MLS Pre-season: New York Red Bulls at Crystal Palace (Running Commentary)


Good afternoon folks. I am coming to you from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, where the New York Red Bulls will be playing their final pre-season match before heading to Seattle for the season opener against the Seattle Sounders on March 19th.

Red Bulls fans will remember this match-up from last year's U.S. Open Cup, where Crystal Palace USA pulled off stunning upset. The Red Bulls will be looking for some revenge even though we probably won't see a true starting lineup at any point in this match.

I will be providing a running commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action:


FINAL– Tonight's standouts for the Red Bulls? Jeremy Hall, Danny Cepero, Mike Petke and Matt Mbuta. Are the Red Bulls ready for the start of the regular season? Maybe not, but they have no choice. The 2009 season begins a week from tonight in Seattle. SBI will be there, just like we were here tonight.

Feel free to share your thoughts on tonight's match in the comments section below. Good night.


FINAL– Red Bulls 2, Crystal Palace USA 0. Goals from Khano Smith and Matt Mbuta. It was a typical ugly pre-season game. Juan Carlos Osorio got to see some of his guys one more time in game situations and while it wasn't pretty overall, the Red Bulls had some solid performances.


89th minute– Here is the Red Bulls starting lineup we could see vs. Seattle:






Keep in mind that Khano Smith is suspended for this match. Osorio could just as easily go with a 4-5-1, but I'm not sure who plays on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1. It could be Kandji, though he would be better suited higher up, in a 4-3-3.


88th minute– Mike Petke has also looked sharp tonight.


88th minute– Red Bulls are closing out the match a man down.


87th minute– For those wondering about Mbuta's goal celebration, it was modest. No backflips. He actually almost found a second goal. Red Bulls corner.


85th minute– Danny Cepero has had a solid game tonight. He looks ready to pick up where he left off last year. No, he hasn't taken any full-field shots yet, but he's looked sharp.


84th minute– Johnson won't be coming back in. No sub to replace him yet.


82nd minute– Johnson is walking off the field with what looks like a shoulder or arm injury. Right arm. The Costa Rica fullback is still not under contract.


80th minute– Johnson is down with an injury.


79th minute– Oduro nearly blows by the Crystal Palace defense, but gets fouled. Yes, he can definitely move.


79th minute– Billy Chiles comes in for Brian Rowland in the CP-USA goal.


78th minute– Carlos Johnson draws a yellow for a sloppy tackle, then waves off the ref. Temper, temper Mr. Johnson.


76th minute– Since this game is going nowhere, let's think about what the Red Bulls starting lineup might look like in their season opener vs. Seattle.


74th minute– Red Bulls trying to create some chances, but Oduro can't get a good touch.

Jack Traynor just too a close-range shot to the chest. He's okay now.


67th minute– This game has gotten pretty boring as both teams struggle to string passes together.


64th minute– Not much going on so far. The Red Bulls attack has gone flat while Crystal Palace isn't doing much.

Jack Traynor is back in for Goldthwaite. Apparently we're playing college substitution rules.


60th minute– The answer to the trivia question fro earlier was four. Danleigh Borman, Kevin Goldthwaite, Carlos Mendes and Luke Sassano are the only four players still on the Red Bulls who started in last year's U.S. Open Cup loss. Yes, that does say a lot.


59th minute– Apologies for the delay, some technical difficulties.You didn't miss much.


49th minute– Dangerous free kick for Crystal Palace but it misses wide left.


48th- GOAL RED BULLS!!! It's Matt Mbuta, burning his former club. Wolyniec with the pass to set him up in front of goal. Red Bulls 2, Crystal Palace-USA 0.


46th minute– And we're back. 


HALFTIME– Looks like Cepero will stay in the game, but the rest of the projected changes have been made.


HALFTIME– Here is the second half lineup we are likely to see from the Red Bulls:






Yes, that is Carlos Johnson, who we should get a chance to see. Albert Celades isn't going to play.

Jon Conway, Andrew Boyens and Danleigh Borman did not make the trip.


HALFTIME– Red Bulls 1, Crystal Palace USA 0. Red Bulls have had the better of the play but Crystal Palace created more chances. Some good stuff from Hall and Smith today, as well as from Luke Sassano, who didn't look too bad. Who looked off? Kevin Goldthwaite didn't have a good first half. Neither did Jorge Rojas or Dane Richards. Juan Pablo Angel was kept in check.


