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It was another fantastic evening at Red Bull Arena as the supporters were thirsting for more fantastic football out in Harrison, NJ after a great performance against Santos F.C. the week before. To get their first win of the new season they had to handle a tough Chicago Fire side that is lead by former El Salvador head coach Carlos De Los Cabos.
The lone goal of the match came from Estonian Joel Lindpere in the 40th minute. He brought the ball up from midfield into the Chicago area. Laid it off to Danleigh Borman who curved it towards Juan Pablo Angel that was cleared. But once again like the free kick against Santos that went off the wall, he chased the ball and struck another laser into the top shelf for the match winner. Instead of using his left foot, Lindpere struck it with the right.
Once the second half got started you could tell the Fire desperately wanted to level the score and they tried many, many times to create chances. Every time they got to RBNY’s area they never got close enough to make a serious challenge. They had several dangerous free kicks that got close, but RBNY keeper Bouna Coundoul was there to make sure that any ball coming towards net would never get thru him.
All match long Dane Richards looked dangerous and attacked at will down the right side of the field. When he had his chances he never wasted a shot. In the past he would always attack down the right flank with his pace, but when he reached the area that’s when he got himself into trouble and lost the ball. Since Hans Backe became the head coach, Richards has improved.
For Juan Pablo Angel it was his first match in Red Bull Arena & you can see him regressing a bit since he was chopped down in the pre-season Disney Tournament when Julian DeGuzman of Toronto FC made his needless challenge, but as the match went on Angel did get better and had a fabulous chance to make it two in the 57th minute, but central defender Wilman Conde quickly got into position and blocked Angel’s shot.
Once again the magic of the backline for RBNY has looked solid. Jeremy Hall & Costa Rican International Roy Miller patrolled the wings while rookie Tim Ream & veteran Mike Petke looked like they have played with each other for many years had another solid performance in the middle.
From start to finish RBNY has looked solid, disciplined and never lost shape. Head Coach Hans Backe has done a good job in the pre-season to get the players to a level of fitness that was good in his eyes & instilled the confidence in them to great ready for this brand new season.
The only thing negative for RBNY was the first twenty minutes as they were able to get thru the Chicago backline and never took any shots on the rookie Andrew Dykstra. Macoumba Kandji did get thru, but when he was deep in the Chicago area he would continue to make fancy moves and never ripped one on frame. Dykstra was never seriously tested outside of the Lindpere strike.
But after ninety minutes Hans Backe earned his first win in Major League Soccer and in the post match press conference he did say that he is looking for a left wing midfielder with pace and crosses the ball well. Dutch midfielder Dave van den Bergh who was invited for pre-match festivities is currently without a contract and as all the supporters are screaming to have him return, this midfield and attack would be lethal if RBNY did sign him for a return stint. But for right now the first victory at RBNY’s new home is in the books. The new temple of football in the United States.