New York 1-0 Philadelphia: Red Bulls Qualify for 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs

The last berth in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs was finalized last night when the New York Red Bulls beat Philadelphia Union 1-0 (on an own goal) to qualify for the playoffs, this ending the playoff dreams of Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire.

It was an early goal that would stand for the final 90 minutes of the regular season for the Red Bulls. An eighth minute tally was scored from a great run when Dax McCarty laid it off to a charging Jan Gunnar Solli and crossed it to Dane Richards who headed the ball off the inside of the near post and then off the back of Faryd Mondragon and over the goal line.

Even though it was an own goal, it didn’t dampen the excitement at Red Bull Arena as the crowd screamed with joy. All first half the club was attacking as the Union looked to be sleepwalking. Several times the Red Bulls were able to break through the defense only to have Mondragon make the big saves.

Peter Nowak knew right away he had to make changes at halftime and did so by bringing in Freddy Adu and Danny Mwanga to start the second half. Right away they paid dividends and brought life back into the Union’s attack. But the hard stance by the defenders stopped nearly every chance and when the Union thought they scored, it was in an offside position.

After the final whistle blew the Red Bulls were officially the last side to enter the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs and did so with their backs to the wall. They performed well without the services of Thierry Henry who was serving a one match suspension for his red card at Kansas City.

“I think we handled the game well of course there were some nervous plays in a game that means so much to qualify for the playoffs,” said Head Coach Hans Backe. “It has been a rough season, but now that we are in, I believe we should have killed this game in the first half. [We] definitely could have put the score up two or three nil after 60 minutes, but they stayed in the game.”

“We feel really good,” said Dane Richards, “But now’s the time where the real work starts. From here on we can’t lose, so it’s real important we stay focused.” After all the club has been through, New York was touted at the start of the season to reach the MLS Cup Final and having a huge hole in the road, we shall see if they can reach that goal.

Thursday night saw a fantastic crowd with over a thousand Philadelphia Union Supporters visiting Red Bull Arena and taking over at least four full sections in the second deck in the Northern End. It was a fantastic atmosphere between the Son’s Of Ben and the South Ward (that had the Garden State Supporters, Empire Supporters Club and the Hans Backe Viking Army).

20 thoughts on “New York 1-0 Philadelphia: Red Bulls Qualify for 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs”

  1. So last nights result effectively made this weekend’s matches one
    big waste of time. 8 teams with nothing to play for and 10 teams
    jocking for seeds. I find it odd that Red Bulls were chasing a very
    important wildcard playoff spot had a very disappointing crowd.

  2. Funny that Alexi picks NY for the team that could surprise in the
    Wild Card. They are about to face someone for the right to play LA
    and then have to play Salt Lake or Seattle. All teams that are
    better than they are, by quite a bit. If they were coming out of
    the East maybe……………………………….. As a topper it
    was after THAT first half that he says that. It was terrible soccer
    being played by both teams. ……………someone that went to the
    Vancouver game said the crowd was quiet until the Sounder’s fans
    got going, then they couldn’t cheer loud enough. I think the NY
    fans will start showing when the Philly fans keep showing them
    up…….sell out ? Some scalper took a hit yesterday. A big hit,
    after taking a big hit of something I wish I was on.

  3. Get rid of the playoffs, please. Move to single table. Get rid of
    the NFL protege, Garber. Making MLS into a clone of other single
    entity leagues such as MLB, NFL, is hurting football in the US.
    Lack of promotion/relegation promotes and encourages mediocrity and
    devalues the “regular season” games. Galaxy, by having the best
    record, are MLS chams, end of story. LAst season, w/ Colorado
    Rapids, one of the worst teams in the history of football, winning
    the “MLS Cup” showed once again that playoffs should be scrapped!

