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Rapids Earn Their Fourth Consecutive Draw Against the Red Bulls

After pulling off a stunning stoppage time goal to steal a point in Houston, the Red Bulls came home for a mid-week tilt against the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids. This was a side that was missing several players due to injury including Jamaican international striker Omar Cummings with a leg injury. For the Red Bulls they were without Dane Richards who was called in for Gold Cup duty with Jamaica and Rafa Marquez was out with a groin strain.

It was some good action after the opening whistle from both sides as they looked strong and made attacking runs, but it would be a lazy foul that would cost the Red Bulls early. But the spot of the foul was in question. In the 27th Minute Andre Akpan was jogging towards the area when Roy Miller shoved him down with his right arm. Awarding a foul was the correct call, but the ref’s decision to point to the spot was incorrect. The replay clearly showed that Akpan was outside the area when fouled.

It was Jeff Larentowicz who took the penalty, which was stopped by Greg Sutton, but he would accidentally tap it back to Larentowicz who had an easy rebound for the goal. Already behind, the Red Bulls would equalize two minutes later.

Joel Lindpere brought the ball up the far side and crossed to Dwayne De Rosario. When De Rosario was in the area, he laid it off towards Thierry Henry who slotted home his sixth of the season. As Henry grabbed the ball out of the net he jogged all the way back to midfield and placed the ball on the center spot, but Akpan was unsportsmanlike and kicked the ball away.

In the 32nd minute Henry fouled Akpan for his childish behavior but sadly he also gave the Rapids a second chance to take the lead. The free kick was from 25 yards away. And it was Larentowicz who ripped the free kick through the wall, took two bounces and past Sutton who never moved for the ball at all. Standing like a statue, Greg Sutton allowed the ball into the net.

Next minute another equalizer for the Red Bulls came from former Notts County man Luke Rodgers as he got a great chip from Roy Miller and got behind the ball on his run. Matt Pickens off his line tried to smother it, but a toepoke chip from Rodgers bounced over the goal line for the second equalizer of the match. Four goals scored in seven minutes was pretty exciting to see in the first half, but in the second the Rapids bunkered in and earned their draw.

After the match Gary Smith was pleased with his side’s performance. “We’re missing six senior players and I include Conor (Casey) in that because he is still coming back from his hamstring problems” said Smith. “To score two goals here against a team that is absolutely laden with quality, not only to get a point, but to perform. I think you got what you want there.”

While Greg Sutton did get his second consecutive match in between the posts, I felt he had a poor game. I could understand why he played against Houston to give Bouna Coundoul a breather. Unlike the strong game last week, Sutton’s decisionmaking was very poor and no matter how many times he came off his line to challenge balls, the Rapids either just barely missed or Tim Ream saved his bacon.

But now it’s a quick trip to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps at Empire Field while missing half of their starters due to Gold Cup participation.

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  1. The original Tom

    May 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Really good 1st half. I watched the 2nd half at speed (it was late, I had taped it) so I can’t judge. We need to be healthy and have all our guys, but so does everyone else. I’m slightly worried about making the playoffs.

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      May 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Honestly Tom, better now to have this lull, then worrying about it in July & August.

    • Charles

      May 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Ummm you two realize you are rooting for different teams ?

      • Daniel Feuerstein

        May 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

        So we are. 😛

  2. CTBlues

    May 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I think the Gold Cup should be in July and MLS should take the month off and have all there friendlies with clubs from other countries then and then we wont have this problem in June where the quality ofplay is going to be crap because all the quality players are gone on national duty.

    • Clampdown

      May 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm


  3. Romario

    May 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Coach Backe has been using every little excuse to give Sutton some PT. Why? I don’t know. It is clear that Bouna Coundoul should be the man for the job after having some great performances this season and last season, not to mention the improvement on his ball distributions this year. This defense continues to be exposed when he is not playing because unlike Sutton, he has the ability to make the athletic/ Heroic saves. When other players get called up to play for their national teams, it’s bragging rights for the club but somehow in Coundoul’s case, he is penalized for it. The lamest excuse of all is the blame put on him for conceding 3 goals against Chivas and not one of those goals were his fault

    • Daniel Feuerstein

      May 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      Agreed Romario. Coundoul was not at fault for those goals against Chivas-USA. Braun placed them well and got lucky on a bad bounce of a save that nailed the far post very hard and bounced to the open side.

      Sutton playing at Houston, I could understand to give Coundoul a breather. I thought he was going to play on Wednesday, instead Sutton got back in there again and I really thought he played a poor match.

  4. Clampdown

    May 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I can argue it because we’re only a third of the way through the season. There is definitely cause for concern, and their record seems to indicate they aren’t the best, but I’d take my chances for the full season with RBNY over any of the teams you mentioned.

    • Charles

      May 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      They do have to play it on the field, but having said that, they did already 1/3rd the way through the season,

      Philly beat NY and Colorado tied them.

  5. Charles

    May 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I don’t think the Red Bulls are that great.

    I am definitely taking LA, Salt Lake, and Dallas over them.

    Might be some debate
    Healthy Sounders team too ( that might require intervention from above )

    Don’t know how you can argue it…because you can’t
    Philly and Colorado are as good as them….and maybe Portland too.

    That being said Philly and maybe Houston are the only things keeping them out of the MLS Cup.

  6. Daniel Feuerstein

    May 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Very true Clampdown. This was the first time I was going against Backe on the substitution. Agudelo should’ve been in much sooner. They are a team that is capeable to destroy their opponents with their passing leading to goals.

    Usually Jorge Gonzalez is a very good ref even though he is not in the top tier of US Soccer refs, but he had a horrible match on Wednesday night.

  7. Clampdown

    May 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Sutton was scary and could have cost the Red Bulls the match.

    A couple of things really annoyed me about this match. First, was the continual long balls played from the RB back to try and pick out either Henry or Rodgers. This team has too many good players that can pass fairly well, and we’ve already seen they are capable of dominating possession. So, why can’t they keep it on the floor?

    Second, why such a long wait to bring on Agudelo? It was pretty clear the Red Bulls had nothing going on in the second half. I’m guessing Backe was worried about using subs because of the tight schedule, but they’re at home. Get some energy on the pitch and go for the win.

    Finally, it isn’t just this match, but the refs and linesmen in MLS are truly awful.

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