The New York Red Bulls head back home to meet Real Salt Lake in a vital match for playoff positioning for both clubs. The Red Bulls put an end to their eight-game winless streak last weekend at FC Dallas, and now find themselves tied for 10th place overall and the last wild card spot. Real have now won four games in a row, after their 1-0 win against Sporting KC last week, and could clinch a postseason berth this week if all the various permutations come to fruition.
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Andrew Chapin
MLS Career: 67 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 23; pens: 20
NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Roy Miller (R adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Brian Nielsen (knee surgery recovery); GK Frank Rost (R quadriceps tear); FW Thierry Henry (Achilles tendon injury); FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis)
REAL SALT LAKE – OUT: MF Nelson González (R foot fracture); MF Javier Morales (L ankle fracture dislocation); GK Kyle Reynish (R ankle sprain); DF Chris Wingert (L wrist fracture); PROBABLE: DF Robbie Russell (L back spasms); FW Álvaro Saborío (R knee effusion)
RSL: Kyle Beckerman (caution accumulation; through Sept. 21)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
NY: Mehdi Ballouchy, Roy Miller, Dane Richards
RSL: Robbie Russell
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
NY: Thierry Henry, Joel Lindpere, Carlos Mendes, Luke Rodgers, Teemu Tainio
RSL: Jean Alexandre, Fabian Espindola, Chris Wingert
- ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 19 goals … Real 3 wins, 16 goals … Ties 7
- AT NEW YORK (6 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 12 goals … Real 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 3
- In the first meeting this season, Nat Borchers, Luis Gil and Kyle Beckerman all scored as Real eased to a 3-0 victory, Aug. 6 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- RSL has a four-game unbeaten streak vs. New York, with three victories. Those wins are the only three ever vs. New York in league play for RSL, coming after nine winless meetings to start the all-time series (0-3-6).
- In five meetings all-time at Giants Stadium, RSL lost four, coming away with a draw only in the club’s first-ever game, a scoreless result April 2, 2005.
- The teams played the first game at Rio Tinto Stadium, a 1-1 draw Oct. 9, 2008. In three meetings all-time at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the New York club did not lose, playing to three draws.
- The teams then met in Sandy just more than a month later in the Western Conference Championship, the Red Bulls claiming a 1-0 victory on a goal by Dave van den Bergh to secure a spot in MLS Cup 2008.
- Coaches' records: Hans Backe vs. RSL: P3 W0 L2 D1 … Jason Kreis vs. NY: P9 W3 L2 D4
LAST MEETING (MLS)
8/6: RSL 3, NY 0 (Borchers 13; Gil 44; Saborio 77 pen)
- Real took the lead in the 13th minute, a Kyle Beckerman corner kick found the head of defender Nat Borchers, who nodded his shot past New York goalkeeper Frank Rost.
- Then in the 44th minute, Beckerman intercepted a clearance from defender Rafa Márquez laid the ball back to Luis Gil, who blasted a shot past Rost from outside the area.
- RSL completed the comprehensive victory in the 77th minute when Roy Miller was whistled for a handball in the penalty area on a corner kick. Álvaro Saborío stepped up and put away the resulting spot kick.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Robbie Russell, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert – Andy Williams (Arturo Alvarez 82), Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson (Jean Alexandre 87) - Luis Gil (Collen Warner 67) - Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Frank Rost (Bouna Coundoul 46) - Chris Albright, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller - Jan Gunnar Solli (John Rooney 69), Dax McCarty (Stephen Keel 46), Mehdi Ballouchy, Joel Lindpere - Thierry Henry, Juan Agudelo.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls put an end to their winless run after eight games, defeating FC Dallas 1-0 on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The Red Bulls have 36 points from 28 games, in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
- The game’s lone goal came in the 36th minute. Juan Agudelo sent in a low cross from the right edge of the penalty area and Luke Rodgers managed to get his first-time effort past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and inside the right post.
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made five changes to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Red Bull Arena. Frank Rost came in at goal for Bouna Coundoul, Stephen Keel replaced the suspended Jan Gunnar Solli, and Teemu Tainio, Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo.started in place of Rafael Marquez, Stephane Auvray and Thierry Henry.
NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Frank Rost - Chris Albright, Tim Ream, Stephen Keel, Carlos Mendes - Teemu Tainio - Dane Richards, Dax McCarty (Stephane Auvray 92+), Joel Lindpere - Luke Rodgers (Mehdi Ballouchy 46), Juan Agudelo.
- The win was the first for the Red Bulls since a 5-0 victory against Toronto FC on July 6. It was also just the second win away from Red Bull Arena this season.
