Recently it seems that no matter how hard the New York Red Bulls play to get the first goal of the game, something always seems to bite them in the rear end. Even if it was a long cross continent trip to Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada to face the expansion side Whitecaps. Amazing thing about this match was that the Whitecaps haven’t won since their season opener against Toronto FC, while the Red Bulls haven’t won a game all month long in May.
But the Whitecaps would get the first chance to get on the score sheet as Carlos Mendes tried to track back and mark Camillo Sanvezzo, but Mendes clipped his heels in the area and a penalty was issued to the Whitecaps in the 24th minute. Eric Hassli took the spot kick and converted for the early lead. Greg Sutton back in net dived the right way, but the power was too strong to make the save.
But as always these Red Bulls are resilient and will find a way to get level in the match. They would do so ten minutes later as they brought the ball up on the far side. Roy Miller would cross it long towards the near side at Jan Gunnar Solli. He delivered a low cross in the area to Luke Rodgers who took it one time and nailed the upper near ninety for the equalizer.
Both sides would exchange attacking runs in the second half, but nothing would enter the net as both Jay Nolly and Sutton would make some good saves and both sides ended the early afternoon with a point each. Being a temporary home for the Whitecaps before B.C. Place finishes their renovations, Empire Field looks like a fantastic venue that in my opinion needs to remain. But once again all the money being poured into B.C. Place for renovations for both the Whitecaps and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League will become a fantastic venue for both sides.
Ever since Luke Rodgers’s name popped up from Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe last year we had no idea what the Notts County man was going to do in first division MLS. Being in the third division of English football you would assume he wasn’t the type of player that was going to cut it anywhere else. But to be honest we were all wrong and at the moment Rodgers has shown why Backe has faith in him.
Already scored five goals and the first four at Red Bull Arena, he has showed to be a tough little player possessing a motor that never stops running. Of course this character already came out discussing how Landon Donovan acted on the field by over working the referee and calling him an interesting name. But sometimes in MLS you need a character like Rodgers to make things interesting.
So for the Whitecaps they are on an eleven game winless streak, while the Red Bulls are winless in five. But while Vancouver will have a side that is nearly intact, the Red Bulls have already lost Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez, Dwayne DeRosario, Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream for the Gold Cup. Let’s see how the depth department will work for the next three to five league matches.