Late DeLeon Winner Ends Red Bulls’ Season
Once again a terminology creeps up on this club that is one of founding sides of this league. It continues to haunt the diehard fans every single time the playoffs have arrived, and with every second leg exit it persists. It’s so painful that you expect failure after ever finish of the regular season, and once again it has happened at the hands of DC United.
That terminology is known as “That’s Just So Metro”.
Once again, either as the MetroStars or the New York Red Bulls, a late goal has stung them hard in the rear, and they will be forced to head back to the drawing board to try again in 2013. It was Nick DeLeon in the 88th minute, fed through by Robbie Russell, who beat Luis Robles for the 2-1 aggregate winner.
Everything was going the Red Bulls’ way in the match, as they were creating many chances on DC United. You felt a goal was coming for the home side. Three chances came in the 28th minute that were saved by Bill Hamid, then what might have looked to be a hand ball in the area was actually off the chest of another defender, then wide of the far post.
But it appeared to get even better for New York as fate turned in the 69th minute. Kenny Cooper was past the DC backline by Dax McCarty and was on a breakaway. Just as he entered the area, Hamid dove in front of Cooper and took him down. Referee Mark Geiger called the penalty and showed the red card to the goalkeeper to put DC down to ten men.
From that point forward, fate turned against the Red Bulls. Joe Willis, subbed in for Branko Boskovic, immediately was called to defend the penalty for DC. Cooper stepped up and buried the spot kick to take a lead. Immediately Geiger waved it off. On replay you saw Thierry Henry entering the area just as Cooper was half way to the spot. Cooper’s retake was thwarted by Willis, who made the diving save to his left in the 73rd minute to keep the score knotted.
Not much later, New York would lose their man advantage on the pitch. Rafa Marquez, already playing with a yellow card, was booked again for a lunging, studs up challenge on Chris Pontius. That put both sides to ten men for the remainder of the match.
After DC United took the lead, the 4th official showed four minutes of second half stoppage time. During that period, a puzzling moment occurred after a direct free kick was awarded to NY. Just outside of the DC area, you saw Thierry Henry sizing up the chance. Out of nowhere Roy Miller, who was subbed in, took the free kick and skied it well over the crossbar.
After Geiger blew his whistle, the reality set in, and once again playoff futility has crept in and stung this side hard. In three playoff matches at Red Bull Arena, all were losses. For the second straight season it was a one goal loss and now it looks like Backe might be done as head coach.
Sadly it’s another early entrance to the offseason and who knows what changes will be made with the coaching staff or the current roster. Sadly for this side, another promising season of MLS Cup aspirations has found a way to leave the fans disappointed.
But once again it’s showed that Ben Olsen can will his team to victory. He takes this rivalry to heart. After the disappointment of postponing the match on Wednesday night, Olsen urged his team on yet again to find a way to defeat New York and end their season early.