This was the major match up that Major League Soccer was hyping all week long. The two top clubs in the top two markets in the country, and both sides having designated players that have been brought in to help make this league important within the country and outside of it towards the football world. Well at the Home Depot Center you saw a player who has finally showed what he was predicted to do and his stock has been rising since a certain Frenchman came over and boosted his confidence.
In the 36th minute the Red Bulls struck first on the score sheet when Joel Lindpere on the far side of the field ran onto a loose ball and got himself wide open for a shot. His shot nailed the far post, but Dane Richards was placed perfectly for the rebound and just tapped it in the net for his third of the season. But what he did with the ball was something special in the second half.
In the 59th minute Dane Richards controlled the ball that was cleared and off to the races he went. Yohance Marshall trailed and chased Richards trying to poke it away, but on the sliding challenge he downed Richards in the area and Ricardo Salazar walked towards the spot and pointed for the penalty. In the 60th minute Juan Pablo Angel stepped up and buried it inside the near post for his thirteenth of the season and it was then a two goals to nil lead for the Red Bulls.
There were plenty of chances for the Galaxy to try and dent the scoreboard, but every time they took a shot Bouna Coundoul covered his net very well and frustrated Los Angeles all night long. 66th minute saw David Beckham with a free kick about 30 to 35 yards away send a dangerous ball towards the net but Coundoul made a two fisted punching save.
This was a statement match for the Red Bulls as they were missing former French International Striker Thierry Henry due to a sprained right MCL he received from his strange and stupid goal celebration knocking out Kevin Hartman by accident. But still this was a major statement from New York who is at the moment back in first place in the Eastern Conference on goal difference.
Chris Albright who didn’t travel with the club to the Home Depot Center suffered a groin strain after the match down in Dallas so Carey Talley was traded from DC United before the trading deadline ended last week and got his first start for the club, but in the 38th minute Talley’s attempted tackle on Juninho injured his left hamstring and Mike Petke came in, forcing Carlos Mendes to move into the right fullback position.
For the Los Angeles Galaxy it looked like they were ready to play. It looked like they were ready to face the Red Bulls at home, but for some strange reason after the first ten minutes they looked sluggish and slow. Good news for the Galaxy as David Beckham made his first start of the season after coming off the substitutes bench, recovering from his Achilles tendon injury while on loan with A.C. Milan. Beckham went the full ninety tonight so that’s something positive to look forward too.
But for the Red Bulls this season of positives keeps on going up and up. After such a horrible 2009 campaign their 2010 season has looked strong from the start, through the summer transfer window and now with only four matches remaining and three of them are at Red Bull Arena.