    1. No, just no. The majority of American soccer and MLS fans don’t
      want it that to happen. And it won’t happen either. As you
      mentioned, the LA Galaxy have the best record in the leauge because
      they’re the “richest” team in the league. Does that sound fair?
      Just like in Spain or in the UK, where two teams win the league and
      the other teams win limbo positions. Especially the poor teams who
      don’t have the finances to even compete in the top flight. I for
      one, would’nt be a fan of that. Neither would the MLS back office,
      who make the decisions. Also, to those who aren’t MLS fans, why do
      they care so much about that subject in a league they don’t care to

      1. I believe MLS fans are in the minority and majority of soccer fans
        want pro/rel along with other changes to the league. If you don’t
        believe me compare TV ratings on where fans are watching. If you
        still don’t believe me compare MLS Cup ratings and some random tape
        delayed Premier League match. How is it fair that Sounders have to
        tarp off the upper half of the stadium and probably bring in more
        revenue but are held back so NE Revolution don’t feel bad about

        1. The majority of MLS fans are happy with the current format
          of the league. The only people who opposed to it are non-MLS fans.
          Mainly soccer fans who are “purists”, that are either
          foreigners/expatriates from other countries or die-hard Euro-snobs.
          They’re the minority as there are more American soccer fans who
          like the league to match the sporting culture. Also, I don’t think
          I’ve come across somebody whos dislikes the MLS soley because it
          doesn’t have “pro/rel”. It should be obvious why the MLS isn’t as
          popular as the BPL or La Liga. It has to do with the amount of
          finance those leagues have, and of course the talent. Those
          countries have a better infrastructure and devlopment of soccer
          compared to North America. The key to a better league isn’t
          “pro/rel”, it’s better investment into the league and sport. Youth
          development is the key.

          1. I’ll second that. I have no interest in blowing up the structure of
            the league. I still wish the playoffs were seeded on points alone

          2. @Roger (SJ Quakes)……”The majority of MLS fans are happy with
            the current format of the league”… may want to check this
            pool that Robert Hay made a while
            have asked him on this blogs a cuple of times …..”-Why no follow
            up on this article”……………NO ANSWER, NO
            COMMENTS!………………..PD: did you niticed that 10 teams
            play-offs got less than 1%?

          3. @Roger, you’ve meet your first soccer fan who doesn’t like MLS
            because it doesn’t have pro/rel. You’re theory has been crushed.

        2. @Robert: Well, you can wish for “pro/rel” all you want, but it’s
          never going to happen in this country. For many reasons. Though, it
          can happen and it can include “MLS” teams; as long as it’s Canadian
          MLS teams who break away from the league and form their own.
          “pro/rel” will cost the league millions of dollars if they invest
          in many teams/markets only to fail and potentially get regulated.
          Unless they copy the format of Europe, but that would violate the
          Salary Cap rules. Essentially, this “Pro/Rel” system is inviable in
          this country. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen.

          1. @Roger, you act as if its only MLS’s decision. It’s USSF decision
            to implement PRO/REL and we will have pro/rel once we get an mls
            guy out of ussf office. Will you still cry for billionaire
            speculators if this were to happen?

        3. @Robert: You act as if the USSF can completely or are allowed to
          “bend the rules” just for soccer in the country. They can’t. The
          salary cap, not to mention the rational reasons I listed, will
          apply to all sports in this country. You could keep wishing.

    1. A NY – LA final is not possible. If NY wins their wild card round
      game, they play LA in the quarterfinal. That’d be great, though,
      wouldn’t it?

  4. How can Los Angeles be the richest team in the league when MLS has
    a salary cap, and every club is playing by the same rules. Yes,
    they use all 3 DP’s, but so does Toronto. And New York. Please
    explain this one, because I’m confused.

    1. Because it is not a cap it’s a salary budget. Some players salaries
      (DP’s, Generation Adidas etc) don’t count at all. You have
      allocation money for selling players and for doing well in the
      Champions League.

  5. I don’t want all the teams to be equal, it used to be that way and
    it was boring. I have no problem with LA being the odds on favorite
    to win Supporters Shield next year, and I wish support efforts that
    make the SS mean more. But I’m glad there is an end of season
    tournament that means a lot also, the Colorado Rapids run was great
    last year.

  6. I also meant to say I also agree with Coconut Monkey that I wish
    the seedings were based on regular season points regardless of

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