A big match was brewing at Red Bull Arena as the San Jose Earthquakes and New York Red Bulls both looked to extend their three-game winning streaks. At the same time, you had the top three goal scorers in MLS facing each other for their respective sides.
The scoring started early as the Red Bulls struck first in the 5th minute. As Roy Miller threw the ball in, it bounced towards Thierry Henry, but the ball somehow found Kenny Cooper who was onside. The journeyman forward buried his seventh goal of the season to open the score sheet.
Ten minutes later though, the Earthquakes equalized on a beautiful passing play. Chris Wondolowski made a quick pass to Khari Stevenson, and it resulted in a quick two-on-one. Ryan Meara went to his left and exposed the net for Rafael Baca as he received the quick cross from Stevenson and buried it.
It only took a few minutes for the Red Bulls to re-take the lead. Some sloppy Quakes defending allowed Dane Richards to get around his defender on the far side. The Jamaican international sent a cross to Cooper, who bunted the ball towards Dax McCarty. He buries his first goal for New York, giving the Red Bulls the 2-1 lead.
With Henry leading the league with seven goals, and Cooper converting his seventh of the season earlier in the match, it was Chris Wondowlowski’s turn in the 35th minute to match them at seven. Wondolowski’s diving header leveled the score, but some brilliant aerials built the play. Ramirio Corrales crossed the ball to Steven Beitashour on the near side alone. He delivered a pinpoint cross to Shea Salinas near the far post. Salinas then deftly chipped the ball over Stephen Keel and Markus Holgersson, and Wondolowski was free to head the ball past Meara.
“Attacking wise, first half is good. But it’s very easy to see our defense must improve.” Said Head Coach Hans Backe, “Second half nothing happens from either team. It looked quite lost. Not one of our better performances, that’s for sure.”
On this night both sides picked up some injuries. Shea Salinas got tangled with Rafa Marquez in the 43rd minute on a free kick for the Quakes. Marquez hooked Salinas’s arms, rode him down to the ground, slid across Salinas’s body and Marquez right boot smacked and broke his left clavicle.
Victor Bernardez also picked up a strange injury after he collided with Ryan Meara and was stretchered off. It appeared to be a lower left leg injury as he was seen leaving with the club on crutches.
Roy Miller got tackled down violently from behind by Marvin Chavez in the 52nd minute and left seven minutes later. Connor Lade got his first MLS game under his belt in replacing Miller and played very well. But after the match ended both sides ended with a draw and they move on to their next task.
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