This was the first time that Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe would take a shellacking in Major League Soccer. This would be the first time the score would be lopsided against him. Who does he have to thank for this mess? It would be Luke Sassano as he got a straight red card on a careless and reckless challenge on Bobby Convey in the 14th minute. Sassano’s studs struck Convey’s right ankle a bit high & after seeing the replays Andrew Chapman made the correct call.
And of course what did the Earthquakes do? They took care of business and properly punished New York with a four goal victory at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara. From the far side, what a fabulous cross by Bobby Convey who saw a hustling Ryan Johnson and with plenty of space made no mistake on smacking the ball past keeper Bouna Coundoul in the 43rd minute.
There was more to come from the Quakes in the second half. Joey Gjertsen would make something out of nothing and got help from a lost Tim Ream who missed marking Gjertsen and a terrible attempt by Coundoul to stop the shot. A 54th minute tally by Gjertsen that should’ve been stopped was given an ole by Coundoul.
The hottest goal scorer on the Quakes is Chris Wondolowski who has a three match goal scoring streak added a fourth in the 77th minute. All he did was bury a simple cross from Ryan Johnson for the third goal of the match & a corner kick goal by Bobby Burling in the 85th minute would end the scoring for the Quakes and the full three points they truly deserved.
But the man of the match who helped setup his teammates for three of those four goals was Bobby Convey. He kept on attacking and attacking and made the passes at the right time to give his side a chance to bury them. What looked to be a sub .500 side, this victory against a re-vamped New York team might give them the confidence to challenge the Los Angeles Galaxy and attempt to give them a loss.
For the Red Bulls this is their second loss of the season and they are 2-2 on the road. Three of their four away matches have been on the west coast, but this was a lot worse than the match at the Home Depot Center against Chivas-USA. For the first time you saw Tim Ream play a horrible match of central defending and his rookie self finally broke out. For the first time I have to question Hans Backe’s decision to start Luke Sassano over Jeremy Hall at Right Back.
I understand that Chris Albright had to attend to his wife as they were expecting a child, but Jeremy Hall was needed to start. If Backe wanted to dabble with Sassano in the US Open Cup qualifier against the Revolution, then I have no problem with that. Seeing Sassano with that terrible challenge on Bobby Convey was clumsy and stupid. He’s been in this league for more than a season or two, Sassano should’ve known better & for that he will miss his next league match on Saturday, May 15th against the Seattle Sounders.
While this was the worst loss in the Hans Backe era right now, it’s a good thing that these problems can be corrected. They will take out their frustrations on the Revolution Wednesday, May 12th in their next US Open Cup Qualifier & the Sounders in league action.