45th minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!! Khano Smith collects a long pass from Jeremy Hall and takes a good touch before finishing from 12 yards out. Red Bulls 1, Crystal Palace 0.


41st minute– Seabrook sets up Amir Barbosa with a sitter in front of goal and Barbosa somehow whiffs on it. Wow, pretty shocking. Seabrook is having a game tonight.


39th minute– We have seen quite a bit of Khano Smith cutting inside from the left, allowing space for overlaps from the fullback. That's probably something we'll see plenty of once Alfredo Pacheco gets here.


37th minute– All credit due (Roy Kean voice) to CP-USA's defense, which has done well.


36th minute– CP-USA flagged for offside for what seems like the 10th time.


34th minute– One thing you can say about this Red Bulls group is that it is very mobile. Hall has looked smooth at right back, though the midfield has been mediocre so far.

SAVE CEPERO!!! A kick save on a Seabrook shot from close range.


31st minute– Here's a trivia question for you Red Bulls fans. How many players who started for the Red Bulls in last year's loss to Crystal Palace are currently on the Red Bulls roster?


29th minute– Jeremy Hall has shown off a very strong throw-in. Not Rory Delap-strong, but still pretty strong by MLS standards.


28th minute– Khano Smith with a surging run into the area but he's shouldered off the ball before he can get a shot off.

Red Bulls are operating in more of a flat 4-4-2 with Rojas sitting pretty deep alongside Stammler.


27th minute– Mike Petke has come on for Jack Traynor, shifting Goldthwaite to left back. That was a planned substitution.


25th minute– CP-USA comes back but blows an easy look.

Red Bulls come right back as Kandji springs Richards in the area but Richards is denied by a great save from Rowland.


24th minute– A nice spell of possession for the Red Bulls concludes in a long shot attempt by Jorge Rojas that is saved. Nice ball movement by the Red Bulls there.


21st minute– For those wondering why this game is being played, it was included in the Red Bulls deal to acquire Matt Mbuta, who played for Crystal Palace USA last season.


17th minute– Red Bulls get dispossessed in midfield and CP-USA counters quickly only to have an offside flag raised.


16th minute– Jeremy Hall put on a sweet move on the right flank after making a run and being found by Rojas, but his cross is caught. Best sequence so far.


14th minute– Crystal Palace seems content to try long passes from the back, which aren't making much of an impact, even against this make-shift Red Bulls defense.


11th minute– Of the players who stood out for Crystal Palace in last year's upset win vs. New York, defender Andrew Marshall is the only one I remember. He scored the first goal in Crystal Palace's 2-0 win. No sign of Gary Brooks, who scored the second.


9th minute– Kandji does well to close down a Crystal Palace defender and force a turnover in the area, but he and Jack Traynor can't connect on a pass as the offside flag goes up.


8th minute– If the name Jordan Seabrook rings a bell, it should. Seabrook impressed at the MLS Combine and was drafted by the Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the 2009 MLS Draft. He did not make the Crew and has landed here. Speedy player who could cause some problems.


5th minute– Crystal Palace starters are: Brian Rowland, Mateus dos Anjos, Andrew Marshall, Paul Robson, Eric Dougnagio, Alex Ughiovhe, Shintaro Harada, Jordan Seabrook, Tanner Wolfe, Amir Barbosa and Val Texeira.


4th minute– Jeremy Hall is at right back and his first touches there look pretty comfortable. Still waiting for the NY attack to get going.


2nd minute– Red Bulls are out in a standard diamond 4-4-2 formation.


1st minute– Yes, Luke Sassano really is playing in central defense tonight. Andrew Boyens didn't make the trip so they were short.


1st minute– And we're off.


PRE-GAME- A pretty sparse crowd for tonight's match. A couple of hundred fans have made it out tonight. The Red Bulls are well-represented with a group of 20-30 fans who made the trip. 


PRE-GAME– Here is the Red Bulls starting lineup:







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30 Responses to MLS Pre-season: New York Red Bulls at Crystal Palace (Running Commentary)

  1. JustinG says:

    If Red Bulls don’t win they should be ashamed, even if it is preseason. Hopefully they are out there tonight to prove something to this team.

  2. ag nigrin says:

    Thanks for the commentary Ives!

  3. ManicMessiah says:

    Last pre-season match, I can’t believe the season’s almost here.

