This was going to be a double whammy for the Red Bulls in their match against Real Salt Lake. If it wasn’t trying to get a victory at Rio Tinto Stadium, it would be doing the feat without four of their top players who were called into international duty with their respective national teams. Starting keeper Bouna Coundoul was called into Senegal, Rafa Marquez had to captain Mexico, Dane Richards has been called to Jamaica and Roy Miller for Costa Rica.
But the problems for RBNY already started early in the 4th minute. Javier Morales with a throw-in to Kyle Beckerman and a great long chip to Fabien Espindola as he ran on to the ball. He beats Tim Ream and then nutmeg’s Greg Sutton for the early goal.
All throughout the first half RSL had their way with New York making many attacking runs and somehow Sutton was there to make some amazing saves to keep the club in the match. He was nearly taken out of the match in the 39th minute when Jamison Olave rammed into him and looked like Sutton couldn’t move. Thankfully he was able to stay in the match.
After halftime was over, New York was able to settle down and started to string together some strong attacking runs, but no matter how hard they tried Nick Rimando was there to make the big saves or he got help from his defenders. Even though there were many times Real Salt Lake had that second goal starring right in their face, they couldn’t convert their chance either as a missed shot, or Greg Sutton making some unbelievable saves.
While it was a huge win for the Red Bulls taking down Toronto FC’s undefeated home record at BMO Field, you had a decent feeling that trying to knock out Salt Lake’s home record was a bigger task. They never lost their shape and at the same time when Salt Lake had the ball, they kept on attacking and never bunkered in just to hold on.
A lot of credit does go to head coach Jason Kreis after he was forced to step down as a player by the request of Dave Checketts. He has found a way to make his system work for his players and they have looked very strong on both sides of the ball. If there was any evidence that this side was going to be one of the best clubs within MLS that road match against Cruz Azul of the CONCACAF Champions League. They were the better side even if they did lose the lead and then found a way to equalize late.
After this victory at home against the Red Bulls, Salt Lake’s unbeaten home streak has reached twenty-two matches. They are doing very well and I have to say that it was a bit of a shame that Alvaro Saborio wasn’t available for this match as he was with Costa Rica in an international friendly with Roy Miller of New York. If both sides had their full squad for tonight’s league match, I think we would’ve seen more than just a goal tonight.
But this was a clinical match for Real Salt Lake and no one could be more proud than Jason Kreis as he is leading his side to a possible repeat as MLS Cup Champions.
NOTE: There will be no Feuerstein’s Fire Show this coming week. I will be down in Florida spending the Jewish New Year with my folks. Show will return on Tuesday, September 14th
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