Preview: Disappointing Rapids, Red Bulls look to rebound
DICK'S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
9:30 p.m. ET (Altitude; MSG)
July 20, 2011 (WEEK 19; MLS Game 182)
The Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls meet for the second time this season when the clubs face off at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday. The Rapids return home after a 4-3 loss at Seattle Sounders FC last weekend. The Red Bulls also are heading back out on the road, their last match a scoreless draw at Chivas USA last Saturday.
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. SAR (bench): Daniel Belleau; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: David Gantar
MLS Career: 32 games; FC/gm: 28.5; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 6; pens: 4
INJURY REPORT: COLORADO RAPIDS—OUT: Conor Casey (L ruptured Achilles); QUESTIONABLE: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear); DF Danny Earls (L quadriceps contusion); PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); MF Joseph Nane (R shoulder strain); MF Brian Mullan (lower back spasms); DF Anthony Wallace (R quad strain)...NEW YORK RED BULLS—OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Rafael Marquez (R hamstring strain); FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: COL: Conor Casey...NY: Roy Miller, Luke Rodgers
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Ross LaBauex, Jeff Larentowicz, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace...NY: Carlos Mendes
ALL-TIME (34 meetings): Rapids 15 wins (0 shootout), 50 goals...Red Bulls 14 wins (0 shootout), 52 goals...Ties 5
AT COLORADO (17 meetings): Rapids 8 wins, 23 goals...Red Bulls 6 wins, 17 goals...Ties 3
- The teams played to a 2-2 draw in their first meeting this season, May 25 at Red Bull Arena, goals from New York's Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers twice answering goals from Colorado's Jeff Larentowicz.
- New York's 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena last Sept. 11 was their first against the Rapids since 2007, putting an end to a five-game winless streak. Colorado had won four of the games in between.
- Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. COL: P2 W1 L0 D1...Gary Smith v NY: P5 W3 L1 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
5/25: NY 2, COL 2 (Henry 29, Rodgers 34—Larentowicz 27, 33)
- All four goals were scored in a six-minute span. Colorado took the lead in the 27th minute via the penalty spot. Rapids forward Andre Akpan was fouled by Red Bulls left back Roy Miller and referee Jorge Gonzalez quickly pointed to the spot. New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton saved Jeff Larentowicz's penalty kick, but the rebound went back to the Colorado midfielder, who coolly side-footed it home.
- The Red Bulls answered just two minutes later. Joel Lindpere fed a ball to a streaking Dwayne De Rosario at the top corner of the penalty area. The Canadian international slid a pass into the center of the box and to a wide-open Thierry Henry, who lashed a shot past Matt Pickens.
- Colorado regained the lead in the 33rd minute. This time, Larentowicz hit from a free kick from 25 yards out on the right flank, his low shot sailing across the penalty area, through the wall and past Sutton.
- The Red Bulls didn't stay behind long, equalizing a minute later when Roy Miller's threaded ball into the left side of the area was chipped by Luke Rodgers over an on-rushing Pickens.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-3-1-2): Greg Sutton - Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller, Mehdi Ballouchy, Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere - Dwayne De Rosario - Thierry Henry (Juan Agudelo 87), Luke Rodgers.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace - Sanna Nyassi, Pablo Mastroeni (Joseph Nane 71), Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson - Andre Akpan (Conor Casey 65), Ross LaBauex (Quincy Amarikwa 78)
The Colorado Rapids weren't able to build on a long-awaited win, falling 4-3 to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. The Rapids have 27 points from 21 games, sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference.
- The Rapids took the lead just a minute into the match. Wells Thompson latched on to a short clearance from Seattle defender Jeff Parke and drove a low shot into the left corner from the edge of the box.
- Sounders FC answered through Alvaro Fernandez in the seventh minute, after he ran onto a long pass from Osvaldo Alonso and held off right back Kosuke Kimura long enough to fire a shot inside the far post.
