Brandon "The Hammer" Barklage, to be exact! The DC outcast, told by Benny Olsen that he couldn't hack it at MLS level, scored two spectacular golazos to lead the Red Bulls past their hated rival. It was a night of firsts and this much-needed 3-2 victory puts us right back in the Supporter's Shield hunt.
DC was 1-0 up, just 30 seconds into this one, after Roy Miller was turned inside out by DeRo, then Cruz, who prompty crossed to Pontius. The big DC forward, who just loves scoring against the Red Bulls, headed past Meara and every Red Bulls fan got that sinking feeling. To their credit, the Red Bulls didn't fold and promptly bounced back through Barklage's kung fu-kick beauty in the 20th minute. Barklage doubled his personal tally, in first half added time, with an even more spectacular volley. Just like that, we were going into the break up 2-1.
In the second half, the Red Bulls onslaught did not let up. DJ Jan Gunnar Solli increased our lead to 3-1, with a great 55th minute effort that took him two tries to finally stick in. DC's Pontius made it closer than it should have been with a goal in the 66th (offside, btw) that pulled Satan's Minions within one of the draw.
The Red Bulls would hold on, however, and three glorious points would be in the coffers. Sweet vindication for Brandong Barklage? You betcha! Didn't really need him anymore, eh Benny Olsen? Thank you DC for a player that's been a revelation at right back!
Photo credit: Matt Kremkau
Thierry Henry made his first appearance, as a 2nd half substitute, in about a month. The legendary Frenchman wasn't really a factor in this one but, as he wasn't match-fit, it was only to be expected. Rafa Marquez was also back in action with a mistake-free performance at Center Back. If this match showed anything is that the current depth of the squad is paying dividends. RBNY Head Coach Hans Backe was, I would say, quite pleased with the performance, hailing everyone after the match.
Please see the above video for drunken pre-match and half-time comments and predictions. Please click here for full-time comments. You can also click here for my photo album (slide show here). Please click here for some fantastic photos from Matt Kremkau (who was lucky enought to score field level seats). You can also click here for photos from the official site.
Photo credit: Matt Kremkau
Massive, massive support (mate) at a sold-out Cathedral of Football. I had a great time, yet again, amongst the supporters in the South Ward. The atmosphere was electric throughout the stadium, but what an epic show from the Viking Army, Empire Supporters and Garden State Supporters in this one. There was minor incident, involving two drunk (or high) assholes who wanted to fight everyone, but that took away nothing from my enjoyment. I will, however, put out a plea for anyone who frequents our stadium: Come join us full time (preferably in section 133) and help us stamp out the "tourist" problem with real stand-up, scream-yer-lungs-out support. Our glorious team needs and deserves it! Not only that, I'll personally guaran-fucking-tee you won't have more fun anywhere else in our glorious stadium.
That's it for me! Hope to see you all @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita) for our next home fixture against Sounders FC. Viper out!