dropped, but down a man and down a goal, deep into the second half, it was really a point rescued.

For those of us who were "lucky" to be at the game, what is there to say? The Red Bulls were lifeless in the first half, save for Thierry Henry and Dane Richards, and mostly looked second-best on the majestic Red Bull Arena pitch. The lack of motivation was puzzling as our team had 3 weeks off and needed points badly. It was Vancouver who opened the scoring, with a golazo from Swiss International Davide Chumiento. To be honest, the Whitecaps should have gone into the break up, at least, another goal. The Red Bulls backline was, once again, cut like a knife going through butter, with only Bouna Condoul, and a questionable foul call against a Vancouver player, keeping the Red Bulls in the game. A Red Card to DJ Jan Gunnar Solli, late in the half, and RBNY was down a goal and down a man.

Photo credit: Dan Dickinson

With an embarrassing defeat looming, it was up to second half sub Juan Agudelo to save us all with a golazo in the 68th minute. Young Mr. Agudelo nearly won it for the Bulls, but his 80th minute header was spectacularly saved by Joe Cannon. The inclusion of the long missing-in-action Luke Rodgers a minute later gave the Red Bulls a much needed spark. An Henry free kick, that forced another spectacular save from Cannon, could have won it late, but it was not to be.

Believe it or not, there are some positives coming out of this game. Chief among those positives is the return of Luke Rodgers. We can only hope that the diminutive Englishman doesn't suffer a relapse of his foot injury and that he quickly returns to the form that saw him become a fan favorite.

A big thumbs up for whoever put up the "Go Backe Home" sign in the upper deck, right across from the team benches. A big thumbs down to the security who took the sign down, not long after it was put up. Really - on a day that we remembered those innocents lost 10 years ago and celebrated what's good about this great nation (Freedom of Speech - cough, cough), telling a crackpot Manager to go home isn't a heck of a big deal.

Please click on the above video for pre-game and half-time comments. You can click here for full-time comments. You can click here for my photo album or click here for the slide show. You can also click here for another photo album, courtesy of our own Dan Dickinson (slide show here).

That all for now. Hope to see you all next week @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). Viper Out!
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