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

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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.


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.


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.

Pique finds solidarity with criticized NBA players

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There have been a number f outstanding pieces in The Players’ Tribune since its launch, but few as colorful and entertaining as Thursday’s entry from Gerard Pique.

The Barcelona star center back spilled the beans on any number of funny stories in his post, from Roy Keane’s cell phone anger and Sir Alex Ferguson‘s guiding hand to Lionel Messi’s greatness and more.

[ MORE: Zlatan in MLS an auto success ]

But perhaps most interesting was his take on the grief he’s received for supporting the vote for Catalan independence. Pique points out that he’s been proud to represent the Spanish national team, but won’t veer from his democratic beliefs.

And guess what? Even in Spain, athletes rightly bristle at the “Stick to Sports” crowd.

It’s funny, I noticed some people in America have started telling the NBA players to “just shut up and dribble” when they express their opinions on real problems in society.

It’s ridiculous, no?

It’s the same here in Spain. They say, “Just shut up and play football. It’s all you know.”

Sorry, but I will not just shut up and play. It’s not all I know. There’s a lot more depth to footballers than most people realize, and I think it’s important that we express ourselves and our views.

Given relative health, Zlatan’s success MLS is close to automatic

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The only question is his knee at his age.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is coming to Major League Soccer. Having confirmed his departure from Manchester United, the announcement that the living Swedish legend is joining the LA Galaxy is expecting next week.

[ MORE: MLS Weekend Preview ]

Some have asked whether he’ll cut muster in the league, to which we point to the lead: Few players have arrived to MLS with as dominant a career as Ibrahimovic, and the Swede would need his knee to fall apart in order to fail in California.

The man’s game isn’t based on speed, but it does require his abnormal power and grace. He scored just once for United in very limited time this season, but don’t forget how dangerous he was against Premier League and Europa League defenses last season.

He scored 28 goals with 10 assists last season, with 17 and 5 coming in league play. He was suspended for three matches and injured for seven, meaning this is a 20-goal Premier League scorer arriving in MLS within a calendar year of doing so.

Try putting his resume in perspective: Didier Drogba was extremely good for Montreal but a half-decade removed from his last double-digit goal PL season (Don’t forget that Drogba bagged 11 in 11 to start life on our shores). Robbie Keane was about the same time removed from his run of 10-plus goal seasons in the Premier League. He was good for LA.

The only risk here is that Ibrahimovic never gets healthy and LA takes a bit of a loss on his salary (one which is at least partially negated by the sheer number of Ibrahimovic Galaxy jerseys sold).

Entering this season, Ibrahimovic had failed to score 15 goals once since 2006. He’a also had a fairly religious assist output (10+ most years). With names like Alessandrini, Kamara, and dos Dos Santos, this should be a stand-up double if not a homer for LA and for MLS.

Plus the vicious looks after teammates miss him badly with a pass, let alone the press conferences and paparazzi hits: This should be a lot of fun.

MLS Weekend Preview: Friedel’s Revs get NYCFC test

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It’s an international break, and Major League Soccer is only sorta observing it.

More than half of the league’s clubs will participate on Saturday match days, with several shorthanded by national team duty.

[ MORE: Southgate on racism in football]

Columbus won’t have Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp for a visit from DC United — who is missing Zoltan Steiber, Bruno Miranda, and Oniel Fisher — while the Red Bulls will be without Tyler Adams, Kemar Lawrence, and Michael Murillo for Minnesota United’s visit.

NYCFC won’t have Alexander Ring, Ronald Matarrita, and Rodney Wallace, Portland’s without David Guzman and Andy Polo, and Sporting KC loses Daniel Salloi.

The Whitecaps won’t have center back Kendall Waston, while opponents LA Galaxt are without Ola Kamara.

New England Revolution vs. New York City FC — 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Brad Friedel‘s New England revolution, purposely lower case, is making believers out of its players. It would take a giant step if it could slow the NYCFC juggernaut. The visitors have allowed just one goal in their 3-0 start.

As for the hosts, Friedel has made his mark in a way that mostly makes you wonder what in the world Jay Heaps was doing:.

(Bunbury) pointed to a fine system in the locker room, increased accountability, how Friedel posts the starting XI on game day, and occasional two-a-day training sessions, which never occurred in the forward’s four years under Heaps.

“I think it unifies the team,” Bunbury said. “The broad sense of professionalism, it’s about having respect for each other and making sure you are held accountable in every part of this club.”

Never occurred under Heaps? Woof.

FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers — 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday

FCD had an uninspiring ending to their CONCACAF Champions League dreams, but that’s little compared to the Timbers’ 0-2 start under Gio Savarese. A trip down South isn’t a surefire way to right the ship.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy — 10 p.m. ET Saturday

A long trip up North is only made worse by a laundry list of injuries for Sigi Schmid’s Galaxy. We’re only listing it amongst our Top Three because an LA win would be wildly impressive given the ‘Caps strong start.


Columbus Crew vs. DC United — 6 p.m. ET Saturday
New York Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United — 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting KC — 9 p.m. ET Saturday

Mourinho: “People with brains” understand Man Utd in transition

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Jose Mourinho’s been having a little fun on his international break, “managing” a team of superstars including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in a charity match.

[ MORE: Southgate talks racism in football ]

Speaking CNN as part of a publicity run, Mourinho was asked about Manchester United’s second place campaign and disappointment after dropping out of the UEFA Champions League.

Mourinho reiterated his position that United is a team in transition, and that the season is going along at an acceptable clip.

“I understand the frustration, I understand the sadness of being knocked out in the Champions League, but I don’t understand anything more than that,” Mourinho said to CNN’s Amanda Davies.

United has scored the third-most goals in the Premier League, and allowed the fourth-fewest. It’s drastically reduced its propensity to draw matches, which hurt its table position last season, and has already surpassed last season’s goal total.

Two more wins, 10 goals better differential, and the list goes on but unfortunately also includes crosstown rivals running away with the league and still alive in the UCL.

“Of course in the future we want to have 19 clubs behind us but this is the reality,” said Mourinho. “And the reality is for people with brain, with sense, with common sense, with knowledge of what sports is, we are in a moment of transition. Being in a moment of transition and still manage to do what he did last season and win trophies and to do what we are trying to do this season, which is still trying to win a trophy, and try to be second, because in this moment it’s the only top position that is possible for us to get. I think we are in a good position.”