  4. J says:

    yea ives, thanks for making the trip.

    red bulls reader mentions a pre-planned sub of petke for traynor. any idea why this was pre-planned this way, and how did the team adjust the formation in-game? goldie to left back?

  5. josh says:

    Answer to trivia: 4? no idea without looking at last year’s lineup

  6. Chris says:

    So Angel didn’t get any decent looks in the first half? Are they double-teaming or is RB unable to set him up?

  7. Fire Cracker says:

    RBNY had 5 good games last year and they were all at the end. This team is shittttte.

    I think Richards had 2 good games.

    That backline is still suspect.

    Red Balls make me laugh even more than there funny little fans

  8. Lou says:

    hahah this kid again. Fire cracker shut up you have no idea what you are talking about. If they had 5 good games at the end of last year than good it doesn’t matter because we got farther than your team, and this is hardly the same team as last year as i said before. This lineup isn’t nearly our strongest and we are still dominating so why don’t you shut your mouth before you embarrasses yourself.

  9. Lou says:

    i really don’t like the way our second half lineup looks I’m a little worried by it actually.

  10. Frog says:

    Celades is out with a thigh injury.

  11. Fire Cracker says:

    You made it further than the Fire but everyone knew that the Crew/Fire match was for the Cup. Red Balls in the West? Let’s see if the Red Balls can walk into the playoffs this year instead of stumbling upon them.

    And, if one Red Balls supporter can tell me that they have more depth, experience, or talent than the Fire with sanity I’ll shut my mouth before I embarrass myself.

  12. Onoda says:


  13. Lou says:

    fire cracker they obviously do our second team lineup when healthy is better than the worst team in the league, we could easily start 2 players at any position that is how i know we have depth. Stumble in to the playoffs ha big deal we hardly stumbled in, we gathered together and defied the odds, you can argue all you want about the fire and Columbus game being for the cup but in the end who got farther that is all that has to be said.

  14. Onoda says:

    wooo to the goal. fire cracker can suck his red balls.

  15. MikeK says:

    Did Mbuta celebrate the goal or show respect to his former team?

  16. Lou says:

    one more important thing firecracker we have juan carlos osorio he decided he would rather be with us than you’re sorry team. He is the most brilliant tactichian in all of the MLS and this season should hopefully prove it ha denis hamlett or whatever his name is couldn’t shine his shoes.

  17. Ken U says:

    “one more important thing firecracker we have juan carlos osorio he decided he would rather be with us than you’re sorry team. He is the most brilliant tactichian in all of the MLS and this season should hopefully prove it ha denis hamlett or whatever his name is couldn’t shine his shoes.” (Lou)
    Enough Said

  18. Eugene says:

    Is it just me or is Oduro having a poor preseason? I hope he steps it up when the regular season starts next week.

  19. Ken U says:

    I was thinking that as well Eugene… At least if he doesn’t step up we can put Kandji up top or Wolyniec

  20. Lou says:

    yea i really don’t see him as much of a soccer player maybe if this doesn’t work out he can pursue track or something, in my opinion kandji is better but we will see.

  21. MikeK says:

    You didn’t mention anything, but did Juan Peitrvallo really just go a half without a yellow card?

  22. The Athority says:


    Word to the wise….if you haven’t seen a guy all pre-season, don’t make a judgement.

    Oduro will be Oduro.

    RB’s lost to U-17 2nd string squad. 2 months later what does it mean? Nothing.

  23. Eugene says:


    Any idea how bad Johnson’s injury is?

  24. Ives says:

    Carlos Johnson had his right arm in a sling as he went to the team bus. No word on the severity of the injury but it looks more like a possible strain or, at worst, dislocation. Considering how well Jeremy Hall played, Johnson is probably not going to be rushed back for the season opener next week.

  25. Matt says:

    Anyone see this?

    link to

    Isn’t July 16 the date we are supposed to be playing the Galaxy in NY? How can they have a friendly against Inter on the same date? Or are we getting screwed over again?

  26. Scott A says:

    Fire Cracker, upset your team doesn’t perform under pressure in elimination games? Cry baby cry

  27. NONAME says:

    I can’t wait till RBNY smokes SSFC.

  28. JustinG says:

    @ Matt

    If you look at your article you linked, it says Inter Milan will play Chelsea in California. LA Galaxy will still be playing in NY against Red Bull.

  29. JustinG says:

    Nevermind, too early in the morning and I can’t read. My apologies Matt, it DOES say Inter vs. LA on July 16th. WTF mate?!