MLS Snapshot: New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUFpQgGzgUo]

One game, 100 words (or less) – Any momentum New England took out of its mid-week win over Colorado was squandered in today’s second half, something that should never happen against a team playing with 10 men.

Despite that advantage, one augmented by the 1-0 lead Charlie Davies gave them mid-way through the first, the Revs were outplayed in the second half, with the Red Bulls overcoming a first half, stoppage time red to Matt Miazga with goals from Dax McCarty and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

With stellar day from McCarty helping New York maintain 58 percent of the ball, the home side was able to overcome their numeric disadvantage, jumping back into the East’s top five with a 2-1 win.

Goals

New York: McCarty 47′, Wright-Phillips 63′
New England: Davies 20′

Three moments that mattered

47′ – The sign they needed – New England was the better team early, an edge that led to Davies’ first half opener. When the Revs were handed a man advantage just before intermission, the visitors had a paved route to their second win in a row. The match was theirs.

Early in the second, McCarty served notice: Nothing was going to be easy. Chipping Bobby Shuttleworth from just outside the area, the Red Bulls’ linchpin brought his team back into the game, a moment that foreshadowed the rest of his team’s second half. The most important player on the field, McCarty gave a Player of the Week-worthy performance in leading his side to victory.

63′ – A mess at the back for New England – A ball sent wide by Wright-Phillips allows Lloyd Sam to catch the Revs on the counter, something that draws Jose Gonçalves wide. The rest of the New England defense never recovers.

Sprinting through the huge hole Gonçalves leaves behind, Wright-Phillips is fed into the right of the area, where a recovering A.J. Soares can’t prevent the league’s leading scorer from cutting back onto his left foot. Putting his shot inside the far post, Wright-Phillips gives his 10-man team a 2-1 lead, a scoreline that holds through the final whistle.

87′ – Dax’s night is done – New York’s second half dominance was so complete, the team could afford to take off its best player before full-time. Never mind its lead was only one. Never mind the Red Bulls were only playing with 10. The extent to which New York controlled the half meant McCarty could take his bow.

Lineups

New York: Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Ibraham Segaya, Matt Miazga, Roy Miller; Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty (Kosuke Kimura 87′), Tim Cahill (Eric Alexander 46′), Ambroise Oyongo; Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Péguy Luyindula 77′)
New England: Bobby Shuttleworth; Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares (Daigo Kobayashi 78′), José Gonçalves, Kevin Alston; Scott Caldwell; Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Steve Neumann (Diego Fagundez 58′); Charlie Davies (Patrick Mullins 58′)

Three Four lessons going forward:

1. Charlie Davies still has a flare for theatrics – The former U.S. international’s time with D.C. United three years ago earned him a reputation for simulation, one that may have cost him in today’s third minute. Though it looked like Davies drew contact from a New England defender, his embellishment gets Kevin Stott’s attention. On the same day he scored his first New England goal, Davies also drew a yellow for diving.

2. Kevin Stott let too much go – On first half sequence summed up the official’s early approach, with Kelyn Rowe’s two-handed shove in Ibrahim Segaya’s back coming seconds before a shoulder charge from Chris Duvall left the New England midfielder sprawled out in the Red Bulls’ penalty box. Both fouls, so obvious to those watching on television, were ignored by Stott, whose let-them-play approach led to more rough play before the end of the half.

3. Remember Dax McCarty – The weekend’s not done, so somebody else could still step up, but if a player with two goals and little else bests McCarty for this week’s Player of the Week honor, flood @MLS’s mentions. The Red Bull anchor gave a strong case for this week’s honor.

4. Momentum lost – What a demoralizing day for New England. One game after snapping an eight-match losing run, you let a 10-man team come from behind to claim victory. Whatever good was done on Wednesday was thrown away at New York.

Where this leaves them:

  • Pending the result in Chicago, New England is in fifth place, but a point for the Crew will push the Revs out of the East’s top five.
  • New York, on the other hand, jumps into fourth place, and impressive showing in today’s second half keeping the Red Bulls within one point of third place Toronto.

Aguero left off Argentina starting XI to face Bolivia

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Sao Paolo striker Lucas Pratto will receive a fantastic opportunity on Tuesday when Argentina faces Bolivia in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT travels to Panama in CONCACAF WCQ ]

It just so happens that Pratto’s gain is a major letdown for one of the Premier League’s top strikers. The 28-year-old is tied for second this qualifying campaign for Argentina with two goals.

La Albiceleste have announced their starting lineup ahead of tomorrow’s clash in Bolivia, which features mainstays Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria and goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Meanwhile, Aguero — who started in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Chile on Thursday — is the lone change from manager Edgardo Bauza.

The Copa America runners’ up are currently depleted with a combination of injuries and suspensions. Four players will miss Tuesday’s meeting in La Paz due to suspension, including Gonzalo Higuain, Nicolas Otamendi, Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia.

Elsewhere, Gabriel Mercado and Emmanuel Mas will each miss the match after sustaining respective hamstring and knee injuries.

Argentina currently sits third in the CONMEBOL table while Bolivia is in danger of elimination with a loss on Tuesday. La Verde have managed just seven points in the first 13 rounds of World Cup qualifying.

