New York Red Bulls Play to a Frustrating 1-1 Draw Against Chivas USA

Posted on May 26 2012 - 1:37pm by Michael Koh

The New York Red Bulls (8W-3D-2L) played a highly anticipated match against Chivas USA (4W-6D-2L) at home in Harrison, New Jersey that ended 1-1, with Chivas’ Juan Pablo Angel scoring first only to have on-fire Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper to score the equalizer.

The Red Bulls lineup (4-2-2) saw Thierry Henry return to the starting XI (GK: R. Meara; D: R. Miller, H. Pearce, M. Holgarsson, B. Barklage; M: J. Lindpere, R. Marquez, D. McCarthy, D. Richards; F: T. Henry, K. Cooper).

Chivas lined up in a very narrow 4-2-2-2 to quiet the legendary striker Thierry Henry (GK: D. Kennedy; D: A. Jazic, D. Califf, R. McKenzie, J. Riley; DM: B. Gavin, O. Minda; M: P. Cardozo, N. LaBrocca; F: J.P. Angel, J. Correa).

Although the Red Bulls had 18 attempts on goal, they were only get five on target. The Chivas’ defense did very well marking Henry, doing just enough to keep the former French international off target and out of rhythm.

The Red Bulls saw more possession (55.4 percent) throughout the game than the visitors but they were unable to penetrate Chivas’ defense. The New York side saw more passes strung along (521) against Chivas (413) but the away team made sure to foul (11) the home side to keep the game from flowing.

It probably didn’t help the Red Bulls that they were called offsides eight times—Chivas did a wonderful job playing the offside trap.

Juan Pablo Angel scored against the Red Bulls in the 47th minute. Red Bulls goalkeeper, Ryan Meara could only watch as the ball whizzed into the back of the net from an incredulous side volley.

Red Bulls responded in the 56th minute as right-back Ryan Barklage passed a through ball to Dane Richards. The Chivas defenders thought he was offsides so they momentarily hesitated—which resulted in Richards scampering down the side and finding Coopers with a low, driven dross for Coopers’ 11th goal of the season.

The Red Bulls haven’t been defeated in over a month, but the team feels that they should be winning games, not drawing, indicating their overall resolute confidence:

“We’re all disappointed not to have gotten a win,” goalscorer Kenny Cooper told reporters following the game.

“We’ve been on a great run of wins in the last five games, it would have been nice to make it six. Obviously a point is better than none, but we’d rather have three.”

Head coach Hans Backe had this to say:

“We should have won this game, but the way we dictated the game in the second half is much, much better than before.

“We had our chances, we didn’t took them and sometimes games end up, not always logical in football, but overall I’m pleased with the performance.”

 However, the Red Bulls will take heart in knowing that they are at the top of the Eastern Conference with 26 points from 13 games with a game in hand against second-placed rivals D.C. United.