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Sun. Dec 7th at 3:00pm EST · ESPN · UniMas · UDN · TSN1 · RDS2
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Final

Preview: Red Bulls host TFC in Eastern Conf. clash

New York vs. Toronto

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The New York Red Bulls return home for the first time in nearly a month, taking on Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are coming off a four-game road swing where they drew three times, last a 2-2 tie at the San Jose Earthquakes. TFC put an end to a long winless streak with two victories against Vancouver Whitecaps FC last week, the second to win the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

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REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. SAR (bench): Daniel Belleau; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Alex Prus
MLS Career: 4 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 0; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT:
NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Rafael Marquez (R hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jan Gunnar Solli (R hamstring tightness)
TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); FW Maicon Santos (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Julian de Guzman (L knee swelling); QUESTIONABLE: DF Nana Attakora (R quadriceps strain); MF Jacob Peterson (L hamstring strain); FW Alan Gordon (abdominal strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES:
none

SUSPENDED:
none

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
NY: Teemu Tainio
TOR: Richard Eckersley
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
NY: Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller, Luke Rodgers
TOR: Danleigh Borman, Dan Gargan, Javier Martina, Tony Tchani, Mikael Yourassowsky

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (11 meetings): Red Bulls 6 wins, 21 goals … Toronto FC 4 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
  • AT NEW YORK (5 meetings): Red Bulls 4 wins, 12 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 0
  • RETURN MATCH: 10/1: Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. (FOX Soccer/TSN2)

LAST YEAR (MLS)

  • 8/11: NY 1, TOR 0 (Lindpere 23)
  • 8/21: TOR 1, NY 4 (De Rosario 49 – Marquez 35; own goal 41; Angel 61; Robinson 78)
  • New York has won the last three meetings in the all-time series, outscoring TFC 10-1 in that time.
  • The Red Bulls won at BMO Field last year for the first time since 2007, a dominating 4-1 victory.
  • The Red Bulls have won the last two meetings at home, not allowing a goal in either game.
  • Coaches' records: Hans Backe v TOR: P2 W2 L0 D0 … Aron Winter vs. NY: first game

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls concluded their four-game road trip with three draws and a loss, after coming back for a 2-2 with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Stanford Stadium. The Red Bulls have 25 points from 18 games, in second place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Red Bulls took the lead in the seventh minute through Joel Lindpere. Roy Miller sent a dipping cross into the box and Lindpere's first effort ricocheted off Earthquakes defender Ramiro Corrales and back to Lindpere’s feet. He made no mistake with the second, cutting it inside the far post.
  • The Quakes used some good fortune to pull even in the 37th minute. Red Bulls goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul came off his line to grab a corner but couldn’t handle the ball, dropping it on a high bounce for Khari Stephenson, who banged it back into the goal.
  • San Jose then jumped into the lead at the three-quarter mark of the game, Steven Lenhart slipping between the Red Bulls' central defenders to head home a cross from Steven Beitashour well out on the right flank.
  • But Lindpere completed his double five minutes from the end, firing a shot from outside the area that took a deflection off defender Bobby Burling before wrong-footing Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
  • Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made three changes to the team that gained a 1-1 result with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo came back from Gold Cup duty for Stephen Keel and the ill Thierry Henry, and new boy Dax McCarty took his place in the lineup, replacing the departed Dwayne De Rosario.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Jan Gunnar Solli (Stephen Keel 71), Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Dane Richards, Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere - Mehdi Ballouchy, Juan Agudelo.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Red Bulls concluded their four-game road swing with three draws and a loss, coming back for a late 2-2 tie at San Jose on Saturday evening.
  • “I think we created a lot and it was a very open game, both sides,” Lindpere said. “We were good in counterattacks because we knew that we could hurt them. [San Jose’s] first goal again, our concentration, our own mistake — an easy goal. “
  • After calling on his teammates, Joel Lindpere scored both goals for the Red Bulls against the Quakes. Lindpere has now scored the last three goals for New York. “He’s on fire right now," midfielder Dane Richards said. "We want to keep it that way."
  • The Red Bulls have scored first in a league-high 12 games this season -- but have drawn seven of those games. They’ve scored an MLS-high 18 goals in the opening half.
  • “It is habit that we get easy goals [scored] against us,” Lindpere said. “It started to hurt already mentally because we had to do so much work to get it back to where we started.”
  • The Red Bulls were missing both Luke Rodgers and Rafael Marquez to injury and Thierry Henry, a late scratch after coming down the flu. Even head coach Hans Backe was missing after undergoing surgery during the week.
  • Marquez is expected at least the next couple of weeks with a hamstring injury suffered while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with Mexico, but the first-choice strike pair of Henry and Rodgers could be available for the Toronto match.
  • “We have to be realistic,” assistant head coach Jan Halvorsen said. “We played four games on the road. As long as we get points.”
  • Acquired from D.C. United at midweek in exchange for Dwayne De Rosario, Dax McCarty was inserted directly into the starting lineup with Teemu Tainio in the center of midfield.
  • “Very similar style to FC Dallas except I think we’re a little bit better in possession all over the field,” McCarty said. “For me that’s a fantastic system to play. I love being able to get the ball off my foot one, two-touch and find guys in attacking positions that could make things happen.” Said Lindpere: “If we play with two real holding players, then me and Dane [Richards] don’t have to run like hell around. Everyone can see we have more freedom to attack.”

