Two days ago it was the pomp and circumstance for the New York Red Bulls bringing over one of the greatest strikers in the world. Even though Thierry Henry wasn’t going to be in the lineup, he did travel to Columbus and experience the pre-match festivities. But unfortunately for the Red Bulls they forgot that they had a match to play and the Crew punished them again.
The first goal of the match was a well played ball in the midfield that got started as Juan Pablo Angel got stripped and the quick passes ensued. Guillermo Barros Schelotto made a brilliant killer pass to spring Emilio Renteria on an attacking run and when he struck the ball Red Bulls keeper Bouna Coundoul did get his right hand on it. But it wasn’t enough as the ball did go into the back of the net and for the Crew they took a one goal to nil lead in the 20th minute.
It was a flat start to begin the match that got the Red Bulls in trouble and when Hans Backe made two substitutions to start the second half, it just wasn’t enough for the club to attempt a comeback. 48th minute saw a fantastic goal by Brian Carroll that should be nominated for the MLS Goal of the week.
It was a free kick by Schelotto that went into the New York area and was headed back by Chad Marshall. Tim Ream did make a clearance attempt with his head, but not enough as Carroll took a run and a onetime rip that bent inside the far post for the two goals to nil win. Two fabulous chances for the Columbus Crew and they took advantage of a Red Bulls side that weren’t ready for the challenge.
Give the Crew plenty of credit in this match as every time they had possession of the ball, a wave of attacking runs came at the Red Bulls. Some were called off-sides but that’s just luck for RBNY as Columbus picked apart the defense and was the quicker side in this match. For the Crew they avenge their one goal loss this past Wednesday against the Kansas City Wizards. For the Red Bulls their new era begins with Thierry Henry as they get ready for Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays New York Challenge.
Unfortunately for the Crew they will be without their captain Frankie Hejduk for their next match as he got a straight red card in the 89th minute when he got tangled up with Welsh midfielder Carl Robinson. On the second replay after both men were pushing and shirt pulling, Hejduk kicked Robinson in the stomach with his studs showing and Abbey Okulaja had no choice but to show the red card and send him off.
Going back to Thierry Henry for a moment, I think it’s telling that he is going to take Major League Soccer seriously with some of the things he has done today. Yes he wasn’t available to play for the club since he only had one day of training. But he did join his teammates in the pre-game meal, warmed up with the club on the field, signed some autographs for the Columbus natives & stayed inside the stadium to see an MLS match before he gets ready for the road trip to Houston on July 31st. It’s a fabulous thing to see.