Preview: Red Bulls hungry for points against visiting 'Caps

New York vs. Vancouver, Sept. 10, 2011 (image)

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The New York Red Bulls are looking to put an end to a long winless run and maintain their place in the playoff picture when they play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are winless in their last six games, still in the top 10 overall by a single point. Still winless away from home, Whitecaps FC are coming off their second win in four games, a 1-0 home win against the Houston Dynamo last weekend at Empire Field.

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REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Alex Prus
MLS Career: 151 games; FC/gm: 28.4; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 48; pens: 49

INJURY REPORT: NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis); MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); GK Frank Rost (R quadriceps tear) …

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); GK Brian Sylvestre (L knee strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Russell Teibert (R rib contusion); QUESTIONABLE: MF John Thorrington (L groin strain); MF Davide Chiumiento (illness)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Teemu Tainio (through Sept. 10)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NY: Rafa Marquez, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Luke Rodgers … VAN: Jordan Harvey, Alain Rochat
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Mehdi Ballouchy, Rafa Marquez, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller … VAN: Michael Boxall, Jeb Brovsky, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Leathers

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME: Red Bulls 0 wins, 1 goal … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
•    The teams are meeting for the second time. An Eric Hassli penalty kick gave Vancouver the lead before Luke Rodgers scored shortly afterward as the teams reached a 1-1 draw, May 28 at Empire Field.
•    Coaches record: Hans Backe vs. VAN: P1 W0 L0 D1 … Tom Soehn v NY: P8 W5 L2 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)
5/28: VAN 1, NY 1 (Hassli 24 pen – Rodgers 34)
•    The teams traded goals 10 minutes apart in the first half. A lovely give-and-go between Davide Chiumiento and Camilo ended with the Brazilian being taken down in the box by New York right back Carlos Mendes, and Eric Hassli buried the ensuing spot kick.
•    But the Red Bulls found an equalizer as Roy Miller lofted a crossfield pass to Jan Gunnar Solli, whose fed Rodgers for a shot on the turn past Whitecaps FC 'keeper Jay Nolly.
•    VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC--Jay Nolly – Wes Knight, Greg Janicki, Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat – Shea Salinas (Russell Teibert 67), Gershon Koffie, Terry Dunfield, Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan 77) – Eric Hassli, Camilo (Omar Salgado 82).
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS--Greg Sutton - Carlos Mendes (Matt Kassel 70), Tim Ream, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Jan Gunnar Solli, Joel Lindpere, Juan Agudelo - Dwayne De Rosario (Corey Hertzog 92+), Luke Rodgers (Austin da Luz 70).

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls saw their league winless streak reach seven games, but still came back for a result, getting a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Red Bulls have 32 points from 26 games, in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Milton Caraglio opened his MLS account after 15 minutes with the opener. Sent through by Benny Feilhaber, Caraglio bowled through three Red Bulls defenders before collecting his own rebound and tucking home at the second time of asking.
•    Caraglio doubled his haul eight minutes before halftime when he was able to coolly head home Kenny Mansally's service from a free kick at the back post.
•    Dane Richards pulled the Red Bulls within a goal eight minutes after the second-half restart. Tim Ream caught the Revs' high line out and sent Richards racing through on a breakaway, and he thumped home at the near post.
•    Mansally was sent off two minutes later when he saw a second yellow card for a wayward elbow, but Teemu Tainio restored level terms in manpower when he took down Shalrie Joseph from behind to pick up his second yellow.
•    But the Red Bulls still came away with an away point as Richards hit for his second of the game, grabbing the equalizer with three minutes to play as he thumped home Joel Lindpere's cross at the near post.
•    Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena. Bouna Coundoul returned to the lineup for league pool goalkeeper Chris Konopka, and Juan Agudelo started in place of Thierry Henry.
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Chris Albright (Carlos Mendes 80), Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio (sent off 69) - Dax McCarty, Mehdi Ballouchy (Stephane Auvray 72), Joel Lindpere - Juan Agudelo, Dane Richards.