TORONTO FC

Toronto FC put an end to their winless streak in league play at nine games, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. TFC has 18 points from 19 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal finally came in the 54th minute. Nick Soolsma drew Whitecaps FC defender Greg Janicki into a challenge from a jinking dribbling run, and referee Mark Geiger immediately pointed to the spot. Soolsma converted a first attempt, but it was ruled out after Joao Plata entered the area too soon. Soolsma made no mistake either, with the second.
  • TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was not called upon to make a single save for the victory. Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly was credited with a single save.
  • TFC head coach Aron Winter made two changes to the team that fell 3-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mikael Yourassowsky and Nick Soolsma came into the side for Doneil Henry and Maicon Santos.
  • TORONTO FC (4-3-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Dan Gargan, Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman - Gianluca Zavarise (Matt Stinson 73), Nathan Sturgis, Mikael Yourassowsky - Nick Soolsma, Javier Martina (Ashtone Morgan 87), Joao Plata (Demitrius Omphroy 92+).

TEAM NEWS

  • Toronto FC won for the first time since May 7 in the midweek league win against Vancouver, putting an end to a 10-game winless run in all competitions.
  • Before the league match, TFC kicked off the summer signing season with a splash, announcing the acquisition of two Designated Players, German international midfielder Torsten Frings and Dutch international forward Danny Koevermans. The duo will be available when the transfer window opens July 15.
  • “I’m still saying we are rebuilding, and it’s clear that once the (transfer) window opens we will have to get some players because we need them. Right now we don’t have enough quality, and we are missing a leader on the pitch,” said TFC head coach Aron Winter.”That’s why it was a loss today that we could not play with Alan Gordon who was out with an injury, because he is one of the guys who is a leader on the pitch. I think we are much better when he is playing.”
  • Three days after the league match, TFC followed up with a third consecutive Canadian Championship title and place in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 2-1 win against Whitecaps FC, winning the final series 3-2 on aggregate.
  • After Camilo put Whitecaps FC into the lead with a brilliant free kick in the 21st minute, Joao Plata converted his own penalty to level terms, then Mikael Yourassowsky tapped into an open goal from a Plata pass for the game-winner.
  • Here’s the TFC team: Stefan Frei –Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden (Tony Tchani 56), Richard Eckersley, Daniel Gargan –Nathan Sturgis, Julian de Guzman (Doneil Henry 87), Mikael Yourassowsky – Joao Plata, Maicon Santos (Javier Martina 19), Nick Soolsma
  • It was Plata’s first appearance on the scoresheet since scoring two goals and adding two assists in a three game stretch May 7-14.
  • “He came from far; he has very good skills, but he’s also very young. You saw at first when he came into the first team and scored, he became a popular player with the crowd, as everybody loves him,” Winter said. “After that he had some periods where things were not going as well, but in the last three games you notice he is picking it up and playing well, and hopefully he continues to go that way.”
  • In the NCC final, Richard Eckersley moved into central defense as Dan Gargan shifted to fullback. Gargan had partnered Ty Harden at center back in the league match, in place of Doneil Henry.
  • “I don’t mind, as long as I’m playing football, and as long as I’m helping the team. Obviously there has been a few injuries, but like I said as long as I’m helping the team I want to help the club,” Eckersley said. “It’s different because you can’t go forward as much, and its more about positioning and reading the game. You’re pretty much the last man on the field, so everything has got to be perfect.”