Three keys for USMNT against Panama

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Coming off of Friday night’s dominating effort against Honduras, the U.S. Men’s National Team looks for their second win in five nights when Bruce Arena and co. head to Panama.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT goes for second win in Hex on Tuesday ]

Strong performances from players like Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic have USMNT fans buzzing ahead of Tuesday’s clash in Panama City, but there are several questions that lie ahead for Arena as the U.S. goes for its second win in the Hexagonal.

How does Arena cope with injuries?

The only downside of the team’s 6-0 win over Panama on Friday was the aftereffects if the match. John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Michael Orozco and Jordan Morris are no longer with the USMNT after sustaining injuries/illnesses, leaving Arena shorthanded as the Stars and Stripes head into the Estadio Rommel Fernández.

While Clint Dempsey’s emphatic national team return will provide Arena with some assurances up front, along with the emergence of Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic, there are some questions in the midfield and defense for the U.S.

Jermaine Jones is available to return from his one-match suspension and could potentially fill the void left by Sebastian Lletget after his injury on Friday. While, Alejandro Bedoya — who replaced Lletget in the Honduras match — will also be in line for a starting spot.

Defensively is where it gets a bit tricky though, as Arena has to make up for an already-depleted backline. There was no DeAndre Yedlin or Fabian Johnson coming into this round of qualifiers, and John Brooks’ release from camp leaves the defense even thinner. Tim Ream appears to be Arena’s next choice to start at centerback with Brooks unavailable, but will he stick with Omar Gonzalez in the center or slide Geoff Cameron back into the middle?

It seems like the latter choice, especially given Cameron’s experience in the central defense, but that would mean Arena has to slot somebody else into the right back position. Graham Zusi has had slight experience in that role as of late, but it could be a bit of a gamble for Arena in another high-stakes match.

Bradley must control the middle once again

Forget Michael Bradley’s superb goal, which lifted the U.S. lead to 2-0 on Friday, it was the captain’s overall performance that is exactly what should be expected from the center midfielder.

Bradley completions/MLSSoccer

In 90 minutes of play against Los Catrachos, Bradley only missed on six passes while also making several successful tackles and recoveries to limit the Honduras attack.

The loss of Lletget is definitely a significant one for the Americans, given his lively movement going both ways. However, LA Galaxy teammate will likely be in line to replace the vibrant midfielder on Tuesday as he returns from a one-match suspension.

In regards to Bradley though, the U.S. veteran is at his best when he is able to move freely throughout the midfield, but Jones’ inclusion could present more of a burden for the Toronto FC player.

Jones is still a very capable midfielder, but he simply doesn’t have the pace to match that of a Lletget, which leaves Bradley more liable for covering ground defensively in front of the backline.

On top of that, the back four will see more changes on Tuesday after Brooks’ exit from the USMNT, making Bradley’s role all the more critical when facing players like Luis Tejada and Gabriel Torres.

[ MORE: CONCACAF qualifiers resume Tuesday afternoon ]

Dempsey/Pulisic bond continues to evolve

It couldn’t have gone much better for the pair on Friday night as Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic were directly involved in five of the game’s six goals.

The budding relationship between the two key attackers though is an intriguing one, and will likely determine just how successful this USMNT can be down the road. At 34, Dempsey is certainly on the back end of his career, however, his effort against Honduras shows just how dangerous the Seattle Sounders man can be, even after missing significant time due to a heart problem.

Meanwhile, Pulisic continues to shine in European with giants Dortmund, appearing both in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League. The two likely won’t be together on the international scene for long, perhaps only until the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the partnership is something to monitor over the next year-plus.

Not only does the duo represent a dangerous one-two punch in the attack but also a changing of the guard. Dempsey has been one of the most talented USMNT players in the nation’s history, and many believe Pulisic has the talent to match or even surpass that of the 55-time goalscorer.

We’ve seen it before when Landon Donovan was phased out of the U.S. squad and Dempsey was essentially handed the reigns of the attack, and this time Pulisic will be doing so with much more time to make an impact. The 18-year-old already has four international goals in 12 appearances, and if he improves on that goalscoring pace the U.S. will be enjoying his presence for many years to come.

At long last, Butland returns to full training with Stoke

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Stoke City’s long-coming goalkeeping dilemma will come to a head soon, as Jack Butland is back in training.

A year ago today, the Potters confirmed that star backstop Butland would miss EURO 2016 with a broken ankle. He’d need multiple surgeries as recovery dragged on and on.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

That was more palatable thanks to the play of Lee Grant, who arrived on loan from Derby County but became a permanent Potter in January. Grant has been a key part of Stoke’s season.

Butland is contracted to Stoke through 2021, and he’ll ascend to the starting gig sooner rather than later. But Grant is in the catbird seat for now, and at least will have made himself attractive to other clubs seeking a keeper.

Report: Everton linked with $4 million swoop for Canada’s Larin

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The Sun only hits on a few of the many transfer rumors it tosses around, but this one bears a second look for fans of Everton, MLS, and Canada.

Everton is already eyeing replacements for Romelu Lukaku, according to the report, and is hunting for a bargain in Canadian national teamer Cyle Larin.

Larin, 21, was the first overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City SC after an electric career at UConn.

[ MORE: Complete Panama-USMNT preview ]

He’s since scored 35 goals in 63 matches for the Lions, picking up three in his first two matches of the 2017 season. The 6-foot-1 Ontario native has five goals for Canada in 19 caps.

The Sun says Larin would cost close to $4 million, a fraction of what the Toffees will get if they sell Lukaku.