There was celebration at Red Bull Arena and there was horror at the same time. Both pointed towards Thierry Henry, as his goal was the lone tally of the match. The Red Bulls got on the board first in the 7th minute as Henry got a lovely looping ball from Connor Lade and chipped it over Reis and into the back of the net.
But the horror came in the 22nd minute as he picked up a leg injury that would force him out of the match. He was on an attacking run with Mehdi Ballouchy, when all of the sudden Henry made a strange move and then crashed on the field. The word from the medical staff was a right hamstring strain.
But outside of the Henry goal and injury, it was a fantastic performance from keeper Ryan Meara, who finally earned his first clean sheet in his eighth match in MLS. Meara stood tall and had to fight off a couple of chances from the dangerous Saer Sene.
Another great save came from Meara in the 77thminute as substitute Benny Feilhaber tried to get the equalizer off a cross. He leapt into the air with the header and Meara was in perfect position to keep his clean sheet.
“Excellent result, definitely. Good first half, we played really well.” Said Hans Backe, “We started once again, the first 15-20 minutes, flying, creating a number of chances. Second half, quite expected with a lot of young players, inexperience players, to just defend, defend, defend. And we did it very well In the second half.”
It’s been a good start to the season for the Red Bulls as they have scored a good amount of goals, but sadly they have allowed too many from the opponent. But when you have problems with the starting eleven staying healthy, and Rafa Marquez in the middle of his three game suspension, problems need to be solved.
Markus Holgersson was the only experienced backliner. He started along with Connor Lade at left fullback for the second straight game, plus Brandon Barklage and Tyler Ruthven. From the nerves came out confidence and they played exceptionally well.
No Roy Miller, No Wilman Conde, No Stephen Keel and no Jan Gunnar Solli. They are all out due to injuries and could return by the beginning of June if the club can pick up some important wins on the road at Los Angeles, Philadelphia & Montreal.
From what I saw with the New England Revolution, Jay Heaps is a perfect replacement as the Steve Nicol era ended. He has a good nose for talent and he got his players to buy into what he wants to do on both sides of the ball.
He along with Ben Olsen are starting to become the future American Coaches in this league and we shall see if they can measure up to what Jason Kreis is doing at Real Salt Lake. But for now it was a win for the Red Bulls, but it came at a terrible price.