- “Hopefully now we can build on this, even if we had to defend a lot today. We didn’t have that much of an attacking game, maybe two or three good chances,” said Red Bulls boss Hans Backe. “Overall it was a good game for us. Defend, defend, defend, and play a little bit dirty. We like to get these three points.”
- Luke Rodgers made his first start since July 9, and scored for the first time since the July 6 vs. Toronto, missing six games in all with plantar fasciitis. “When Luke has been playing, it is so, so important for us,” Backe said. “He has been phenomenal for us and of course as I said, it’s about the energy. He’s a tough guy, he wins the 50-50 balls and he scores goals.”
- Said Rodgers: “Obviously, I haven’t played for a bit, it’s my first game back and I felt good. I didn’t feel as sharp as I usually do, but you’re only going to get that with match fitness. I’ve got 45 minutes under my belt now, which is big for me. I came through it good, scored a goal, which is nice as well.”
- The Red Bulls were without three first-choice performers on their back line – Jan Gunnar Solli and Rafa Marquez were suspended, while Roy Miller was out with an adductor strain.
- In addition, Thierry Henry did not make the trip, still sidelined by a lingering Achilles tendon injury.
- “We’re without four starters but it didn’t change our result. … I think that sometimes these guys can pick up each other. I think that they really know where we are. I can’t say it’s a must win because going to Dallas and winning is not easy,” said Backe. “But we are back in the race now after winning this game. Some of the guys know how important it is when the big guns are out. We need to step up and take responsibility.”
- Teemu Tainio returned to action after missing the Vancouver match to suspension, just his fourth appearance in the last nine games. He was teamed with Dax McCarty in the center of the park.
- “[Dax brings] a lot of energy on the central midfield. Teemu is more of a holding guy,” Backe said. “Dax is, in our attacking game, a late runner. He can run all day long. He has runs from midfield, his crosses, his final passes; it means a lot to our game.”
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake raised their winning streak to four games, defeating Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL moved into third place in the Western Conference, with 48 points from 27 matches.
- The game's lone goal came in the 54th minute, when Kyle Beckerman lofted a free kick into the penalty kick and center back Nat Borchers flicked it into the back of the net.
- RSL coach Jason Kreis made one change to the side that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at CenturyLink Field. Chris Schuler came in at left back for the suspended Tony Beltran.
REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler - Andy Williams, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson - Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 59) - Fabian Espindola (Jean Alexandre 91+), Alvaro Saborio.
- Real Salt Lake have won four games in a row, matching their longest winning streak of the season, when they won the first four league games on the year.
- “I believe that this team can win in multiple ways. I think it sends a message to the rest of the league that if a brawl is going to break out and it’s going to be a wrestling match, well, we can win that way too,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis.
- For Nat Borchers, his goal was his third of the season, a new single-season career-high in MLS.
- “It was almost like Kyle and I drew it up like a play in basketball. I just made sure I curled my run, he hit the perfect ball, and Jimmy Nielsen’s in no-man’s land. It’s a pretty easy goal,” said Borchers. “Usually Javier has taken those in the past and has been fantastic, and now with Kyle, he’s putting in excellent balls, so those are easy to finish. We work on them in training every now and again, which helps.”
- Kyle Beckerman has a career-high nine assists this year after setting up the goal, but he will miss the Red Bulls match through caution accumulation. “Yeah, I knew it, but I could use a rest,” said Beckerman. “It’s not much of a rest so I’ll just get ready for Saturday (against D.C. United).”
- Said Borchers: “He’s been playing Wednesday/Saturdays for the last two months. So it’s good to get him a rest. We’re going to need the reserves to step up on Wednesday.”
- There is a slight chance Real could have Chris Wingert again available, who has missed five games with a fractured wrist suffered Aug. 13. He played 45 minutes in a reserve match last weekend.
- “I would love to play on Wednesday, but I have a feeling that they’re not going to allow me to do that,” Wingert said. “But [I’m] trying to be patient and listen to doctor’s orders as I continue to push them to let me play a little bit, but hopefully it will be soon.”
- There is more concern at fullback after Tony Beltran suffered an adductor strain in that reserves match that will put him out 2-4 weeks.
- While he is not ready to play, playmaker Javier Morales will be making the trip to the East Coast. “I’m going to New York because the team travels the whole week, so I have to train,” Morales said. “I can’t lose any training, so I have to go and train every day, and we’ll see. Maybe two or three [weeks] and I’ll play again.”
- Real Salt Lake will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF: RSL defeats host New York on Wednesday AND Houston ties or loses OR Colorado loses; OR RSL defeats host D.C. United on Saturday AND Houston ties or loses AND Colorado loses; OR RSL fails to win both games AND Portland loses twice this week AND Houston loses