- The Rapids reclaimed the lead just before halftime when Thompson collected a long ball from Omar Cummings and laid it off to Jeff Larentowicz, whose drive bounced off the far post and in. But Sounders FC were level again shortly after the restart as Roger Levesque flicked in a cross from the right from Mauro Rosales.
- Seattle took the lead in the 82nd minute when substitute Brad Evans's shot was tipped by Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens, and Fredy Montero stooped low to nod the ball in at the far post. Then Rosales made it 4-2 in the 84th minute, taking a pass from Montero before slotting a shot past Pickens.
- It proved to be a vital goal for the home side as Caleb Folan slammed home a rebound in the 90th minute after Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a save from a corner kick.
- Rapids head coach Gary Smith made three changes to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Tyrone Marshall came into the back four for Danny Earls, Pablo Mastroeni came back from suspension and joined Sanna Nyassi in midfield in place of Jamie Smith and Caleb Folan.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor - Sanna Nyassi (Ross LaBauex 80), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson - Conor Casey (Caleb Folan 38), Omar Cummings (Andre Akpan 86)
- The Rapids scored their most goals in a game since April 3, but still went down to a 4-3 defeat at Seattle.
- "When you score three goals you expect to get something coming out after the game," said Rapids head coach Gary Smith "...To be able to go up 2-1 on the road in a difficult place. Scoring the three goals itself is a positive. Unfortunately, giving up four goals which the group doesn't do too often."
- It was the second time in five games Colorado had allowed four goals, after a 4-1 loss at Columbus on June 26.
- "The initial goals were a big blow. You try to get yourself a nice footing and hold in the second half, away from home. To concede quickly, with the crowd, and the team we are playing against was just tough. I have to be honest there were good periods of the game were we look unsettled in the back.
- Pablo Mastroeni returned to the lineup after missing the Vancouver match entirely, after he was forced off after just a half-hour in the 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City.
- The Rapids had Conor Casey and Omar Cummings in the starting lineup together for just the fourth time this season in Seattle, but Casey had to leave before halftime with an Achilles tendon injury and is out for rest of the season.
- "It will be a matter of patching the group back on up to get a strong lineup for Wednesday to play against a difficult New York side," Smith said.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls headed back to the West Coast, playing to a scoreless draw with Chivas USA on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Red Bulls have 29 points from 21 games, second in the Eastern Conference.
- Both teams hit the woodwork in the opening 45 minutes. Red Bulls fullback Jan Gunnar Solli saw a long-range effort come off the bar after a half-hour, then Jorge Flores hit the bar eight minutes later.
- Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made four saves to preserve the clean sheet. Making his MLS debut, Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost was not called upon to make a single save.
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. Teemu Tainio came back into the midfield for Mehdi Ballouchy, and Juan Agudelo started up top in place of Luke Rodgers.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Frank Rost - Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio (Mehdi Ballouchy 84) - Dane Richards, Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere - Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
- The Red Bulls have been away from home in five of their last seven games, and have taken four draws (with a loss) in those contests.
- The Red Bulls are winless in their last eight games away from Red Bull Arena (since a 4-0 win at D.C. United on April 21)—but have taken points on seven of those. Their only loss on the road since came June 23 at Seattle.
- The Red Bulls were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time this season. They had scored in 15 consecutive league games before being blanked 1-0 by D.C. United on July 9.
- Designated Player Frank Rost made his MLS debut in goal for the Red Bulls against Chivas USA, but was not called upon to make a single save.
- "It's a good start for Frank and the back four to have a clean sheet and to have not conceded. We've been giving up very easy goals for the last five, six, seven weeks so it's a good start for the back four," head coach Hans Backe said.
- Greg Sutton, who had started the previous two matches and seven of the last nine in goal for the Red Bulls, was loaned to the Montreal Impact of the NASL.
"It's pretty easy. He's a veteran goalkeeper, he talks a lot, and he communicates well, so it was pretty easy for us," center back Tim Ream said. "We just did the same thing that we've been doing. Communication is the key, and he communicated well, and that helps us out a lot."