COLORADO RAPIDS vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
July 4, 2013 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #166)
7:30 p.m. MT (Altitude; MSG)
The annual Independence Day game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park features a marquee matches, as the New York Red Bulls pay a visit to the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids put an end to their three-game losing run – all on the road – last weekend with a dramatic 4-3 win at the Montréal Impact. The Red Bulls also snapped a losing skid of two games over the weekend, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on their home ground.
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 23.6; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 8; pens: 6
DISABLED LIST: COL: Diego Calderón, Matt Pickens
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: COL: Hendry Thomas
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Shane O’Neill, Dillon Powers … NY: Tim Cahill
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: NY: Roy Miller (CRC)
ALL-TIME (36 meetings): Rapids 16 wins, 55 goals … Red Bulls 15 wins, 57 goals … Ties 5
AT COLORADO (18 meetings): Rapids 9 wins, 27 goals … Red Bulls 6 wins, 18 goals … Ties 3
LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/25: NY 4, COL 1 (Henry 3, 53; Cooper 6, 89 – Cummings 77)
- The Red Bulls haven’t won at Colorado since a 1-0 victory July 8, 2007. The Rapids have won three of the four meetings since at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, with one draw.
- The Rapids haven’t won in New Jersey since 2009. The Red Bulls have won two of the three meetings between the teams at Red Bull Arena, with one draw.
- Coaches record: Oscar Pareja v NY: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Mike Petke vs. COL: first game
The Colorado Rapids put an end to their losing streak in dramatic fashion, getting a late, late goal for a 4-3 victory against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Rapids are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 23 points from 18 matches.
WATCH: MTL 3, COL 4
- The Rapids took the lead in the 24th minute. On a Dillon Powers free kick, Atiba Harris outjumped two Impact defenders to loop a header inside the far post.
- But the Impact took the lead with two goals in four minutes. After Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin failed to hold onto a loose ball following a corner, Hassoun Camara chipped the ball up then hooked it into the net while sitting on the ground at close range. Then Daniele Paponi, slipped in by Marco Di Vaio, curled a beautiful shot into the far corner from outside the box.
- But after the break, the Rapids pulled even when Powers found a pocket of space in the box to redirect a Nathan Sturgis cross with the outside of his right boot. Yet the Impact regained the lead when Paponi slotted in his second from inside the area, set by Davy Arnaud.
- Yet the Rapids had the final answer. The equalizer came in the 77th minute when left back Chris Klute centered the ball at the penalty spot for an onrushing Deshorn Brown, who blasted it home first time. Then six minutes into stoppage time, Tony Cascio hit Montreal on the counter and fired a shot that took a deflection before sailing past 'keeper Troy Perkins for the winner.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to the team that fell 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Brian Mullan came into the back four for Marvell Wynne, and Edson Buddle started up top in place of Deshorn Brown.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-1-1): Clint Irwin - Brian Mullan (Marvell Wynne 81), Drew Moor, German Mera, Christopher Klute - Atiba Harris, Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis, Nick LaBrocca (Deshorn Brown 74) - Dillon Powers - Edson Buddle (Tony Cascio 89)
- The Rapids won for the first time since May 25 when they defeated Chivas USA 2-0, snapping a four-game winless run.
- “I thought we had a little bit more calmness in front of the goal. We didn’t rush. We were not hectic to finish. Today, we had composure in the last third and that was magnificent for them,” Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja said. “ … The commitment from the players today was incredible. Hopefully this is the spark that we need to get this stretch done and get back home and get points. We can’t wait to be back home.”
- While the Rapids conceded a season-high three goals, they scored a season-high four goals – their previous high in a game was two. Colorado last scored four goals in a game in a 4-0 defeat of Chivas USA on April 28, 2012.
- Tony Cascio’s late game-winner was the latest goal in Rapids club history, netting in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time. It was tied for the sixth-latest goal in MLS history.
- The goal was Cascio’s first of the season, after a rookie campaign where he scored three goals, his last on Sept. 5 vs. Portland.