TEAM NEWS
•    The Red Bulls have won just once in their last 12 league games, with six draws in that time. They have not won since a 5-0 defeat of Toronto FC on July  -- and they have ended in draws nine times in 15 games when they’ve scored first.
•    “We said at halftime, ‘we can’t live with this.’ We need to step up and take responsibility for it,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe. “We got a very good response in the second half. The passion, the play in the second half was definitely in the right direction, being two (goals) down, to get a tie – quite close to scoring a win there.
•    A week after recording the first two-assist game of his career, New York’s Dane Richards hit for two goals in a game for the first time in MLS with his brace vs. New England.
•    Well [my performance] wasn’t excellent, but I got two goals, so I was trying to help my team to win,” Richards said. “… I think I missed a huge chance. I could have gotten a hat trick, but I got two goals and I’m looking forward to the next game.
•    Richards has started the last two games up top, first selected ahead of Juan Agudelo in the Chicago game, then partnering with Agudelo when Henry was sidelined for the New England match. “We said last year we need pace up front,” Backe said. “That’s the key. Luke [Rodgers] had that ability, Dane has that ability.”
•    After league pool goalkeeper Chris Konopka started for the Red Bulls vs. Chicago, Bouna Coundoul returned to the lineup for the New England game.
•    “(Bouna Coundoul’s performance) was OK. He has been out for quite a while. I don’t think a lot of goalies are used to the artificial surface,” Backe said. “But overall, despite being away and travelling a lot and being out for a while, I think he had a decent game.”
•    With Teemu Tainio suspended, Backe could have a choice to make in the defensive midfield position. “Stephane [Auvray] is one of those guys,” Backe said. “We also have the option of [Rafa] Márquez there, with [Carlos] Mendes as a center back.”
•    Jan Gunnar Solli is also back from injury and said that he expects to be in the midfield this weekend, a change from his usual right back position. “I’ve almost been playing 29 games in a right back position,” Solli said. “If they want to test me centrally in the field, I’m up for the challenge.”
•    Goalkeeper Frank Rost has returned to full training, but is not likely to be available for this weekend’s match. “I can do everything, but the problem is [getting to] 100 percent kicking,” Rost said. “The last five percent, I have to wait, be patient.”
•    Luke Rodgers, who has not appeared since July 6 with a heel injury, could also be available this weekend. “I’d say Dallas,” Backe said. “I’d be very happy if he can play some minutes on Saturday [vs. Vancouver].”
•    Juan Agudelo came on as a 62nd-minute substitute for the USA vs. Costa Rica, then played 45 minutes in the 1-0 loss to Belgium.
•    Roy Miller played the full 90 minutes for Costa Rica vs. the USA, then played 14 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Ecuador.
•    Dane Richards played 90 minutes for Jamaica in a 2-0 loss to Colombia on Tuesday after not appearing in the weekend friendly loss at Ecuador.
•    Rafa Marquez went 90 minutes in Mexico’s 1-0 victory over Chile in an international friendly on Sept. 4 in Barcelona, Spain.
•    Goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul ensured Senegal’s advancement to the African Cup of Nations finals with a 2-0 win against DR Congo.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC returned home and put an end to their two-game losing streak, defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 on Aug. 27 at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC have 21 points from 26 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The game's only goal finally came in the 86th minute. Substitute Long Tan turned his marker expertly outside the box before putting Shea Salinas through on the left. He then raced into the area before putting a well-placed low strike inside the bottom right corner past Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall.
•    Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn made three changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Jonathan Leathers and Alain Rochat came into the back four for Jeb Brovsky and Michael Boxall, and Mustapha Jarju started in place of the suspended Camilo.
•    VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Joe Cannon - Jonathan Leathers, Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - John Thorrington (Shea Salinas 33), Gershon Koffie, Peter Vagenas, Davide Chiumiento (Long Tan 75) - Mustapha Jarju (Jeb Brovsky 85), Eric Hassli.

TEAM NEWS
•    It was the second victory in four games for Whitecaps FC, who had two victories total in their first 22 league games.
•    “We were looking to put together a 90-minute performance. We felt like we have had lapses in our games at crucial times and we want to establish our home ground and make sure teams know when they come here it will be difficult,” said Whitecaps FC interim head coach Tom Soehn.
•    Shea Salinas scored his first goal with the club, coming on as a substitute for a second consecutive match after making four starts in a row.
•    “Finally,” Salinas said. “This year I’ve had a lot of chances. I’ve hit the post a few times, missed wide a few times, even in the first half [against Houston].”
•    Whitecaps FC kept a clean sheet for the first time since June 18, which was also a 1-0 victory, against Philadelphia Union.
•    “I think the last 1-0 win we had, it was a quiet game and there wasn’t much to do,”goalkeeper Joe Cannon said. “I was just happy to be a part of that, but I was just happy to put in a good performance tonight for the coaches and the fans. I know I am capable of these types of performances, but all of that stuff is so secondary to us winning.”