- “It felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders,” Cascio said. “I didn’t expect that ball to come to my feet, but when it did, it kind of fell to my feet, took a touch, and just thought about shooting it and I did.”
- Rookies Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers continued their impressive opening campaigns. Brown moved into a tie among rookie goalscorers with his fourth for the season, while Powers added a goal and an assist; he has three goals and two assists for the year.
- “Dillon gave us versatility, he is really maturing, I like to see him growing and we have to be patient because this is a process for the younger players and a game like today shows us that we are heading in the right direction with them,” said Pareja. “Also, Tony, he’s been working hard. Today was a demonstration that the game will reward you when you do what you have to do. This was a great moment for the team and for Tony.”
- Said Powers: “They’ve given us an opportunity and to take that opportunity is nice for us individually but I think it’s bigger for the team to get these goals. … To win like that gives us so much confidence to go forward. So there’s a lot of momentum that this is setting forth for the next two home games.”
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls put an end to their two-game losing slide, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 28 points from 18 matches.
WATCH: NY 2, HOU 0
- The Red Bulls finally broke through at the hour mark. Eric Alexander hit a great ball in from the right flank that Fabian Espíndola raced onto with a well-timed run, before tucking his shot underneath Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall.
- The home side put the game away with a second two minutes from time. Thierry Henry collected a pass in the middle of the field and laid it off for Jonny Steele on the left side of the penalty area, and he unleashed a venomous shot that soared into the far top corner.
- Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made four changes to the team that fell 3-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Jamison Olave and Connor Lade came into the back four for Heath Pearce and Roy Miller, Tim Cahill returned to the midfield for the suspended Lloyd Sam, and Fabian Espindola started up top for Peguy Luyindula.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Connor Lade - Eric Alexander (Kosuke Kimura 81), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Ruben Bover 90) - Fabian Espindola (Peguy Luyindula 78), Thierry Henry.
- The Red Bulls put an end to a three-game winless run, their first victory since a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy on May 19 at Red Bull Arena.
- Fabian Espindola scored his fourth goal of the season, his first in eight league games (since April 20), in sending the Red Bulls on their way.
- “It’s a different way we play with a player like Thierry [Henry], who is very creative and likes to move all over, and Espindola has found it tough to play in this system. He never gave up and I had a feeling about him today to put him up there,” said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. “I simplified things. I told him I wanted him in between the two [center backs] for the bulk of the game with Thierry dropping and creating a little bit, and you saw the first five minutes, he had three balls come to him and he played simple one-touch layoff, two-touch layoff and spun and that was a big spearhead of our chances that we had. … Today I felt Fabian would get the job done and he did.”
- Said Henry: “What was missing for Fabian was the goal. Today he played well, but he scored and as you know obviously because he scored everybody is going to be happy now. But his game is the same, he runs a lot, he helps me a lot up front when we play together and I’m happy for him that he scored.”
- Midfielder Eric Alexander, who has been ever-present in the first team since coming off the bench for the opening league match of the season, recorded his second assist of the campaign.
- “My forward final passes have been all right the past couple games, but I’ve been encouraged by the players to just try to play forward a little more often,” Alexander said. “It was just the result of a good run and he had a great finish.”
- Said Henry: “The key today was Eric Alexander. He turned, I love when he does that, every time he had the ball. That is the key in soccer. If you play the ball back or you play the ball sideways, you’re not going to go anywhere. But today, every time he got the ball, he tried to turn and go forward. For me, that was the key and he unlocked the game with his passing. He was the key because every single time he wanted to turn and play with us forwards. That’s always a plus.”
- Jonny Steele, who has started all but two matches this season, scored his second goal of the year, his first coming April 20 vs. New England.
- “If you would have told me when we first got (Alexander and Steele) that they would be bona fide starters for us at this point in the season, I probably would’ve said, ‘Probably not,’” Petke said. “Their work tonight in a league like this, when they’re outworking and outhustling and [showing] their quality is very key. They epitomize that.”
- Connor Lade made his first league start of the season, coming in at left back for Roy Miller, who was on international duty with Costa Rica.